Showtime’s ShoBox: The New Generation boxing series comes to Shreveport on Friday night with undefeated lightweight fighters Devin Haney and Xolisani Ndongeni facing off in the main event at StageWorks of Louisiana on the riverfront.
The 20-year-old Haney, a Bay Area native currently living in Las Vegas, is 20-0 with 13 knockouts. Ndongeni, a 28-year-old South African, is 25-0 with 13 knockouts.
In the ShoBox co-feature, featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (14-0, 5 KOs) will take on Ruben Cervera (10-0, 9 KOs) in an eight-round matchup.
The Showtime telecast will open with young heavyweights Frank Sanchez Faure (10-0, 8 KOs) and Willie Jake Jr. (8-1-1, 2 KOs) squaring off in another eight-round bout.
Doors open at StageWorks at 5:30 with the first bout starting at 6:30. For tickets go to akafights.com.
According to its website, ShoBox: The New Generation is “boxing’s premier proving ground for top prospects determined to fight for a world title, matching young talent competitively against their toughest opponents to date. More than 75 ShoBox fighters have become world champions.”
Haney, a seven-time junior amateur champion, is making his third appearance on the ShoBox series and is considered a top lightweight prospect.
As of Jan. 5, he was ranked No. 8 in the world by the WBA and No. 10 by the WBC and IBF.
“Fighting on Showtime’s ShoBox series has been amazing for my career,” Haney said in a press release. “This is my third appearance on the series. It feels great to have a home to showcase my talent. Ndongeni will bring out the best in me. I’m ready to graduate to Showtime Championship Boxing.”
Haney expects a tough battle from Ndogeni.
“I know fighters from Africa always come to fight,” he said. “Xolisani Ndongeni is no different. He’s very experienced and undefeated. Ndongeni has gone 12 rounds many times in his career. These are the type of fights I need to win impressively. I’m always looking to improve. Beating the tough South African will get me one step closer to a world title shot.”
Haney’s father and trainer, Bill Haney, said Ndongeni is a step up in competition.
“This is a big fight for us and we know what we are up against,” he said. “These are the type of fights that are going to take him to the next level.”
Ndogeni wants to reach the next level, too.
“Devin Haney is a good boxer and upcoming prospect,” he told theringtv.com. “There’s a lot of hype around him but I’ve never doubted that I will beat him and I have all the ability to do so. There’s a lot attention on this bout – and I know a win for either fighter is big and will open doors and opportunities. I look forward to putting on a great performance and, look, I know I will be up for the next big challenges that lie ahead.”