Two hot featherweights on a collision course will finally meet on “ShoBox: The New Generation” Friday, Dec. 2, 2005, when North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Featherweight Champion/World Boxing Council (WBC) No. 2 contender, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, defends his title in a 12-round slugfest against WBC No. 7 contender, Gamaliel Diaz. In the 10-round co-feature, World Boxing Association (WBA) No. 13/International Boxing Federation (IBF) No. 15 welterweight contender, Paul Williams, will square off against former Mexican champion, Alfonso Sanchez.
SHOWTIME will televise the Goossen Tutor Promotions doubleheader from the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, Calif., at 11 p.m. ET/PT (tape delayed on west coast). The telecast represents the 69th in the popular “ShoBox” series, which debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001.
“Guerrero is the best young featherweight in the game,” ‘ShoBox’ expert analyst Steve Farhood said. “I felt that way before his first appearance on ‘ShoBox,’ and nothing has happened to change my mind. He is disciplined, determined and highly skilled. Diaz seems a reasonable test at this point. He is unbeaten in his last 18 bouts over the last five years, so we know he is in form.”
A native of Gilroy, Calif., Guerrero (16-0-1, nine KOs), who also is the International Boxing Federation (IBF) No. 9/World Boxing Association (WBA) No. 12 contender, has appeared on ‘ShoBox’ twice. Although he has taken on stiff competition throughout his career, the unbeaten brawler will face his toughest test to date when he faces Diaz.
“Diaz is a rough, tough, big strong guy, and has not lost a fight since the summer of 2000,” Guerrero said. “He will come to fight, and has had more than enough time to get ready.”
During a stellar amateur career, Guerrero captured the gold medal at the 2000 Western Olympic Trials after becoming the youngest boxer at 16 to qualify for the event.
In his “ShoBox” debut, Guerrero scored an eighth-round TKO over former World Boxing Association (WBA) super bantamweight king, Enrique Sanchez, on June 3, 2004, from Lincoln City, Ore. Midway through the eighth, Guerrero connected with two left uppercuts to the chin. Seconds later, Guerrero unloaded another left that caught Sanchez in the face. The contest was halted after the round.
Nearly 10 months later in his next “ShoBox” outing on April 1, 2005, Guerrero stopped Adrian Valdez in the 12th round of their NABF title bout from Lemoore. Guerrero pinned Valdez against the ropes and scored with a volley of leather before the referee waved off the war at 1:55 of the final round.
In his last contest on Sept. 16, 2005, from Lemoore, Guerrero successfully defended his NABF crown for the second time and ended Sammy Ventura’s night at 2:05 of the first round after recording three knockdowns.
Diaz (19-5-2, nine KOs), of Mexico City, Mexico, will make his United States debut following 24 fights in Mexico and two in Japan. He won the FECARBOX featherweight crown on Feb. 21, 2004, and has made three successful defenses.
“This is a tough fight for me and my first big test,” said Diaz, who takes an 18-fight unbeaten streak into his showdown against ‘The Ghost.’ “Guerrero is a great fighter, but I have the skills to beat him. The fans will see two Mexican warriors going at it.”
Diaz’ nickname, “Platano” means “banana” in English. “They (people in Mauro Ayala’s Mexico City gym) started calling me that about four years ago because my skin color is kind of yellow, and my back is a little bit hunched like a banana,” Diaz said.
Williams (27-0, 19 KOs), of Augusta, Ga., turned pro after just 30 amateur fights and recorded a four-round decision over Jeremy Mickelson on July 21, 2000. Adjusting quickly to the professional style of fighting, the southpaw knocked out his next 13 opponents, including seven in the opening round.
In his “ShoBox” debut on April 22, 2005, Williams registered a 10-round unanimous decision over former Olympic bronze medalist Terrance Cauthen. The undefeated welterweight utilized his four-inch height advantage to pitch a near shutout as the judges scored the contest 100-89 twice and 98-91.
Sanchez (20-3-1, 18 KOs), of Tijuana, Mexico, captured the Mexican junior welterweight title on April 12, 1996, with an 11th-round TKO over Horacio Cervantes in Tijuana.
After entering the pro ranks at age 22 in June 1994, Sanchez knocked out 15 of his initial 16 opponents, including eight in the opening round.
In his last outing, Sanchez floored Steve Martinez (47-5-1 going in) at 0:40 of the opening round on Nov. 7, 2005, from Dallas, Texas.
Nick Charles will call the action from ringside, with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of the telecast is Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.
For information on “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing