(SHELTON, Wash.) – The ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader tomorrow, Friday, June 26, live on SHOWTIME (10:35 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Little Creek Casino in Shelton, Wash., will feature promising undefeated middleweight prospect Dominic “Lights Out” Wade (17-0, 12 KOs), of Washington, D.C., against Sam “King” Soliman (44-12, 1 NC, 18 KOs), of Melbourne, Australia in the 10-round main event.
But the scheduled co-feature between unbeaten lightweight and former Marine and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Captain Jamel Herring (11-0, 7 KOs), of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Mexico’s Oscar Cortes (25-2, 13 KOs) was cancelled Thursday when Cortez came in overweight. Armed Forces Network will air the ShoBox telecast despite the Herring-Cortes fight getting scrapped.
“I’m very disappointed that I didn’t get to fight,’’ Herring said. “I was really looking forward to it. I’ll be back in the ring in no time and I will continue my march of becoming a world champion one day.”
The new co-feature will pit unbeaten promising Erickson “The Hammer’’ Lubin (10-0, 7 KO’s) of Orlando, Fla., against Ayi Bruce (23-9, 15 KO’s) of Albany, N.Y., in a super welterweight scrap. The telecast opener will match heavyweights Oscar “Kaboom” Rivas (16-0, 11 KOs), a Montreal-based Colombian, and Jason Pettaway (17-2, 10 KOs), of Camp Lejeune, N.C. Both fights are slated for eight rounds.
Wade, who’ll take on the toughest opponent of his career when he steps up in class to face the vastly more experienced former world champion Soliman, also came in heavy. He weighed 162.5 pounds on his first attempt. When he returned to the scale, he weighed 161 pounds. Soliman, tipped the scale at 161.4 pounds, on his first attempt.
Southpaw Lubin, 19, a sensational amateur, will be making his ShoBox debut and 11th start since turning pro in November 2011. He weighed 152.4 pounds. Bruce, who has fought top prospects throughout his career but is coming off a lengthy layoff, weighed 151.4 for the super welterweight bout. In the heavyweight match added to the telecast Thursday morning, the physically strong and powerful Rivas, a former international amateur standout, weighed 244 pounds. Pettaway, who is looking to regain his winning ways after losing his last start, tipped the scale at 222.
What the fighters said Thursday:
“For me this is a big step up in class. Soliman is a very experienced fighter; I definitely don’t look at him as just some 41-year old who still fights. He’s a spoiler. He’s the kind of fighter that is difficult to look good against because he’s so awkward. I expect him to jump and throw punches and then hold, but I’ve trained to control him from the outside with my jab.
“I feel like it’s time for a real test. It’s time to see where I’m at. I could have fought easier, but I’ve been working hard at the gym and this is the time for me to start moving toward a world title shot.
“Going 10 rounds with Nick Brinson [in his ShoBox debut in June 2014] was a good learning experience. I thought I was going to stop him for sure, probably early, but he was tougher than I thought. He surprised me. Nothing Soliman will do will surprise me and I am 100 percent ready for Friday.’’
“The right knee that I hurt against Jermain Taylor is 100 percent. I’ll be wearing a brace but it is nothing I’ll be thinking about. I had four months of rehab, but I’ve been injury-free in the seven months since.
“As a former kickboxer, I have been in a million wars, so this wasn’t even the worst injury I’ve ever suffered. You can’t compare it to what I went through as a kickboxer so I feel great. There are no mental fears or anything.
“I don’t want to be a stepping stone for anybody. I feel his promoters and advisors made a mistake in picking me. I still have plenty of fight left. They could have picked a lot of other fighters if they were looking to make a name for Wade.
“For me to still be fighting has nothing to do with age or special genes. It’s all about how you live your life.
“Wade is a good boxer, a smart kid who will try and keep you at bay. But I’ve fought 30-40 guys with that style. He’s talented and I don’t want to take anything away from him, but you need to have some tough fights. I know they see me as their ticket to a world ranking, a 41-year-old former champion. But they picked the wrong guy.’’
“I’m just here to fight. This is my first time on SHOWTIME and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I feel like my career is going just great. I fought a lot last year and hope to fight four-five times this year. I want to be labeled as a contender real soon, so I just keep fighting. I can fight at super welterweight or welterweight with no problems weigh-wise.
“I’m in a good division. I’ve been watching all the young guys. I feel I could fight any of them now, but I know I have to be patient. Still, if I had my way, I’d fight every month if I could.
“I’m still learning, of course, but I know I am getting there. I feel one of my greatest strengths is my ability to make adjustments. If one thing isn’t working I can adjust it to something totally different.’’
“I can box or slug and have faced some tough guys. I’ve been off but that’s because a couple of fights fell out on me. I feel really strong and very prepared.
“Lubin is only 19. I’m going to show him my experience in the ring. I’ve fought lefties before so that will not be a problem.
“I’m coming to fight. I’m coming to win. I need to win. On Friday, I’m going to be the teacher and he is going to be the pupil. I’ll be taking him to school.’’
“This is a great opportunity for me fighting on ShoBox. I want America to see me, I want to show the people what I’ve got. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this for a long time.
“I’m strong, but I think I’m a better boxer than people expect. I feel I have a lot of ability. All that international amateur experience made me well-rounded. I’m not just a pressure guy. I’ve got good movement and I throw a lot of combinations with speed.
“I’m happy with the way my career is going. They’re taking their time with me but I feel I’m ready to step up against tougher opposition. At 6-foot-1, I’m short for a heavyweight but I’m a tough fighter for guys taller than me.
“There has never been a heavyweight champion from Colombia. To become the first is a great motivation for me.
“I look forward to fighting the biggest names in the division. I’ve been waiting for the time and the time is now to move up. I feel I’m going to be a part of the heavyweight dance for a long time.
“But I’m not underestimating Pettaway. I look at him as a complete boxer who can take a punch and has good speed and power.’’
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime, what I have been working for my whole life. I feel like this is a big step up for me, but it is also a big step up for him. I don’t think he has ever fought anybody as good as me.
“I know that a lot of people haven’t heard of me, but a win on Friday, and a couple more right after that, will put me right in the thick of the heavyweight mix.
“I’m definitely in great shape. I’m improving and getting more comfortable with each fight. I think nerves and fighting under the big lights has cost me before, but I’m over that now.
“I am really looking forward to fighting a guy like Rivas.’’
Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox blow by blow with boxing expert Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as ringside analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
Tickets for “Little Creek Brawl VII” from Skookum Creek Event Center start at $20 and are available online at www.little-creek.com or by calling 1.800.667.7711. Doors will open at 5 p.m. PT, with the first fight tentatively set to begin at 6 p.m. Live coverage will begin at approximately 7:35 p.m. local time (PT).
For more information about Little Creek Casino Resort and its full line-up of upcoming acts that includes Paul Rodgers, Trace Adkins, Dwight Yoakam, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, YES and Toto, please call 800-667-7711 or vIsit online at www.little-creek.com