Photo: Thompson Boxing Promotions
Hard-hitting lightweight prospect Manuel Mendez (12-1-2, 8 KOs) makes his U.S. television debut against unbeaten Vitor Jones Freitas (12-0, 6 KOs) this Friday, Nov. 4, from the Omega Products Event Center in Corona, Calif.
Freitas vs. Mendez is scheduled for eight rounds and kicks off a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader live on SHOWTIME at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Mendez, who is trained by the well-regarded Joel Diaz, is putting the finishing touches on a training camp that saw him spar against former world champions Victor Ortiz, Ruslan Provodnikov and elite prospect Vergil Ortiz.
Thompson Boxing caught up with the 26-year-old slugger from Indio, Calif. and got his take on this Friday’s ShoBox fight.
(On your first time fighting in front of a nationally televised audience) …
“It’s a great opportunity. I always push myself to the limits and this fight is no different. I have a fan-friendly style that the SHOWTIME audience is going to love.”
(On paper your fight against Freitas appears evenly matched, but most are giving the upper hand to your opponent) …
“I’ve always been the underdog all my life so this is another shot to prove myself. Freitas has a famous name, but that’s about it. He hasn’t faced anyone that approaches my ability.”
(On what you expect from Freitas) …
“The first few rounds will go a long way in knowing what he has. From watching tape, it seems like he has speed, but the most important thing is gauging his power. I can take a punch so once I feel him connect with something, then I’ll know what he has to offer.”
(On your relationship with Joel Diaz) …
“We have an excellent relationship. He’s incredibly helpful in that I’ve seen a great deal of improvement since I’ve been with him. Everything is better. My conditioning, head movement, footwork; I’ve improved in a lot of areas. He’s a great teacher.”
(How would you describe your style for those that have yet to see you fight?) …
“I’m a smart boxer that pressures fighters into making mistakes. I have all the tools needed to wear down opponents. You’ll always see me in front of you to the point where you get annoyed and start making mental errors. That’s when I put the hurt on you.”
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Undefeated 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Taras “Real Deal” Shelestyuk (14-0, 9 KOs) will face upset-minded Jaime Herrera in the 10-round welterweight main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader on Friday, Nov. 4, live on SHOWTIME at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from Omega Products International Event Center in Corona, Calif.
In the co-feature, undefeated cruiserweights Constantin Bejenaru (11-0, 4 KOs, 0-1-1 in World Series of Boxing), of Catskill, N.Y. by way of Moldova, and Stivens “Superman” Bujaj (16-0-1, 11 KOs), of New York, will collide in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBC International and WBC Continental Americas titles.
In the opening bout of the telecast, undefeated lightweight Vitor Jones Freitas (12-0, 1 ND, 6 KOs), of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, will be opposed by local fan favorite Manuel Mendez (12-1-2, 8 KOs), of Indio, Calif., in an eight-round bout. The 23-year-old Freitas is the nephew of popular former two-time lightweight world champion Acelino “Popo” Freitas.
Tickets for the event promoted by Thompson Boxing, Banner Promotions, Hitz Boxing and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing are priced at $100 (ringside), $70 (reserved) and $50 (general admission) and can be purchased by calling (714) 935-0900.