Undefeated middleweight prospect and hometown favorite Fernando Guerrero will put his undefeated record on the line against Michael Walker of Chicago in a 10-round bout in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation on Friday, April 16, live on SHOWTIME ® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury, Md. In an exciting co-feature, promising, unbeaten Shawn Porter (13-0, 10 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio, will face hard-hitting Colombian Raul Pinzon (17-4, 16 KOs) in a junior middleweight eight-round tussle.
The power-punching Guerrero (17-0, 14 KOs), of Salisbury, Md., by way of the Dominican Republic, has scored all 14 of his knockouts inside of four rounds. The No. 12-rated World Boxing Organization (WBO) contender at 160 pounds, Guerrero is coming off a thrilling fourth-round TKO victory over Jessie Nicklow on Dec. 18, 2009 on ShoBox.
Prior to the Nicklow TKO, the 23-year-old Guerrero, a former Jr. Olympian, earned a career-best win, a hard-fought 10-round majority decision over former British Commonwealth welterweight and junior middleweight champion Ossie Duran on Oct. 10, 2009.
A southpaw who spars with brothers Anthony and Lamont Peterson, Guerrero is trained by Barry Hunter, who likes his fighter’s chances against Walker.
“I never underestimate anybody, but based on what I saw, it wasn’t like I saw anything special about Michael Walker,” said Hunter, who also trains the Petersons. “He’s a basic guy, a strong guy, straight-ahead, straightforward. I think he will fall right into Fernando’s style of fighting, because he (Fernando) has got the option: he can box or he can bang.
“The way I see it, at the rate Fernando’s going, next year, about this time or a little later, I figure he should be fighting somebody for one of those belts. He’s getting to that point where I want to step it up in competition a little bit more.”
If he wants to challenge for a world title next year Guerrero will first have to get by the dangerous Walker (19-3, 12 KOs). The 31-year-old Walker is coming off of two consecutive losses, but he has worked as a sparring partner with Kelly Pavlik and Miguel Cotto and knows he needs a victory to remain relevant in the middleweight division.
“This is kind of a do-or-die fight for him,” said Tyree Ortiz, Walker’s manager. “He’s been training really hard and he’s looking good in the gym and he’s confident. He wants to be the first one to beat Fernando Guerrero. It should be an exciting night.”
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 the April 16 headliner, Guerrero, Danny Jacobs, Shawn Estrada, Demetrius Andrade and Edwin Rodriguez.
Porter has been active as a professional, fighting 14 times in 18 months. He has sparred with pound-for-pound champion Manny Pacquiao, Pavlik and Chad Dawson.
Porter and his manager, father and trainer, Ken Porter, are starting to transition the 5-foot-7, 154-pounder down to welterweight, where he’ll be a similar height to others in the weight class and likely be more powerful.
“We’d like to see him in a fight at 147 pounds by mid to late summer,” the elder Porter said. “I want to see it happen soon. He’s 22 years old, and he’s not going to get smaller as he gets older — he’s going to get bigger. I want to see how he’s adjusting to it, how his body is reacting to it. The last fight, we came in at 152 (pounds), and we feel like we can get down lower.”
Porter is coming off a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Russell Jordan on Feb. 19. Porter didn’t look particularly strong or powerful against an opponent some felt he should have dominated, further reinforcing his camp’s decision to start a move down to 147.
The 30-year-old Pinzon has scored knockouts in all but one of his wins, albeit against less talented opponents than he’ll be facing in Porter.
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.