Home Boxing News Ardreal Holmes vs Ismael Villarreal – ShoBox The New Generation this Friday

Ardreal Holmes vs Ismael Villarreal – ShoBox The New Generation this Friday

Exciting rising prospect Ardreal “Bossman” Holmes, Jr. (12-0, 5 KOs) and fellow undefeated Ismael “Maelo” Villarreal (12-0, 8 KOs) both made weight Thursday, a day ahead of their 10-round super welterweight main event on SHOBOX: The New Generation this Friday, February 17, live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/PT from Stormont Vail Events Center in Topeka, Kan.

In the co-main event, Misael Lopez (14-1, 5 KOs) of Denver, Colo., looks to win his fourth straight bout after suffering his first pro loss on SHOBOX® when he takes on Edward “Kid” Vazquez (13-1, 3 KOs) of Fort Worth, Texas, in a 10-round featherweight bout. The telecast opener pits two unbeaten knockout artists in former NCAA Division I college football player Kurt Scoby (10-0, 8 KOs) facing Australia’s John “The Beast” Mannu (7-0-1, 4 KOs) with both fighters putting their unbeaten streaks to the test in an eight-round super lightweight bout.

The card is promoted by Lou DiBella’s DiBella Entertainment.


Super Welterweight 10-Round Bout

Ardreal Holmes, Jr. – 152.6 pounds

Ismael Villarreal – 152.6 pounds

Referee: Jacob Villa; Judges: Karen Holderfield (Ark.), Nick Berens (Kan.), David Sutherland (Okla.)

Featherweight 10-Round Bout

Misael Lopez – 124.4 pounds

Edward Vazquez – 125.2 pounds

Referee: Kevin Champion; Judges: Karen Holderfield (Ark.), Greg DiVilbiss (Kan.), David Sutherland (Okla.)

Super Lightweight Eight-Round Bout

Kurt Scoby – 139.8 pounds

John Mannu – 139.8 pounds

Referee: Jacob Villa; Judges: Nick Berens (Kan.), Greg DiVilbiss (Kan.), David Sutherland (Okla.)


Ardreal Holmes, Jr.

“In my fight with Vernon Brown last March, I was just seeing where I was at after such a long layoff, just getting back into the rhythm and timing of things. I would give myself a C+ for that performance, maybe a C++ because of my strong finish.

“I don’t get frustrated with the layoffs because I just look at my son and I want a better future for him and that’s how I get through it every time. I just have to keep fighting and get through everyone to get where I need to go.

“I could have done everything better against Vernon, but when you’ve been out so long, you have to catch up on the timing and rhythm, but I put that win behind me and I’m trying to do better this time.

“My son is two, Ardreal III. I don’t think I want him to get into boxing. But we sit together and out of nowhere he playfully punches me and wow, he has some power in that little hand (laughs).

“My opponent looks strong, looks like he comes to fight, they all have to come to me. This is a high-stakes match, and then the next one is going to be the toughest of my career. All these fights are going to be the toughest I’ve faced, so I take everyone seriously.

“I still work in a rehab center and home and healthcare. How did I get into boxing? I had uncles that used to fight, they’re not much older than me, nine or 10 years older that I am. My coach used to train them and they used to come home with trophies so it’s a family thing. That got me into it.

“I think all fighters from Flint, Michigan are tough, through their upbringing, you have to learn how to fight after school, it’s just part of growing up out there.

“Two years from now I see myself in the Top 10 and gunning for one of those titles. I have my fingers crossed on at least three more fights this year, but if I get three total, that will be fine.”

Ismael Villarreal

“This is an amazing opportunity that I have here, starring in my first main event against an undefeated fighter. We’re both going to be risking our 0.

“Life is full of surprises. I hope a win tomorrow opens more doors in my career. I didn’t think I would ever get to headline, so life is full of mysteries.

“I wouldn’t say my last fight was my toughest. LeShawn Rodriguez was a notable fighter but it’s not my toughest fight. The only way to find out whether this will be my toughest fight is to fight the fight.

“He has those attributes which make him dangerous – his height, his reach, he’s a southpaw. But I’m not concerned about his height. I’m used to guys being taller than me. I’m usually the shorter guy in my fights. I’m not worried about that. I use my boxing and my intelligence and my ring IQ to gain an advantage. I know I need to get closer and close the distance in this fight.

“It’s not a big deal for me to get on the inside. It’s 10 rounds so giving up one or two rounds isn’t going to affect me. It’s 10 rounds and anything can happen in boxing. Of course I’m going to be ready and I’m going to pressure him.

“I found boxing because my father was a boxer. So I was born into boxing because my dad was a pro fighter. Then he retired and became my coach. I was a kid who liked to fight, I never got into street fights but I just took to fighting when I came to the gym. I had that in me.

