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  Rafael Pedroza Takes On Ramon Cardenas In Main Event Of ShoBox Tripleheader Sept. 15

Undefeated Panamanian prospect Rafael Pedroza will clash with San Antonio’s own Ramon Cardenas in the 10-round super bantamweight main event of a SHOBOX: The New Generation telecast on Friday, September 15 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT live on SHOWTIME from Boeing Center at Tech Point in San Antonio, Texas. The exciting tripleheader includes fighters with a combined record of 88-2-2 and 54 knockouts all stepping up in competition as they enter the national spotlight.

Just over a month after Alexandro Santiago became the 90th SHOBOX® alum to win a world title, SHOBOX will travel to the city of San Antonio for only the second time in its 22-year history for a card promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz’s Sampson Boxing featuring six hungry prospects who will duke it out in quintessential SHOBOX matchups that pit talented prospects looking to become serious contenders. The co-main event will feature hard-hitting undefeated Argentine Mirco Cuello (12-0, 11 KOs) who returns to the U.S. for the first time since 2020 to battle undefeated Los Angeles native Rudy Garcia (13-0-1, 2 KOs). Rounding out the card, undefeated KO artist Freudis Rojas (11-0, 11 KOs), who made his SHOWTIME debut in July, meets once-beaten Californian Saul Bustos (15-1-1, 8 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight bout to open the telecast. The card is co-promoted by Paco Presents Boxing.

“All three of these matchups promise to be action-packed and epitomize the core mission of the SHOBOX series which is to showcase talented prospects in 50-50 matchups and give them a chance to show what they’ve got on a bigger stage,” said the executive producer of the series, Gordon Hall. “The main event is particularly interesting because the winner of that fight could soon move to contender status in the 122-pound division. It’s going to be a great night.”

Here is more on each of the three bouts:

Pedroza vs. Cardenas – 10-Round Super Bantamweight Main Event

Pedroza, (15-0, 11 KOS), already ranked No. 7 by the WBA at 122 pounds, will fight outside of his native Panama for the first time on September 15. The 26-year-old began his professional career in 2017 following a notable amateur run in which he amassed a 92-14 record, won the silver medal at the 2015 National Pan-American tournament and made it to the finals of the 2016 Olympic qualifiers, losing to current WBO Featherweight Champion Robeisy Ramirez. He kicked off his pro career by stopping seven straight opponents, including three inside the first two rounds. His last three victories have all come by way of unanimous decision, including ten-round victories over previously undefeated Hector Andres Sosa and once-beaten Yerny Betancourt.

“Thank you to SHOBOX for giving me the chance to finally step into the spotlight and take my talent from the shadows to worldwide fame,” said Pedroza. “With every punch, I'll grab the opportunity and make my mark on U.S. television. Much respect for Ramon Cardenas, a great warrior, no doubt, but once that bell rings, it’s me steering the ship. I’m claiming that victory.”

Cardenas, (22-1, 11 KOs), 27, will benefit from a hometown crowd on September 15. Born and raised in San Antonio, he has won his last 10 bouts dating back to 2017. Cardenas earned a career-best victory at The Alamodome in July 2022, defeating Michel Banquez via unanimous decision in SHOWTIME BOXING® COUNTDOWN streaming action preceding Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas. Previously ranked as high as No. 5 by the WBA, Cardenas is inching closer to a world title shot.

“I’ve been watching SHOBOX since I was a kid and to be fighting on it as the main event is a dream come true,” said Cardenas. “I’m going to take full advantage of this golden opportunity.”

Cuello vs. Garcia – 10-Round Featherweight Bout

A 2020 Argentine Olympian, Cuello is one of the most decorated Argentinian amateurs of this generation. He won numerous international elite championships during his 105-fight career in the unpaid ranks before turning pro shortly after the Tokyo Olympic Games. As a professional, Cuello has quickly established himself as a power-punching prospect, knocking out all but one of his 12 opponents. He scored back-to-back first-round KOs over previously undefeated opponents in September 2022 and January 2023, and is coming off of another first-round KO over Antonio Guzman in July. Cuello, currently ranked No. 4 by the WBA, will return to fight in the U.S. for the first time since 2020, when he started his pro career by scoring first-round knockouts in his first two fights.

“I’m thrilled to be returning to the U.S. to fight for the first time in three years,” said Cuello. “This is an opportunity to let the world know who I am and what I can do. I intend to make the most of it. I will be looking for an impressive knockout but will take the victory any way it comes.”

Garcia, born and raised in South-Central Los Angeles, Calif., will face the second undefeated fighter of his career in Cuello on September 15. He fought fellow undefeated prospect Victor Morales to a draw at AT&T Center in San Antonio in December 2021. An accomplished amateur, Garcia faced two-division world champion Shakur Stevenson in the Junior Olympics and was a member of the Mexican national team. A two-time national champion, he finished his amateur career with 156 fights and just 20 losses.

“I am very blessed to be in this position,” said Garcia. “I am fighting for the WBA International title, and I thank God for allowing this opportunity to be in my path. My team and I have been working very hard for this. We intend to take advantage of this moment. This is the next step I need in my career to bring me closer to the world title. I dedicate this fight to the community of South-Central Los Angeles. Let’s do it!”

Rojas vs. Bustos – Eight-Round Welterweight Bout

The 24-year-old Rojas is a top prospect who has already appeared on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®, previously scoring a seventh-round TKO over Diego Sanchez in the telecast opener on July 15. A six-foot-two southpaw, Rojas has shown incredible power since turning pro in 2021. He has yet to let an opponent see the final bell and prior to his last appearance, he had never gone past four rounds. A Las Vegas native, Rojas, started boxing at the age of 10 under the tutelage of his father, Freudis Rojas-Londres, a former pro from Cuba. He’s won numerous national and international tournaments in the unpaid ranks including a bronze medal at the 2017 World Amateur Championships. During his tenure on USA Boxing’s national team, he defeated highly regarded contender Frank Martin in the 2016 U.S. National tournament finals. He was also the Olympic alternate in 2020. His younger brother Emmanuel Rojas is a pro super lightweight, currently 4-0 with three knockouts.

“I am thrilled and beyond blessed to be given the opportunity to fight on SHOBOX,” said Rojas. “It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Thanks to God I now have the chance to showcase my skills as a fighter and as a person to the world.”

Bustos, also from Los Angeles, will look to bounce back from his first professional loss in his last outing in October 2022 where he dropped a majority decision to tough veteran Alan Sanchez. Prior to that, Bustos had won 12 straight fights, including a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Luis Lopez. The 29-year-old trains out of Wild Card Boxing under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Freddie Roach.

“Displaying my skills on a platform like SHOWTIME has been a dream of mine and I know what I’m capable of,” said Bustos. “It’s time to show the boxing world who Saul Bustos is.”

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


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