UNDEFEATED SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT PROSPECTS HEADLINE FEB 2 SHOBOX
NEW YORK (Jan. 3, 2018) – A battle of unbeaten super middleweight prospects will headline a ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader on Friday, Feb. 2, live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT from WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa, as two-time ShoBox veteran Ronald Ellis takes on New Yorker Junior Younan.
Ellis, of Lynn, Mass., and Brooklyn’s Younan will clash in the 10-round main event of a four-fight telecast that features eight fighters with a combined record of 113-3-3.
An undefeated boxer losing for the first time was a common theme on ShoBox in 2017 as 15 prospects lost their perfect record on the popular developmental series last year. Now in its 17th year, a total of 171 fighters have suffered their first loss on ShoBox. All three fights leading up to the main event on Feb. 2 are eight-round matchups that include an undefeated “A-side” fighter facing his toughest test to date.
In the co-feature, former Dominican Olympian Wellington Romero will take on Philadelphia’s Sam Teah in a super lightweight scrap contracted at 141 pounds. Cleveland’s Thomas Mattice will face two-time ShoBox winner and Lancaster, Pa. resident Rolando Chinea in a lightweight matchup.
In the telecast opener, highly regarded undefeated Devin Haney, of Las Vegas, will take on Harmonito Dela Torre in another bout pitting two 135-pound prospects.
RONALD ELLIS vs. JUNIOR YOUNAN – 10-Round Super Middleweight
Ellis returns to ShoBox in his first bout since defeating Christopher Brooker via a unanimous decision in Atlantic City last January. In his ShoBox debut, Ellis fought Jerry Odom to a majority draw in Atlantic City in February 2016.
Originally from Lynn, Mass., the 28-year-old Ellis currently lives and trains in Los Angeles at the Iron Gym under trainer Jerry Rosenberg and his father Ronald Ellis Sr.
“It’s going to be fireworks from the jump,” said Ellis, who was scheduled to fight Taneal Goyco in November, but the fight was scrapped when Goyco weighed three pounds over the super middleweight limit. “Younan is a good little fighter, but we are trying to get him out of there. This is my first main event, and I want to impress. It will be a good way to start 2018, which will be my year.”
Ellis upset highly regarded Terrell Gausha to win the 2010 National Golden Gloves. Gausha would go on to represent the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Younan, who is promoted by Roc Nation Sports, was a highly touted amateur boxer who compiled a 90-5 record before turning professional in 2013 at the age of 18. Once dubbed by The New York Times as “a boxing prodigy” as a 10-year-old, Younan was a two-time National Junior Golden Gloves champion, the 2011 National Junior Olympic championship, and at one point was the No. 1-rated junior boxer in his weight class by USA Boxing.
Because of injuries, Younan fought just one time in 2015. After a nine-month layoff, he returned in March of 2016 to beat Cristian Solorzano and has remained active since. Eight of Younan’s 13 pro wins have ended in the first round, including three of his last five fights. The 22-year-old is trained by his father, Sherif Younan
“It’s a pleasure to fight on SHOWTIME and I’m excited to put on a show for all the viewers,” Younan said. “I’ve been working as hard as possible and I’m confident my efforts will pay off. I’m going to break my opponent’s spirit and pick him apart. This is my time – in 2018, I’m looking to make a title run and this fight is just the first step.”
WELLINGTON ROMERO vs. SAM TEAH – Eight-Round Super Lightweight
Romero is originally from the Dominican Republic now fighting out of Newburgh, N.Y.
A southpaw, he fights under the Roc Nation Sports promotion and represented the Dominican Republic in the 2012 London Olympics, where he lost to eventual Gold Medalist Vasyl Lomachenko.
An accomplished amateur with 268 fights, Romero earned a bronze medal at the 2010 Central American Games and made back-to-back appearances at the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships and the 2011 Pan American Games as a teenager.
The 26-year-old Romero fought twice in 2017, recording TKOs in both wins over Kevin Womack Jr. and Mike Fowler.
“This fight on SHOWTIME is a great opportunity for me to showcase my talent and I want to thank God, my team and everyone involved for this opportunity,” Romero said. “I’m going to deliver a world class performance for all the boxing fans out there to enjoy. After defeating my opponent, I know I will make a lasting impression on the viewers and start paving my way to a world title belt.”
