Photos: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
Unbeaten, top-ranked super middleweight Anthony Dirrell tipped the scales at 167 pounds and fellow world-ranked southpaw Renan St-Juste weighed in at 166.5 pounds during Thursday’s weigh in at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif. Dirrell (23-0, 20 KOs), of Flint, Mich., and St-Juste (23-2-1, 15 KOs), of Canada, will square off in the 12-round main event on ShoBox: The New Generation on Friday, Dec. 2, live on SHOWTIME® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
The telecast will originate from Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., just one night before the highly anticipated rematch between IBF bantamweight titleholder Abner Mares and Joseph King Kong Agbeko on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
Hard-hitting ShoBox alum Chris Avalos measured 121.75 pounds and Jhonatan Romero weighed in at 121 pounds. Avalos (19-1, 15 KOs), of Lancaster, Calif., will make a ShoBox-record sixth appearance against Colombia’s Romero (19-0, 12 KOs) in a 10-round co-feature battle of up-and-coming super bantamweights.
Prior to Thursday’s weigh in, the world-ranked super middleweights gave their picks for the upcoming Super Six World Boxing Classic Final, a world championship unification, on Saturday, Dec. 17 on SHOWTIME®, while Romero gave his predictions for Saturday’s Mares-Agbeko bantamweight world championship showdown and the bantamweight world championship co-feature between Anselmo Moreno and Vic Darchinyan. (Picks are below).
Dirrell is ranked #1 in the WBC and #3 in the WBA. St-Juste, the WBC’s #3-rated contender, represents the first top-10 fighter Dirrell has faced. The bout will serve as a title eliminator for the WBC super middleweight title currently held by Super Six World Boxing Classic finalist Carl Froch.
What the fighters had to say on Thursday:
ANTHONY DIRRELL “It’s going to be a big fight. I’m ready mentally and physically. I’ve been training hard, working with my brother (Andre) and the team, Team Dirrell. I’m ready.”
“I’m definitely ready to go 12 rounds if I have to. The commentators always say, ‘Are they ready to go 12?’ If you can do it in the gym, if you are physically and mentally ready, you can do it. If you’re in shape, you can do it.”
“If I can get my opponent out of there, I’m going to get them out of there. I’m not going to hang in there more rounds than I have to and give this guy a chance.”
Super Six pick: “Andre Ward on a points decision.”
RENAN ST-JUSTE “I know Dirrell is an undefeated fighter. He says he’s hungry but I know I’m prepared. I’m treating this like a world championship.
“Being at 168 is better for me. It was difficult for me to make 160. I walk around in the 180s. At 168, I can keep my muscle and not worry about the weigh-in.
“The winner tomorrow will be No. 1 in the WBC but I’m not looking past Friday night.”
Super Six pick: “Ward, by a very little bit in a tight fight.”
CHRIS AVALOS “I didn’t know until today that I’m the only fighter with six ShoBox appearances. I love the series but I think it’s time to move on to the Championship level.
“I’ll give fans a little of both tomorrow. I’ll box and I’ll brawl. We’ll see what happens.
“I’ve been taking shots for my hand. They helped it a lot. It’s fine. I could knock a guy out just as easily as I could before the injury.
“If I win tomorrow, I’d like to see Abner Mares or Vic Darchinyan in the ring. I don’t have any picks for Saturday night. I just hope the winners want to give me a shot at their belts.”
JHONATAN ROMERO “I think it’s better to come in here as the opponent. I’m relaxed. I’m confident. What could be better than beating a guy everyone knows?
“Only God, the promoter and my managers can tell what the future holds for me. I know that all I can do is win and better things will come for me after.”
Mares-Agbeko prediction: Mares
Moreno-Darchinyan prediction: Darchinyan
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Curt Menefee will call the Dec. 2 ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. Gordon Hall is the executive producer of ShoBox with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
Friday’s event is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions.