Former IBF welterweight champion Kermit Cintron (32-3-1, 28 KOs), of Carolina, Puerto Rico, will mark his return to the Showtime airwaves while Carlos Molina of Chicago will make his network debut when they meet this Saturday, July 9, in the co-feature on Showtime at10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.,
Just one week before the 10th anniversary of ShoBox: The New Generation, Cintron, who fought three times on ShoBox from 2001 to 2002 including the series’ third telecast, will take on Molina in a 10-round junior middleweight tilt.
Following that, Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (27-0-1, 19 KOs), of Oxnard , Calif. , and two-time world title challenger Urbano Antillon (28-2, 20 KOs), of Maywood, Calif., tangle for the WBA lightweight championship in the Top Rank-promoted main event on Showtime Championship Boxing.
Cintron, Molina and two up-and-coming Top Rank fighters worked out for the media on Thursday at Fortune Gym in Hollywood.
The telecast also will include highlights from overseas as IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (28-0, 23 KOs) defends his title for an eighth time – but first in his home country of Romania – against mandatory challenger Jean-Paul Mendy (29-0-1, 16 KOs) of France.
Tickets, priced at $125, $75, $50 and $25, are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and online at www.Ticketmaster.com as well as The Home Depot Center Box Office (Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Suites are available by calling (877) 604-8777.
What they said Thursday:
“I’m feeling really light right now which is different than I have for my last couple of fights. It’s been great to have Mike Lee down in Houston with us fulltime and training with Ronnie (Shields).
“I sparred with Carlos five years ago but none of that matters now. I know he’s gotten better but I just look at him like just another opponent. When you’re a boxer you have to be ready to go in there with anyone and that’s what I’m going to do.
“I know I will be victorious come Saturday night. I’ve never had more confidence than I do now. It does feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve been in the ring but I’m ready.”
“Everything is good and everything is in order. Now it’s just time to weigh in and then it’s fight time. This is the biggest fight of my career and my first time on Showtime. I mean, you always want to do good but this is Showtime so you want to perform and put on a good show even more.
On Cintron returning to the Home Depot Center where he fell out of the ring a year ago:
“As boxers we put everything out of our minds. If it does bother him, I’ll take advantage of it. But I really don’t think it will and shouldn’t be an issue.
“I know Kermit and the way he likes to fight. It has been a long time since we sparred but we know each others’ styles and what we both want to do in there. It should be very interesting to see how it plays out.”
Lee (5-0, 3 KOs) is the Notre Dame champion who faces Michael Birthmark (2-5, 0 KOs) in a four-round light heavyweight matchup on the undercard Saturday:
“I just can’t wait to get in there and show people how much better I’ve gotten since my last fight. For my last fight I just felt heavier. Now, I’ve built more muscle and just feel so much stronger.
“It’s really been like a big family joining (trainer) Ronnie (Shields) and the guys in Houston . I used to just bully guys. Now, I feel like a boxer. I’ve been working on my defense and watching tape of some of Ronnie’s older fighters and it’s really helped me.”
Korobov (15-0, 9 KOs) from Orotukan, Russia , will take on Lester Gonzalez (12-3-2, 6 KOs) from San Diego in a middleweight undercard fight on Saturday:
“This is my third fight this year and we’re right on schedule. We’re ready to go. The middleweights need an exciting fighter like me. I don’t even know where I’m ranked. I’m just so focused on Saturday night.”
Boxing News Tags: Brandon Bam Bam Rios, Carlos Molina, France, Home Depot Center, IBF, Kermit Cintron, Lester Gonzalez, Matt Korobov, Michael Birthmark, Mike Lee, New Generation, Notre Dame, Romania, Ronnie Shields, Russia, San Diego, Showtime, Top Rank, WBA, West Coast