The knockout is always in the back of Carlos Abregu’s mind, and with an 80 percent KO track record, he knows he is more then capable. Abregu will put his stellar, unblemished 26-0 record, with 21 knockouts, on the line Friday, May 1, on ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). The Argentine will face Puerto Rico’s Irving Garcia (17-3-3, 8 KOs) in the 10-round welterweight main event at the Chumash Casino Resort at Santa Ynez, Calif. Garcia, 30, is the World Boxing Council (WBC) Latin American welterweight champion and is undefeated in his last five fights. In the co-feature, Marvin Quintero (15-1, 12 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico, will take on Wes Ferguson (20-3-1, 6 KOs) of Las Vegas in an eight-round lightweight bout. The event which will emanate from the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC.
The 25-year-old Abregu, nicknamed “El Porto” or “The Young Horse”, is a fast-rising prospect who has been a pro for just over four years. While he may be unknown to some, he is certainly not a new name to boxing fans in Santa Ynez, a small town just 30 miles northeast of Santa Barbara, located in the beautiful Central California wine country.
Ranked No. 6 by the WBC at 147 pounds, Abregu scored a career-best win on Dec. 5, 2008, on ShoBox with a 10-round split decision over David Estrada at Chumash. The victory wasn’t without controversy, but Abregu feels he earned the win.
Abregu took an early round lead on all the scorecards before suffering a over his left eye in the fifth. Estrada rallied in the second half of the fight and in the 10th round Abregu was staggered by a powerful right from Estrada. The punch caused Abregu’s glove to touch the canvas, but the referee did not score a knockdown and most thought the fight was closer than the scores indicated.
After his victory, Abregu said, “This was definitely my toughest fight but I felt I won, if not by the spread they had me winning by.”
In his last fight on March 20, in Salta, Argentina, Abregu won a 10-round unanimous decision against Americo Sagania (16-3-1). Abregu was born in Tucuman, Argentina, and is one of 11 children. He began boxing at age 16 and had 43 amateur fights (41-2) and won one national amateur title in Argentina, in 2004. He is managed and co-trained by Carlos Baldomir, a former WBC welterweight champion.
Because of his aggressive, knockout style, Abregu’s fights have been termed “can’t miss” by loyal boxing followers and should play well against the agile and always-moving Garcia, who likes to set up his attack with the jab and punches in combinations making this fight all the more intriguing.
Said Abregu’s head trainer Abel Sanchez: “Irving Garcia, being Puerto Rican, he’s got a different style that’s going to help Carlos’ maturation. I think that it’s a good fight. I’ll tell you as a trainer and a manager, not as a promoter – I wouldn’t want him to knock Garcia out in one round, because that does nothing for him. I would like to see four, five, six, seven, eight rounds of work that allows Carlos to extend himself and work his stuff – throw combinations, test his stamina.
“SHOWTIME is looking for one thing, the promoter is looking for one thing, and the trainer is looking for a different thing. He has to please all of us, but I’m looking at it six months, eight months from now.”
Garcia – currently ranked No. 19 at 147 pounds – is a former WBC Caribbean (CABOFE) welterweight champion and former Puerto Rican junior middleweight champion.
He is coming off one of his career best wins in his last fight on Oct. 17, 2008, a 10-round unanimous decision against Chris Smith at Hatillo, Puerto Rico following two prior technical decisions in 2008. Performing before his hometown crowd, Irving was relentless early on, landing sharper punching and building a lead on all the scorecards. A flurry of right hands in the later rounds led to Garcia finishing strongly and earning the impressive win.
Garcia, born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, didn’t spend much of his early twenties in the gym but rather the classroom earning two bachelor degrees from Inter-American University in Puerto Rico in 2002: in human resources and business administration.
The two-time Puerto Rican national amateur title holder at 132 and 140 pounds, Garcia comes from a family of fisherman and still rises at 4 a.m. to help fish on occasion.
He used to be a regular sparring partner for Felix Trinidad. “He was one of the main guys for Tito,” his manager Harry Padilla said. “Irving put in a hell of a lot of rounds with him, and that was the point in his life when he thought he had a chance. Tito really got close to him and said, ‘You should give it a shot.’ That gave him so much confidence.”
Said Garcia through an interpreter: “I’m a technical boxer. Jabs, straight punches, rolling with punches.”
Garcia isn’t the only one who’s been training with a big name. Quintero has also been in the news recently as he has been training with Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas..
Like Abregu, Quintero fought in Santa Ynez in December of last year as he knocked out Alberto Amaro (4-1). It wasn’t much of a contest as Quintero scored a knockdown with a series of punches in the second and the referee stopped the fight at 2:04.
In his last fight on Jan. 16, in Tulsa, Okla., Quintero registered a third-round TKO over Nick Casal (18-3-1).
Quintero’s opponent, 23-year-old Las Vegas resident Wes Ferguson, is promoted by Floyd Mayweather Jr. Ferguson was the 2002 National Junior Olympics amateur champion (132 pounds), the 2002 National Silver Gloves amateur champion (132 pounds) and the 2001 Pan Am Cadet amateur champion (126 pounds). A five-year pro, Ferguson has won three fights in a row.
Nick Charles and Steve Farhood will call the ShoBox action. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
For more information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go to the SHOWTIME Sports website at http://sports.sho.com.