This won’t be the first time Philadelphia’s Teah is facing an undefeated fighter on ShoBox. In Las Vegas in 2015, Teah scored a unanimous decision over previously undefeated O’Shaquie Foster. The 30-year-old’s only loss came against then-undefeated Lavisas Williams in 2014.
Born in Liberia, Teah did not start boxing until the age of 19. His last four fights have been close to home with three in his hometown of Philadelphia and the other two in Bristol, Pa., and Atlantic City, N.J.
“I know my opponent was an Olympian, and he has been in front of a lot of great fighters,” Teah said. “I am excited to face him and take the big challenge. I know I will be his toughest opponent. I am ready to see what he is made of.”
THOMAS MATTICE vs. ROLANDO CHINEA – Eight-Round Lightweight
A 27-year-old from Cleveland, Mattice turned pro in 2014 and had an amateur record of 72-18. He was a three-time Ohio State Golden Gloves champion, and bronze medal winner in the USA National Tournament in 2014.
In his last fight on Nov. 11, Mattice beat Orlando Rizo via seventh-round stoppage in Georgia. Mattice, who has recorded four straight KOs and eight overall in 10 professional fights, is a boxer-puncher who likes to attack the body.
“It’s a tough fight for sure,” Mattice said. “I checked him out. It's going to be a rough fight, but I am prepared for a war. I am prepared for whatever he will bring. I am excited to fight on ShoBox. Ever since I started boxing, I said one day that will be me fighting on TV, and now that dream comes true.”
The 26-year-old Chinea returns to ShoBox after handing previously unbeaten Kenneth Sims Jr., the first loss of his professional career via majority decision on July 14. The win moved Chinea’s ShoBox record to 2-0. He had previously won an eight-round split decision victory over O’Shaquie Foster in 2016.
A Puerto Rican native now living in Lancaster, Pa., Chinea suffered his only defeat against the hands of Ismail Muwendo in 2015. He has won five straight since, including two unanimous decisions over previously undefeated Ladarius Miller and Mel Crossty, as well as the unbeaten Sims. His last four opponents had a combined record of 38-1-1.
“I know Thomas Mattice is another undefeated fighter with a terrific amateur career,” Chinea said. “I am being brought in as his opponent, to make him look good in his national TV debut. I respect Thomas for agreeing to fight me. I am sure that he will bring his best, and it will be another entertaining fight, Chinea style. I am going to be in the best shape of my career. I am going to be stronger, and I am going to hunt him down, rough him up, and beat him. I can't wait to fight and win again on ShoBox.”
DEVIN HANEY vs. HARMONITO DELA TORRE – Eight-Round Lightweights
Haney just turned 19 years old last November and already sports a professional record of 18-0 with 12 knockouts. Trained and managed by his father, William Haney, he has been active with nine fights in 2016 and seven in 2017. In his last fight on Nov. 4, he scored a fifth-round TKO against Hamza Sempewo in Atlanta.
Raised in Oakland, Calif., Haney was a seven-time national amateur champion and compiled an impressive record of 130-8. Haney is currently living and training in Las Vegas, where he sparred with Floyd Mayweather as the pound-for-pound champ prepared to face Conor McGregor, and Shawn Porter. Haney turned professional when he was 16 years old in Mexico.
“Fighting on SHOWTIME, specifically ShoBox, where many champions have been made, is something I’ve envisioned since I turned professional in 2015,” Haney said. “I’m in tough against Harmonito Dela Torre, a hungry fighter who is coming off his first pro loss. I know his back is up against the wall, so I’m expecting him to bring everything he’s got. But this is my time to shine on the big stage and I’m not going to let this opportunity pass me by. I’m the future of boxing and everyone will see my talent on February 2, especially Dela Torre.”
Dela Torre is a 23-year-old Philippines native who has been training with Osmiri Fernandez in Miami the past few months at the Sanman Boxing Gym.
Dela was scheduled to fight last on Aug. 22 in Las Vegas in a super featherweight bout against undefeated Saul Rodriguez, who inexplicably pulled out of the matchup a few days before the fight.
Instead, Dela Torre entered the ring in Las Vegas on Nov. 18 and suffered his first loss against 2012 Olympic silver medalist Tugstsogt Nyambayar in an eight-round unanimous decision, despite scoring a second-round knockdown. It was the first time in his first nine fights that Nyambayar was taken the distance.
Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.