Perennial 118-lb contender Stephon “Showstopper” Young is finishing up his 13-week training camp in Miami while wondering if his opponent knows what he’s truly in for next week.
On Friday, March 23, in the Hard Rock Event Center at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., WBA #4-rated Young (17-0-3, 7 KOs) from St. Louis will face WBA #5 Reymart “GenSan Assassin” Gaballo (18-0, 16 KOs) from General Santos City, Philippines, in a 12-round battle for the WBA Interim World Bantamweight Championship.
Young vs. Gaballo headlines promoter Kris Lawrence and The Heavyweight Factory’s “Rumble at the Rock,” an 11-bout night of world-class professional boxing. In the 10-round co-main, former WBA Super World Bantamweight Champion Juan Carlos Payano (19-1, 9 KOs) takes on “Magic” Mike Plania (14-0, 7 KOs) from General Santos City, Philippines.
Tickets are priced at $255, $130, $80 and $55. All seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.myhrl.com, www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. Additional fees may apply.
29-year-old southpaw Young says that while Gaballo obviously has some strength to have such a high KO percentage, he is too green to be in the ring with a fighter at his level and experience.
“To be honest, I take nothing from him, but they should have stepped him up with a different opponent first and not thrown him in with a guy like me,” said Young. “I feel he’s not ready yet and that will show next Friday. He should have had two or three more fights, but I feel like just because it’s for a title, they are rushing toward it. It’s a good opportunity for him, but they’re not thinking enough about what’s going to happen to him. I will be bringing everything I’ve got that night.”
Young, who still lives in St. Louis but travels to Miami for camp, says coming up the hard way in boxing and then meeting up with his current team will make all the difference next Friday.
“When I turned pro, I didn’t get signed right off the bat with a big-time promoter,” he said. “I went and fought in people’s backyards and proved myself. I was given nothing, but I knew my time would come. I stayed focused and continued to train. I’ve been with my coach, Herman Caicedo, now for two years and I’m a totally different fighter. I want to thank my team, my promoter Kris Lawrence and The Heavyweight Factory for giving me this opportunity, my manager Henry Rivalta for always believing in me and my coach Herman Caicedo for getting me in the best shape I’ve ever been.”
For Young, lifting the belt over his head next Friday will be a dream come true.
“Winning this fight means everything. It’s a big accomplishment and nothing can keep me from my dreams. On March 23, I will be champion.”
“Rumble at the Rock” is proudly sponsored by Armero Tequila. Special guests expected that evening include former heavyweight champions Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe and Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield. On fight night, Hard Rock Event Center will open its doors at 6 p.m. with the first bout starting at 7 p.m. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is located at 1 Seminole Way in Hollywood, Florida.