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ERIK VEGA VS. ALBERTO PALMETTA Battle On Showtime Friday NIght

Dave Mandel/Showtime

Undefeated welterweight prospect Erik Vega (16-0, 9 KOs) and 2016 Olympian Alberto Palmetta (12-1, 8 KOs) both made weight a day before their ShoBox: The New Generation debuts Friday night live on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT) from WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.

The 24-year-old Vega, of Tijuana, Mexico, will make his U.S. debut against his toughest test to date, decorated amateur and Argentinian Olympian Palmetta.

In the co-feature, hard-hitting Marcos Escudero (10-0, 9 KOs) will take on Houston’s Joe George (9-0, 6 KOs) in a 10-round light heavyweight bout, and in the telecast opener, Uruguayan knockout artist Amilcar Vidal Jr. (9-0, 8 KOs) will fight for the first time in the U.S. when he meets Zach Prieto (9-0, 7 KOs) of El Paso, Texas, in an eight-round middleweight bout.

The event is promoted by Sampson Boxing in association with Paco Presents. Tickets, starting at $10, are available at

The ShoBox tripleheader will immediately follow the 9 p.m. ET/PT premiere of PARIAH: THE LIVES AND DEATHS OF SONNY LISTON, a documentary chronicling the rise and precipitous fall of one of the most vilified and misunderstood sports champions of all time.

Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins will call the action from ringside with fellow Hall of Famer Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.


Welterweight 10-Round Bout
Erik Vega – 146 ½ lbs.
Alberto Palmetta – 146 lbs.
Referee: Mark Nelson; Judges: Carlos Sucre (Florida), Gloria Martinez-Rizzo (Florida), Bob Lafratte (Iowa)

Light Heavyweight 10-Round Bout
Marcos Escudero – 174 ½ lbs.
Joe George – 173 ½ lbs.
Referee: Adam Pollack; Judges: Carlos Sucre (Florida), Gloria Martinez-Rizzo (Florida), Bob Lafratte (Iowa)

Middleweight 8-Round Bout
Amilcar Vidal Jr. – 160 ½ lbs.
Zach Prieto – 160 lbs.
Referee: Mark Nelson; Judges: Carlos Sucre (Florida), Gloria Martinez-Rizzo (Florida), Bob Lafratte (Iowa)



“I know how important this fight is for me. Tomorrow, my entire career gets a new start. Everything that has happened in the past doesn’t matter. Tomorrow is all that matters. ShoBox is a great platform and it’s done so much to start the careers for so many fighters. We won’t take this lightly.

“I’m a boxer first but I have a lot of power too. I think I’m the total package. I have a little bit of everything that a boxer needs to be successful. I have skills, I know how to use the angles and I possess knockout power.

“This is a new route for me. All of my fights have been in Mexico but this is a tremendous opportunity for me and that’s why I took the fight. I’ve prepared for this fight very well and I’m taking it very seriously. My opponent is a southpaw, he’s got good skills. But I feel very confident that with the work I put in the gym, I will be victorious tomorrow night.

“I know a little bit about my opponent. I know that he’s aggressive and he likes to come forward. If I want to win, I have to listen to my team and do exactly what we worked on in the gym. I have to outbox him.”


“This fight is so important for me. When I left Argentina to come to the U.S. and fight for my dream, my first goal was always to be champion of the world. My team believes in me. Now, we have this opportunity to fight on TV in the main event and get closer to that goal. I’ve trained really hard for this. This is the right moment, the right time, and the right place for me.

“I know that I’m the smaller guy but It’s not important if you are tall or short. It’s more important whether you know how to move and control the distance. In my opinion, if you control the distance, you win the fight. That’s more important than size.

“I’ve watched my opponent a lot. He tries to attack and be aggressive, but we think he’s slow. In my opinion, he doesn’t control his body when he throws his punches. He’s off balance and he reaches. We want to counter every thing he does.

“I miss my family and friends a lot in Argentina. But when you have a dream, when you have a goal, you have to fight for it. My family supports me. It was really hard to leave and get on that plane. But I had to do it. I’m chasing my dream and I won’t stop until I accomplish it.

