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Feature Story

Avalos, Nievas speak

Don’t Miss the Return of Nick Charles

Undefeated, hard-hitting prospect Chris Avalos weighed in at 118 pounds and once-beaten Jose Nieves tipped the scales at 119 pounds during Thursday’s weigh in at the Jockey Club at the Downs of Albuquerque in Albuquerque, N.M. Unbeaten, hometown favorite Archie Ray Marquez weighed in at 131 pounds and Derrick Campos measured 132 pounds for the ShoBox co-feature. The aggressive Avalos (14-0, 11 KOs) of Lancaster, Calif., will make his main event debut when he when he faces Nieves (17-1-3, 8 KOs) of Carolina, Puerto Rico, in a 10-round match tonight on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME ® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

The first ShoBox telecast of 2010 will mark the return of respected ShoBox play-by-play announcer Nick Charles to his familiar ringside spot. Charles has been given the OK to return to action following a five-month battle with stage IV bladder cancer. It was announced in August that Charles was taking a leave of absence from his duties at SHOWTIME because of his illness. The last fight he worked was on July 31, 2009.

In the co-feature at Tingley Auditorium in Albuquerque, N.M, local favorite Marquez (8-0, 6 KOs) of Albuquerque will risk his unblemished record against the vastly more experienced Campos (20-7, 11 KOs) of Topeka, Kan., in an eight-round super featherweight bout.

The doubleheader is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC.

What the fighters had to say on Thursday:

CHRIS AVALOS:

“I’m going to bring the pressure, but we’ve been working on our defense and sparring against the best, southpaw, orthodox, all of it.

“He’ll switch around on us, but we’re ready for anything he brings.

“I’m not worried about climbing into the top 10. I know that will come. I’m just focusing on my fights.

“I stay focused and give it 100 percent. I’m always focused and never off my game. I do nothing but train and box.”

JOSE NIEVES:

“I’m very motivated for this opportunity and well trained for this fight. If Avalos can somehow beat me, he’ll be a great champ.

“We are ready for everything. I can box, I can be aggressive. We’re ready for a complete fight.

“I’ve been inactive, but I’ve always been in the gym training and sparring.

“I can switch between orthodox and southpaw; it just depends where I am comfortable. We’ll see what happens in there tomorrow night.”

ARCHIE RAY MARQUEZ:

“I haven’t fought in Albuquerque since my first pro fight, but this is just another fight to me. There’s no added pressure. I just think about the guy in front of me and focus on my job.

“People are excited because of what we’ve been doing on the road. No one has seen me fight since I turned pro. Now, they’re excited to see me in action.

“Of course I followed Johnny Tapia growing up, he’s a world champ from Albuquerque. He’s a huge deal around here. It’s a goal to be a world champ like Johnny was, but I want to be Archie Ray.

“Sparring went well, camp went well. We had a six week camp. I’m definitely ready for my first ShoBox appearance.

“I know he’s durable and that he’s never been knocked out. We have to prove ourselves against this guy. We’re not looking for the KO, but, if it’s there, we’ll take it.”

DERRICK CAMPOS:

“I took this on short notice, but I’m ready to fight because I was already in the gym. The short notice shouldn’t hurt me. We had some good sparring leading into this. We’ve had plenty of sparring.

“He had a lot of amateur experience, but that doesn’t surprise me. We’re prepared for anything he brings. We’ll do whatever we need to do to win.

“We’ve been working on a lot of different stuff in the gym. I got a late start in boxing, so I’m still learning. But, we’re ready. I’m here to win.

“I’m ready 100 percent to go eight rounds, but I want to knock him out.”

* * *

Nick Charles will call the action from ringside with Steve Farhood and Antonio Tarver serving as expert analysts. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

For information on SHOWTIME Sports Programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://www.sho.com/sports.




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