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Ardreal Holmes takes on Mekhrubon Sanginov on ShoBox on March 11


Super welterweight prospect Ardreal Holmes puts his undefeated record on the line against fellow unbeaten prospect Mekhrubon Sanginov in another tightly-matched main event of ShoBox: The New Generation on Friday, March 11 live on Showtime at 9:35 p.m. ET/PT from Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel in Deadwood, S.D.

The main event pairs two amateur standouts trying to seize the spotlight as Flint, Michigan’s Holmes (11-0, 5 KOs) takes on Tajikistan’s Sanginov (12-0-1, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super welterweight contest. Uzbekistan’s Hurshidbek Normatov (10-0, 3 KOs) faces once-beaten Vernon Brown (13-1-1, 9 KOs) in an eight-round co-featured middleweight bout and undefeated lightweight prospect Luis Acosta (12-0, 11 KOs) takes on the power-punching Edwin De Los Santos (13-1, 12 KOs). Plus, 2021 National Golden Gloves Champion Giovanni Márquez, the son of former world champion and ShoBox commentator Raul Márquez, makes his professional debut against Dominican Nelson Morales (2-0) in a four-round super lightweight bout that opens the telecast.

The southpaw Holmes was a No. 1-ranked amateur at 147 pounds with more than 80 amateur fights. He won several amateur tournaments including the 2015 USA National Elite Championship and was a three-time Michigan Golden Gloves Champion. He also represented USA in the World Series of Boxing and was an alternate on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team. Standing at six-foot-two-inches, Holmes has proven to be a handful since turning pro in 2016. He owns wins over 55-fight veteran Lanardo Tyner and most recently defeated Jose Antonio Abreu in 2019. He is coached by Joe Bermudez, managed by David McWater and promoted by DiBella Entertainment.

“I am excited to jump back in the ring,” said the 27-year-old Holmes. “I am in a good spot, and I will make the most of this opportunity. I think I should be able to do anything that I want off the jab. I’m not worried about anyone slipping on me because I am in a position that people will get to know who I am really soon. Get ready for a great night of boxing. Seeing people come up that you know such as the Dirrell brothers motivated me, and March 11 people will get to know and remember who I am.”

An exceptional amateur himself, Sanginov amassed a record of 105-14 and became a fan favorite in his native Tajikistan. He turned professional in 2016 and moved to Las Vegas in 2018 to pursue his dream of becoming a world champion. He stopped four-of-his-last-six opponents, beating then-undefeated Quincy LaVallais via split-decision and fighting then-undefeated Fred Wilson Jr. to a draw. Sanginov has fought five times since Holmes last stepped into the ring.

“I am very happy and excited for this opportunity,” said the 26-year-old Sanginov, who is five inches shorter than Holmes. “ShoBox is a steppingstone to bigger and better things. I know that a win gets me bigger fights. I don’t know much about my opponent except his amateur career. Training camp has been great and I can’t wait to get in the ring on March 11.”

Uzbekistan’s Normatov, who now resides and fights out of Brooklyn, N.Y., finished his impressive amateur career in 2016 with a 190-40 record. In his first ten fights as a pro, the southpaw has faced seven fighters with winning records including two undefeated prospects. He also participated in the World Series of Boxing, where he fought to a 5-1 record. Normatov is trained by Andre Rozier, who has trained several world champions including Richard Commey, Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Normatov is also managed by McWater and promoted by DiBella Entertainment.

Brown, a 32-year-old Chicago native, turned professional in 2015 and has competed in a variety of weight classes from 140 to 160 pounds. He won his first seven fights, including five by way of stoppage, before fighting Jesus Zazueta Anaya to a split-draw in 2017. He won his next three fights before dropping a hotly contested 10-round unanimous decision to talented 154-pound contender Jamontay Clark in a fight many felt Brown could have won. Brown rebounded with three straight wins, including a second-round KO in his last time out in February 2021. He will face his first undefeated opponent since his 2017 win over then 6-0 Angelo Snow on March 11.

A press release by Showtime was used in this article