“My favorite fighters to watch were Roy Jones and Sergio Martinez from Argentina. My favorite boxer now is [Vasyl] Lomachenko and I try to model myself after him.”


“This fight means everything to me. I know it’s a step-by-step process to make it to the top, and this is the next step. It’s the most important fight of my life. We plan to bring the smoke.

“I don’t have any nerves about being on TV. I’m just excited for the world to see my talents. I can’t let the cameras and the lights affect me. I just need to stay calm and stick to the game plan.

“I’ve had a great training camp, and I’ve been working hard in camp for three months straight. My team around me is great. Charles [Mooney] knows what it takes and he has really helped me, especially defensively.

“When I came to the United States, I only had 10 amateur fights. I was a baby, brand new to boxing when I started the World Series of Boxing. I came here without experience. I don’t like to compare the amateurs to the pros too much. They are completely different.

“I grew up in the new generation of boxing. I grew up watching Canelo and Mayweather, and of course the Argentinians Sergio Martinez and Lucas Matthysse. Sergio Martinez was my inspiration but Marcos Maidana is the fighter that my style is closest too. I’m aggressive, a hard puncher and I’m always moving forward.”


“Tomorrow night, you’ll see speed, footwork, sharpness, head movement. When I’m in the zone, it’s hard to explain. You just have to witness it. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m more of a boxer, but I can do both. I can brawl but I prefer to show my boxing skills. This guy is going to fight, so I’ll be able to show more of my skill.

“As a kid, I’ve always dreamed of this opportunity. At the time, it felt impossible. It felt like you needed to be superhuman to get the opportunity to fight on SHOWTIME. So to be here is surreal, but I am ready.

“I’ve trained hard. I’m ready for whoever is put in front of me. I treat all my opponents as a champion, so I put all my work and effort to be prepared for moments like these.

“I know that my opponent has a high knockout ratio. He’s undefeated, but I don’t know how he’ll respond to a fighter of my quality. I won’t take him lightly.”


“I want to be my country’s first world champion. It would mean so much, not only to my country, but to myself and to my family. That is my goal and this is just a step to getting to that ultimate goal.

“My father was a boxer. My brother was a boxer. I was born in the ring. I started boxing when I was 6 years old and I realized I had a natural talent. As a pro, I was knocking everybody out. My last opponent was the first one that went the distance with me. I wasn’t frustrated that I didn’t knock him out. I still dropped him.

“I’m prepared. I’ve seen a couple of my opponent’s fights. He’s very strong and he has more amateur experience than I do. I know that he’s a knockout artist too, and I’m coming to knock him out. I need to take advantage of every opportunity I get.

“This is my first fight on TV, but I’m calm. I’m not anxious. I know this is a very important fight for me and I’m ready to go.

“I was hit by a car in 2015. I broke my pelvis and my humerus bone in my arm. I was in the hospital for two months and it took a year to fully recover. But I’m 100 percent now and I’m so grateful to be here and have this opportunity.”


“We’ve been at it for a while. I’ve trained nearly my whole life for this. I’ve always been involved in the sport, and to finally have an opportunity like this means the world.

“I like the quick knockouts. You never know what’s going to happen in a fight, so the quicker I can end it the better. But I need to be smart with this guy. I can’t expose myself and open myself up to get hit. I’m prepared to go eight rounds and it’s important for me to stay calm while I’m in there.

“I view this as an audition. Of course, I would love to sign with a promoter. I want the fans to remember who I am when they see me, and I want them to say: ‘Where did this guy come from? I like what he has.’ I really like to ‘wow’ the crowd. As a fan growing up, I always liked those underdogs.

“I’ve learned a lot from Austin Trout. How to stay busy, how to keep moving, how to manage your angles, manage distance. He’s been great for me. One of the biggest things he’s taught me is how to stay up on your feet. I’ve sparred countless rounds with him.

“This is my first fight on TV but I’ve seen it all fighting in Mexico. In my eyes, a fight is a fight. The nerves are always going to be there, that’s never going to change. You’re stepping into a dangerous situation and you need to manage your feelings.”

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