Boxing Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr. leaned into the ropes and intently watched his pupil, rising once-beaten prospect and Las Vegas native Kevin Newman II run through a spirited 30-minute media workout on Thursday at Mayweather Boxing Club.
Newman (11-1-1, 6 KOs) is preparing to open Friday night’s ShoBox: The New Generation telecast when he faces Albania’s Genc Pllana (7-1-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight matchup live on SHOWTIME (10:45 p.m. ET/PT) from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas.
In the main event, undefeated rising prospect Keith Hunter will face talented Sanjarbek Rakhmanov in a rematch in a 10-round super lightweight bout.
Hunter (11-0, 7 KOs) and Rakhmanov (12-2-1, 6 KOs) first met on February 5, 2019, in an eight-round welterweight contest that resulted in a narrow-split decision victory for Hunter. In the ShoBox co-main event, 2016 Olympian and undefeated super lightweight prospect Richardson Hitchins (10-0, 5 KOs) takes on Rhode Island’s Nick DeLomba (16-2, 5 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
“Avenging the only loss of his career says a lot about Kevin Newman,” said the former four-division world champion and expert boxing commentator Jones, who serves as one of Newman’s trainers and mentors. “He’s not afraid of nothing or nobody and he wants to go and do his thing the right way. He wants to makes sure there’s no blemishes on his record. The loss, if you go back and avenge that loss, then that’s no blemish. You lost but you went back and beat him. You proved that it was just a bad night.
Jones continued: “He cares about what people think about him. He cares about his own career because he wants to keep it clean, and he did that. A great winner has to be a great loser. He was a great loser by coming back and proving exactly what he said was wrong. He said, ‘I’m not making any excuses, he got me, but he won’t get me again. When I get prepared, I’m going to go back and do it the right way.’ And that’s exactly what he did. That’s how you’re supposed to lose gracefully.
“I believe Kevin can go on to be a world champion because he has all the physical attributes. He’s got to have a little more knowledge to go along with those physical attributes and he’ll be a monster. He has great hand speed. He’s very explosive. Good reflexes. Good defensive skills. A few little technical adjustments, and he’ll be anything he wants to be.”