ShoBox Veterans Kenneth Sims Jr. and Samuel Teah Clash in Co-Featured Bout


Friday, Nov. 16 Live On SHOWTIME® At 9:35 p.m. ET/PT

From 2300 Arena in Philadelphia


NEW YORK -- October 24, 2018 -- Highly touted unbeaten welterweight prospect Jaron Ennis will square off against 11-year professional Raymond Serrano in a Philadelphia vs. Philadelphia 10-round bout in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation, Friday, November 16 live on SHOWTIME® at 9:35 p.m. ET/PT from 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.


Ennis (21-0, 19 KOs) has knocked out 11 consecutive opponents including a third-round stoppage of Armando Alvarez in his ShoBox debut in July (Click HERE for video). The 21-year-old Ennis, who compiled an amateur record of 58-3 and was the 2015 National Golden Gloves Champion before turning professional in 2016, faces a stern test in fellow Philadelphia native Raymond Serrano (24-5, 10 KOs), a 29-fight veteran who’s five losses have come against opponents with a combined record of 89-1-1 at the time of their meeting.


The three-fight telecast features five ShoBox veterans and three fighters who call Philadelphia home. In the co-feature, a pair of ShoBox veterans meet when Chicago’s Kenneth Sims Jr. (13-1-1, 4 KOs) takes on Philadelphia’s Samuel Teah (14-2-1, 7 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight bout.


Also on the card, undefeated Ukrainian Arnold Khegai (13-0-1, 9 KOs) faces New Jersey’s Jorge Diaz (19-5-1, 10 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight bout.


Tickets for the show, which is promoted by Victory Promotions in association with Hard Hitting Promotions are priced $50, $75 and $125 and can be purchased at 2300arena.com and hardhittingpromotions.com.


Ennis returns to ShoBox for his second consecutive fight following a statement third-round knockout of then-unbeaten welterweight prospect Armando Alvarez in July. Making a name for himself in Philadelphia with his power and come-forward mentality, Ennis has scored 11 consecutive KO victories including two at 2300 Arena. A standout amateur who was ranked No. 1 at 141 pounds and won the 2015 National Golden Gloves tournament, Ennis narrowly missed the opportunity to represent the U.S. in the 2016 Olympics after losing a box-off to Gary Antuanne Russell at the Olympic Trials. 


"Serrano is just another opponent on my way to my ultimate goal - a world championship,” said Ennis. “I am focused and I’m just going to keep working hard until I am able to accomplish that main goal. I can’t wait to display my talent once again on ShoBox.


The 21-year-old Ennis currently trains under his father Derek “Bozy” Ennis Sr., who also trained his other sons Derek Jr. and Farah, both ShoBox veterans.


The 29-year-old Serrano turned professional in 2007 and rattled off 18 consecutive wins to start his career. Serrano, who will appear on ShoBox for the first time since his 2013 meeting with Emmanuel Taylor, will face his third consecutive unbeaten opponent after a No Contest against Gerome Quigley Jr. and a unanimous decision loss to 22-year-old welterweight prospect Malik Hawkins. Serrano, also from Philadelphia, had an impressive amateur career, winning the national and international Junior Olympic tournaments in 2005 and the Pennsylvania State Golden Gloves in 2006. 


"I am excited - this is Philly vs. Philly,” said Serrano. “We are two of the best welterweights going at it. I believe my experience with my new trainer Shadeed Saluki will help me in this fight and I do not think he has been in the ring with anyone like me. I am excited to be on ShoBox because the world will see my talents. With a win, this will lead me to even bigger fights.”


Sims, a Chicago native, returns to ShoBox after his action-packed split-draw with unbeaten prospect Montana Love in July. Sims suffered the first and only loss of his career against Rolando Chinea via close majority decision on ShoBox a year prior but got back to his winning ways with a unanimous decision over Andrew Rodgers on October 13. The 24-year-old, who has sparred with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, was a 2013 U.S. National Amateur Champion and a 2012 Olympic Trials semifinalist.


“I am ready to fight,” said Sims. “I just fought on October 13 and got right back in the gym, so I am already in good shape. Teah is a good fighter but he is nothing special and certainly nothing that I haven't seen before. I am happy to be back on ShoBox. I know they liked my last fight because it showed that I am only getting better and better every fight.”


Teah, born in Liberia and fighting out of Philadelphia, has had mixed luck on ShoBox. A two-fight veteran of the developmental series, Teah scored a unanimous decision over previously undefeated O’Shaquie Foster in 2015 but dropped a majority decision to Montana Love in February, an opponent who Sims Jr. drew with. Teah, who did not start boxing until the age of 19, scored an impressive first-round knockout of Zach Ramsey his last time out in August at 2300 Arena.


“I will be ready to fight come November 16,” said Teah. “I have seen Kenneth Sims fight. He is fast and was a good amateur. He just fought a draw against the last fighter who beat me, Montana Love. I am excited about fighting him and I am also excited to be on ShoBox. I always face a higher level of opposition when I am on and ShoBox is always a great showcase.”