“After this fight, I want to get that exposure where hopefully people will realize I’m one of the top guys in the division and people will want to fight me.”

Misael Lopez

“Every fight is like a title fight for me at this point. I think this matchup is a perfect style for me and to show the things I’ve been working on. I definitely recognize that he has talent and is a hungry fighter. We have the same opportunity to jump into that contender level.

“My first pro defeat was the best thing that could ever happen to me, believe it or not. After that loss I had to regroup and learned a lot about myself and what I could do better.

“This is a 50-50 fight and there is no favorite, but that is what we’ve prepared for. To have an amazing coach like Manny Robles in my corner probably tips the scales a little in my favor.

“I see a hungry fighter in my opponent. I don’t know what to expect but I know he’s hungry so I’m not sleeping on him.

“This is the perfect fight for me to make it to the next level. It was a big learning experience to lose on SHOBOX, but I want to prove that I’m a contender and that I’m ready for the big names.”

Edward Vazquez

“With a win over Lopez it will get some guys to look my way. I know it’s a little high risk, low reward until I get a top 15 ranking.

“I see Lopez as one of the best 126 pounders in the world. He is a boxer, boxer-puncher. He’s a mover and will try to find combinations. I have an answer for everything. I know he had a great camp and has a new trainer in Manny Robles.

“I just think my heart, my will, my boxing IQ and the dog inside me is just going to overpower him.

“I’ve already fought this fight visually in my mind – like a million times. I see a fast start on my end, and a little hesitation on his side just because he has someone new in his corner.

“I’m the hardest worker in boxing and everything I do every day shows that. Not just my strength but my mindset. Some of these guys haven’t seen what I’ve seen or touched what I’ve touched.

“I won’t take any time off after this fight. I plan on running a half-marathon when I get back to Texas on Saturday.”

Kurt Scoby

“My style is to not get paid for overtime. But my trainer tells me to not go in there looking for the knockout. He says we go in there to beat the other guy up. So, we’ll see how long he lasts.

“I know my opponent is basically your typical southpaw. He’s undefeated so he doesn’t know how to lose yet. He’ll soon find out how.

“My faith is very important for me. Since I came into Muslim and Islam, I always know there’s a way out. It’s a platform for me.

“It was crazy doing what I did and buying an $11 airplane ticket and coming out to New York with nothing but my two fists. I literally didn’t have anything else.

“I’ve been through a lot – 14 foster homes and my mother passing away during my sophomore year in high school.

“I was recruited for football and played running back at Azusa-Pacific. I got to a point where I got too big-headed. I wasn’t in love with football. Now, I’m doing what I truly love.

“I’ve sparred with Regis Prograis and Devin Haney. What I learned from them was the speed of boxing. How you have to slow things down and see things before they happen.

“My dedication to this sport is what has brought me here. I’m always working out. I don’t want my coaches to chase me to the gym, but to chase me out of the gym.”

John Mannu

“The money’s not too good back in Australia and if a fighter wants to make boxing their career, you have to do it in the United States. We have to take these fights and we have to travel if we are going to make it. A good win in the States could really help my career.

“I’ve been in Miami for the past two weeks just to get used to the time change, but I’m based full-time in Melbourne.

“I’ve got natural power and people will see that. My opponent looks like a tough guy. I can see this fight going the distance, but I’m just going to try and break him down and go for the late-round stoppage.

“I admired guys like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson growing up. And Marvelous Marvin Hagler and James Toney. I just love their style and the way they fight – very defensive fighters.

“I’m a natural southpaw, but I switch a lot. I’d describe myself as a boxer-puncher. This could be the best of the three fights.

“My twin brother Michael is a professional MMA fighter. It’s a competition. The ego’s always there. Whenever he’s in the gym training, I want to be in there too.

“I’ve never been down as a pro or an amateur, and I don’t plan on being down Friday night.”

# # #

International Boxing Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins will call all the blow-by-blow action for SHOBOX with fellow Hall of Famer Steve Farhood joining the team remotely as the unofficial scorer. Former junior middleweight world champion Raul Marquez and veteran combat sports reporter and MORNING KOMBAT co-host Brian Campbell will serve as ringside analysts. The executive producer of SHOBOX: The New Generation is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

For more information visit www.sho.com/sports follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @SHOSports, #ShoBox, or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports

About ShoBox: The New Generation

Since its inception in July 2001, the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series, SHOBOX: The New Generation has featured young talent matched tough. The SHOBOX philosophy is to televise exciting, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. Some of the growing list of the 88 fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes: Errol Spence Jr., Andre Ward, Deontay Wilder, Erislandy Lara, Shawn Porter, Gary Russell Jr., Lamont Peterson, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nonito Donaire, Devon Alexander, Carl Froch, Robert Guerrero, Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Juan Manuel Lopez, Chad Dawson, Ricky Hatton, Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and more.