Feature Story

Guerrero headlines Friday

Top middleweight prospect Fernando Guerrero will put his unbeaten record on the line against Jesse Nicklow in a 10-round middleweight bout in the main event of the final ShoBox: The New Generation telecast of the year on Friday, Dec. 18 LIVE on SHOWTIME ® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). Two exciting co-features will showcase four undefeated prospects in their toughest challenges to date. Knockout artist Lanard Lane (9-0, 6 KOs) will take on Said El Harrack (8-0, 3 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight bout. Hard-hitting Shawn Porter (11-0, 9 KOs) will face the dangerous Jamar Patterson (8-0, 4 KOs) in an eight round jr. middleweight bout. The fights will originate from Grand Casino Hinckley in Hinckley, Minn.

The power-punching Guerrero (16-0, 13 KOs), of Salisbury, Md., by way of the Dominican Republic, has scored all 13 of his KOs inside of four rounds. The No. 15 rated World Boxing Organization (WBO) prospect at 160 pounds, Guerrero is coming off his career-best win, a 10-round majority decision against former British Commonwealth welterweight and junior middleweight champion Ossie Duran in October.

“A lot of people will classify me as a banger, but the way that I classify myself is just whatever way I have to fight to beat the guy,” Guerrero said. “If the guy’s real strong, I’ll box him because I know how to box. If the guy’s not that strong, then I’ll bang with him. It depends who the opponent is, because I can do it all.”

The southpaw Guerrero, who is currently sparring with brothers Anthony and Lamont Peterson, will have his hands full against Nicklow, who Guerrero’s trainer Barry Hunter describes as an in your face, gritty type of fighter.

“If he comes with force, we’re going to have to greet him with force,” said Hunter, who also trains the Peterson brothers. “This is just another step towards a world title for Fernando. I’ve met Jessie Nicklow, he’s a nice kid, but he’s just one of the many roadblocks that are going to be in our way. If we can’t maneuver around it, we got to go through it or over it. That’s our plan.”

Born in the Dominican Republic, Guerrero, 23, moved to the United States when he was eight-years-old. During a stellar amateur career, Guerrero won the Junior Golden Gloves and International Junior Olympics at age 16, and captured the National Golden Gloves at age 17. In 2007, Guerrero became the U.S. National Amateur champion at 165 pounds.

Nicklow (19-1-2, 7 KOs), of Baltimore, Md., is moving up in weight to the middleweight division for this bout. Nicklow is coming off an eight-round draw in his last fight in June against John Mackey and had his first loss in his previous fight in November, 2008 in a rematch against George Rivera.

The 22-year-old Nicklow is familiar with Guerrero having fought him five times in the amateurs and walking away with two victories. The right-handed Nicklow believes the amateur experience will help him against Guerrero, who will be his toughest test to date.

“My trainer, Danny Kisner, has a gameplan for us,” Nicklow said. “I beat him before in the amateurs, so I know how to win. I’m aggressive, but I’ll need to box and move around to beat Fernando. It’s going to be an exciting fight.”

Kisner agrees: “Jessie is aggressive. He comes forward, but what I’m trying to get him back to is more boxing and head movement. Jessie can box and be real slick when he wants to be. I like slick, defensive boxers. I don’t like to see guys get hit.”

The four prospects fighting in the co-feature have a combined record of 36-0 with 22 KOs.

The 27-year-old Lane is undefeated but untested as a pro and El Harrak will be his toughest test to date.

“I don’t know too much about the guy I’m fighting,” said Lane, who works as a firefighter at the Houston Fire Department. “I can look at a tape, but it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m not going to rely on a tape.

“When I get in there, it depends on what they’re doing. I feel their punching power and see what they’re doing, and I make my adjustments right then and there.”

Lane’s opponent is equally untested, but has sparred with some of the world’s best fighters at Johnny Tocco’s Gym in Las Vegas.

“I’ve been in the ring with everybody in the world,” said the 27-year old El Harrak. “I’ve been in the ring with Zab Judah, I’ve been in the ring with Ricky Hatton, Antonio Margarito, Manny Pacquiao, Joel Casamayor, and I’ve got the better of a lot of them.”

“When a fight gets tough, I think ‘This is all I have. I have to get tougher.’ So I hope he comes ready for war, because I’m ready to die in there.”

The 22-year-old Porter had a stellar amateur career, winning the 2007 National Golden Gloves title and serving as alternate on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team. Porter holds amateur wins over current pro prospects Fernando Guerrero, Danny Jacobs, Shawn Estrada, Demetrius Andrade, and Edwin Rodriguez.

He has been active as a professional, fighting 12 times in 14 months and sparring with pound-for-pound champ Manny Pacquiao prior to Pacquiao’s bout against Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14.

Porter said training with Pacquiao, which he did for about six weeks in the Philippines and in Los Angeles, should prove to be valuable throughout his career.

“I took a lot from that experience,” Porter said. “He has a lot of good training habits and rituals that he uses, like praying before and after a training session, and his work ethic is pretty amazing.

“That kind of stuff stuck with me, and I think it’s really going to help me throughout my career from a training aspect to actually performing in the ring.”

The 27-year-old Patterson has been inactive in the ring and is fighting for the first time in 16 months after not fighting for nearly two years before that due to managerial issues. Regardless of the layoff, Patterson has a game plan for Porter.

“He comes forward, comes straight at you,” Patterson said. “He throws a lot of punches, but I know how to handle that. A lot of guys let him pound on them like that, but I’m not going to let him.

“I come forward a lot, but I box a lot. I move around the ring, but not too much wild stuff and all. If you want to slug it out, we can slug it out for a while, but then I go back to my regular boxing routine. I’ll switch it up from a boxer to a slugger.”

In November, Andre Ward became the 40th ShoBox alum to win a major world title with his victory over World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Middleweight Champion Mikkel Kessler on Nov. 21 in the Super Six World Boxing Classic. Ward, who fought and developed as a professional on ShoBox, is the most recent alum to be crowned a champion.

Earlier in 2009, Yonnhy Perez, Antonio DeMarco and Yuri Foreman joined the elite group, which includes current stars Ricky Hatton, Chad Dawson, Paul Williams and Timothy Bradley, by winning their first world titles.

Al Bernstein 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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