The aggressive, come-forward Khegai made his U.S. debut at the 2300 Arena on ShoBox in May, registering the most impressive result of his career with a unanimous decision over Adam Lopez. The undefeated Khegai, who is a former Ukraine national amateur champion and two-time world champion in Thai boxing, made the switch to professional boxing in 2015 and has since compiled a near-perfect record while competing mostly in Russia.  Born to Korean parents in Lymanske, Ukraine, the all-action Khegai will make his second ShoBox appearance in search of another statement win.


“I am excited to be fighting in the U.S. on SHOWTIME,” said Khegai. “I look forward to putting on a memorable performance and cementing myself as a top name in the division. November 16 can’t come soon enough!”


Jorge Diaz Jr., from New Brunswick, New Jersey, is coming off a significant victory over then once-beaten Adam Lopez, an opponent Khegai also beat via decision. The 31-year-old Diaz, who last fought in November 2017, also boasts impressive victories over Olympic gold-medalist Yan Barthelemy and former title challengers Alejandro Lopez and Emmanuel Lucero. Diaz’s five professional losses have come against opponents that hold a combined record of 88-1-4.


“I feel very confident,” said Diaz. “My opponent is a good fighter, who is strong, aggressive, and throws sharp punches but I will be in tip-top shape. This is a very important fight for me. I have this great opportunity, so I will be dedicated and will give my best effort.”


Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with fellow Hall of Famer Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Chuck McKean producing and Rick Phillips directing.


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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 78 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, Paulie Malignaggi, Ricky Hatton, Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and more. 

Kiante Irving Shines in Pittsburgh

Excerpt From “Brawl in the Fall” by Douglas Kavanaugh

The crowd was especially keyed up for the appearance of the much-hyped National Golden Gloves Champion Kiante Irving and the raucous shouts and applause he received from his faithful surprised even the writer. Truth be told, he looked every inch the future superstar from his body language to his countenance, all of which oozed confidence and a sense of predestined greatness. 

Full Article


PITTSBURGH – August 29, 2018 – Chris Middendorf’s Victory Boxing Promotions has signed under-the-radar amateur Kiante Irving to a promotional deal. The 24 year-old middleweight is set to make his professional debut this Sunday in West Virginia.

A 6’3” middleweight, Irving heads into Sunday’s debut with a National Golden Gloves Championship under his belt, having topped the 165-pound division in the 2018 tournament.  Despite a slew of state and national titles under his belt, Irving began boxing late, compared to his peers. 

He was 16 when he walked into Tom Yankello’s gym, having been drawn to the squared circle after being unable to find his niche in other sports.  Raised by a single mom, boxing was an outlet for Irving, and served as an escape from the poverty and stress that ensconced his home life.  It soon became clear that boxing would long be a part of his future. 

A humble spirit, Irving kept his head down and his eye on the ball through various family traumas that included an eviction and his brother’s near-fatal battle with Chrohn’s Disease.   His younger brother, whom he credits as an inspiration and role model, survived the brush with death to become a firefighter.  Irving hopes to use his time in the ring to boost awareness of the disease, and to seize the opportunity to live out his dreams, much like his brother has done in recent years. 

After his Golden Gloves Victory, Irving’s trainer Tom Yankello, and his brother and co-manager Mark Yankello, along with Irving, came to the decision that it was time to join the professional ranks.  The two managers, operating under the banner Tom Yankello Boxing, Inc., connected with boxing promoter Chris Middendorf and Victory Boxing Promotions.  Middendorf, who has helped build the careers of many of today’s world champions, seized the opportunity to work with Irving and the Yankellos. 

“I am very excited to add Kiante to Victory Boxing’s stable,” said Middendorf.  I had the pleasure of doing a series of shows in Pittsburgh with welterweight Sammy Vasquez, culminating in an ESPN and then a ShowBox show, and a series of events at Consol Energy Center [now the PPG Arena.]  I can’t wait to be back in Pittsburgh, promoting another top prospect. It really is a tremendous sports town, and they really come out to support their local athletes.” 

Middendorf was complimentary of the Yankello Brothers.  “I have known his trainer and co-manager, Tom and Mark Yankello, respectively, by reputation for many years, and have enjoyed working with them.  When Mark first spoke to me about Kiante, I knew immediately that I wanted to work with the Yankellos and promote Kiante Irving.  With his stellar amateur career, he is ready to be a pro.”

The future looks bright (and busy) for Irving.  “I plan to build and move Kiante the same way that I moved Ed Brown and Jaron Ennis.  I have promised him a minimum of eight fights in his first year, and I know we will do more.  He is a gifted athlete and it is going to be something to watch him develop into one of the top middleweights.” 

For his part, Tom Yankello is excited about the young pugilist’s future with Middendorf and Victory Boxing Promotions.  “I am very pleased with Victory Boxing Promotions.  I have known Chris for many years, and he has a great resume and has been involved with building the careers of elite boxers such as Terence Crawford, Leo Santa Cruz, and Nonito Donaire. We know we’re in good hands, and that Chris knows how to move and develop Kiante.” 

“I’m just excited to get my pro career moving,” said Irving of the signing.  “My managers are confident, and I’m confident that we’re going to be successful under the Victory Boxing banner, and we will be getting right to work.” 

Irivng makes his professional debut this Sunday at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort, versus Philadelphia’s Vincent Burkhalter.  Tickets are available at www.mademenboxing.com