Casal, Izquierdo clash on Shobox on January 5


Casal, Izquierdo clash on Shobox on January 5

PRESS RELEASE: A pair of talented, unbeaten boxers with eerily similar pro careers will collide when Nick Casal (15-0-1, 1 NC, 12 KOs) faces Jose Antonio Izquierdo (15-0-1, 13 KOs) in an excellent co-featured attraction on Friday, Jan. 5, 2007, on “ShoBox: The New Generation.”


The Casal-Izquierdo eight-round junior welterweight skirmish will precede the 12-round finals of a “ShoBox” super middleweight tournament that pits Jean Paul Mendy (23-0, 12 KOs) against Tony Hanshaw (21-0, 14 KOs). The telecast airs on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).


The event, co-promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, and Round One Entertainment, will take place at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Miss.


Outside the ring, Casal, of Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Izquierdo, of Chihuahua, Mexico, via Havana, Cuba, are not alike. But their ring careers are mirror images of each other. The nearly identical records is only one of the similarities the exciting, strikingly similar prospects have in common.


 Talk about evenly-matched!  You cannot get much closer than this.



·        Casal turned pro June 5, 2004. Izquierdo’s debut was three-and-one-half months earlier (Feb. 27).

·        Both fought six times in ’04. Casal went 6-0 with 6 KOs; Izquierdo was 5-0-1 with 4 KOs.

·        In 2005, Casal had six fights; Izquierdo five. Casal went 5-0 with 4 KOs (and the no-contest); Izquierdo went 5-0 with 5 KOs.

·        Each had five fights in 2006. Izquierdo was 5-0 with 4 KOs; Casal 4-0-1 with 2 KOs.

·        With six knockouts, they share the same first-round knockout percentage (38 percent).

·        Both have a 94 percent winning percentage.

·        Each has won 14 straight at some point in his career, and knocked out 10 in a row

·        Both are making their 17th start.

·        Each is moving way up in weight for this, although each has fought at or near 140 a few times. Casal tipped the scales at 134 for his last three fights, and 133 in his bout before that. Izquierdo weighed 135 and 137, respectively, in his last two contests.

·        Casal went 89-6 with 54 knockouts in the amateurs and may have earned a berth on the 2004 United States Olympic team if not for injuring a shoulder when he was on the verge of qualifying at the Trials; Izquierdo had nearly 400 amateur bouts in his terrific career.

·        Both are promoted by Shaw.


There is one difference between the boxers – a major one, too. Casal, at 20, is nine years younger than Izquierdo. The five-foot-eight Izquierdo, however, possesses a one-inch advantage in height.


Casal, who grew up watching tapes of Mike Tyson fights, fought a no contest against Martinus Clay on June 16, 2005, in Glen Burnie, N.D. In his last effort, the popular, power-punching fan’s favorite won an eight-round decision over Aaron Drake on Oct. 6 in Santa Ynez, Calif.


Casal, who has overcome his fair share of growing pains outside the ring, is trained by his father, Ray, and managed by Shelly Finkel.


Izquierdo is a former Cuban amateur standout. ‘’El Cubano Mexicano” lives in Mexico where he made his initial 12 starts. He captured the World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas 135-pound crown in his ninth start and the FECARBOX 140-pound belt in his 10th.


In his U.S. debut, Izquierdo scored three knockdowns en route to a third-round TKO over Alejandro Pena on June 23, 2006, in Nogales, Ariz.


 The flashy hard-hitter won an eight-round majority decision over Leobardo Martinez in his last start on Oct. 7 in Las Vegas. The previous Aug. 5, accompanied by legendary former world champion Jose Napoles, Izquierdo registered a first-round TKO over Jonathan Nelson in Stateline, Nev.

Nick Charles will deliver the blow-by-blow action Jan. 5 from ringside, with boxing historian Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst.  The executive producer of the telecast is Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing. 

One night after “ShoBox,’’ America’s No. 1 Boxing Network begins its 21st year of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. In a tremendous doubleheader, Saturday, Jan. 6 (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast), Samuel Peter and James Toney box a rematch of their exciting fight Sept. 2, 2006, on SHOWTIME and Jose Antonio Rivera defends his WBA super welter belt against Travis Simms.

For more information on “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go to the SHOWTIME website at