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Feature Story

ShoBox Final Quotes

Undefeated fan-favorite, multiple amateur titlist and rising professional star Fernando Guerrero (16-0, 13 KOs) of Salisbury, Md. – by way of the Dominican Republic – will showcase the skills that have many touting him as the future of the middleweight class when he takes on cross-town rival Jesse Nicklow (19-1-2, 7 KOs) of Baltimore in the 10-round main event on ShoBox: The New Generation Friday, Dec. 18 on SHOWTIME, LIVE at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).

In the ShoBox co-feature at Grand Casino Hinckley in Hinckley, Minn., undefeated Shawn Porter (11-0, 9 KOs), another amateur star highly regarded as one of the heirs apparent to the middleweight throne, will take on Jamar Patterson (8-0, 8 KOs) in an eight-round jr. middleweight bout. In the other co-feature, Houston Firefighter Lanard Lane (9-0, 6 KOs) will take on Said El Harrak (8-0, 3 KOs) of Henderson, Nev. – by way of England – in an eight-round welterweight bout.

What the fighters had to say at Thursday’s final press conference:

FERNANDO GUERRERO

On their record as amateurs, when Nicklow beat him twice in five fights: “I didn’t think I lost, at all. He was wrestling instead of fighting, so I guess he’s a better wrestler than me.”

“He doesn’t have a lot of options. All he can do it come forward.”

JESSE NICKLOW

“We’re good friends, but when we get in the ring, we’re not friends.”

“We know how to beat him. We know things that he likes and doesn’t like.”

“I think he’s at the top of his game, but there are still a few mistakes he’s making.”

“I feel really good about this fight. I’m relaxed and just happy to come on SHOWTIME and show everybody what I can do.”

On quitting his construction job for this fight: “I was told that if I want to work there, I can’t fight tonight. So I said, ‘I’ll finish the day, and that’s it.’”

On only fighting once this year: “I was in the gym the whole time. The longest time I’ve been off was two weeks. I’m 100 percent, physically. There’s not going to be any layoff.”

SHAWN PORTER

“Our preparation for this fight was tremendous. Whatever they decide to bring, we’ll make the adjustment.”

“When we’re scheduled for four rounds, I train for four. When we’re scheduled for six rounds, I train for six. I’m more than prepared to go eight rounds, if I need to.”

­On his experience as chief sparring partner of pound-for-pound champ Manny Pacquiao: “It was very valuable. Being on the outside looking in, you just watch him do his thing, and you learn. Inside the ring, you have to step your game up, and toward the end, I did.”

JAMAR PATTERSON

“This fight is a very big stepping stone for me. I just plan on executing a game plan, and I feel like we can come out with the ‘w.’ I need to remember to not fight his fight. Make it my fight.”

“His style is tailor made for me. I know he’s gonna come after me, so it’s gonna be a fast-paced fight.”

On overcoming Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, an electrical condition of the heart that requires surgery, in 2001 to fight again in 2003, then cataract surgery in 2008 to fight again the next year: “Problems just keep coming, and we overcome them.”

LANARD LANE

“He’s gonna come ready to battle, but we’re gonna come ready to match that.”

On balancing life as a firefighter, during which he works two shifts per week of 24 hours on/24 hours off, and as a professional fighter: “It’s second nature now. I go to work; I do my job, then I get off at 6:30 in the morning, then go train.”

“Boxing and fighting fires are a lot alike. You go into a fire, and you never know, this could be your last day. It’s a team thing, but you have to protect yourself. It’s just like boxing. We’re a team, but I’m the one in the ring.”

SAID EL HARRAK

“I’ve sparred with Ricky Hatton, Antonio Margarito, Pacquiao, and Joel Casamayor, but I’m no sparring partner with nobody, as those guys found out.”

“To become a champion, it’s inside of you, and it’s inside of me.”

On his move to America when he was 13: “We came here on vacation. My mom said we were going to Minneapolis for two weeks, so we came here for two weeks. Then she said we were going to Chicago, so we went to Chicago, then California. After it was all done, and we were supposed to go back, she sat me down and said, ‘What would you think about living here?’

“Because the weather was so beautiful, and I didn’t miss England, I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

QUOTES ON THE STELLAR MIDDLEWEIGHT CLASS OF 2008, OF WHICH GUERRERO AND PORTER ARE A PART

EXPERT ANALYST ANTONIO TARVER, ON GUERRERO

“In young fighters moving from amateur to professional, I look for that ‘it.’ When I watch his tapes, I see that.”

EXPERT ANALYST STEVE FARHOOD

“Porter and Guerrero, they’re keeping an eye on each other, and as we’re going to show on the show, there are about six guys from that same Olympic Trials division who are dominant pros and considered top prospects.”

“I love Guerrero. To me, he’s maybe my favorite fighter from the U.S. amateur class of ’08. He’s a great kid. There’s not another fighter in America, at his level, who can draw five, six-thousand fans, and he’s a Dominican kid. He’s a huge star. It’s amazing to see. He’s a kid you can’t help but keep your eye on.

“And Porter too. Porter’s a gentleman, nice kid, great amateur background. When you find out they fought each other so many times as amateurs, it makes it very interesting.”

RINGSIDE ANNOUNCER AL BERNSTEIN

“The thing about Friday night’s fight is that they’re action fighters. If you look at Shawn Porter and Guerrero as two of the prospects, they’re fun to watch; they’re exciting to watch, so I think that’s a key.”

GUERRERO

“The right dream is that if we fought each other as amateurs, we’ll fight each other as pros.

“It’s time for these older guys to just get out and let us take over.”

PORTER

“I definitely keep my eye on the rest of my class. I have to, for the future.”

“We all have something to live up to, and we’re all trying to outdo one another. It could make for some outstanding fights down the road.”




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