For the first time in its storied 21-year history, a heavyweight Olympic Gold Medalist will step into the ring and headline SHOBOX: The New Generation as the prospect series features up-and-coming heavyweights in its return to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y., on Friday, June 10. The action begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT live on SHOWTIME and helps kick off the International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in nearby Canastota, N.Y., where another Olympic Gold Medalist and SHOBOX alum, Andre Ward, will be inducted during the three-year, three-class ceremony.
The main event will see two-time Olympian and 2020 Gold Medalist from Uzbekistan, Bakhodir “Big Uzbek” Jalolov (10-0, 10 KOs), face rising prospect “Big” Jack Mulowayi (11-2-1, 7 KOs) from Belgium in an eight-round heavyweight bout, marking the first time an Olympic heavyweight Gold Medalist has appeared on SHOBOX. Andre Ward, a former U.S. Olympic light heavyweight Gold Medalist who went 5-0 on SHOBOX, is one of the inductees of the 2021 Hall of Fame class.
The co-feature matches former four-time Oregon Golden Gloves champion and Joel Diaz-trained Elvis Garcia (12-0, 9 KOs) against fellow undefeated and four-time Cleveland Golden Gloves champion Alante “Bam Bam” Green (10-0-1, 7 KOs) in an eight-round heavyweight fight while former Ukrainian national champion Iegor Plevako (7-0, 4 KOs) takes on SugarHill Steward-trained Kolbeinn Kristinsson (12-0, 6 KOs), also an eight-round heavyweight matchup. Kristinsson is one of the few pro fighters from Iceland, where pro boxing is banned. Steward also trains WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury.
In the telecast opener, six-time Tennessee Golden Gloves champion Tyler “Short Fuse” Tomlin (13-0, 9 KOs) squares off against Chann Thonson (10-0, 7 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight bout. The telecast is brimming with international flavor, as seven countries are represented among the eight fighters in action. The four-fight telecast is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, whose owner, Lou DiBella, is a 2020 Hall of Fame inductee and being formally inducted along with the classes of 2021 and 2022.
The night of fights marks the seventh time SHOBOX will take place at Turning Stone and the third time the series will be a part of the International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend in Canastota, N.Y. SHOBOX bouts also took place during Hall of Fame festivities in June of 2013, the year SHOWTIME Ring Announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr., was inducted into the Hall of Fame, and in 2017, the same year longtime SHOBOX analyst and boxing historian Steve Farhood and SHOBOX play-by-play announcer and renowned sportscaster Barry Tompkins were inducted.
The SHOBOX alum Ward captured Olympic gold in 2004 as a light heavyweight and went on to collect two super middleweight titles during his triumphant run through the SHOWTIME Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament before moving to light heavyweight and winning three more world titles.
The late SHOWTIME executive Jay Larkin, who helped launch SHOWTIME boxing in 1986 and televised fights involving Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Julio Cesar Chavez during his 22-year tenure with the network, was voted in as part of the Class of 2021.
“It’s always an honor to bring a SHOWTIME event to Turning Stone during Hall of Fame Weekend. This is the third time in the past 10 years that we’ve had the privilege to do a SHOBOX on this weekend,” said Gordon Hall, executive producer for SHOBOX: The New Generation. “Every fighter on this SHOBOX card aspires to be a contender, a world champion, and yes, even to someday be in the Hall of Fame. We have eight fighters, seven undefeated, who on June 10 look to take that next step to accomplishing those goals. Congratulations to all the inductees! We have so many fighters who fought on SHOWTIME being inducted and so many friends, most importantly Jay Larkin, who oversaw the launch of SHOWTIME boxing and the SHOBOX series.”
Here is a closer look at the matchups:
Jalolov vs. Mulowayi – 8-Round Heavyweight Main-Event Bout
The 6-foot-7 southpaw Jalolov has knocked out all 10 of the fighters he’s faced as a professional, employing smooth footwork and a jackhammer left hand. A highly decorated amateur, he beat Richard Torrez, Jr., of the U.S. in the gold medal match of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. At the Summer Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, where he was his country’s flagbearer at the opening ceremonies, Jalolov lost to Joe Joyce, who went on to win the silver medal and is currently undefeated and a top contender at heavyweight. Jalolov also claimed gold at the 2019 AIBA World Championships and at the 2018 and 2021 Governor’s Cup and is a four-time national champion as part of his 247-17 amateur record. Among his other achievements, he has 1.2 million Instagram followers and a master’s degree in Sports Science.
"I have been very anxious to return to the USA and fight there as a professional,” Jalolov said. “This is a great opportunity for me to perform at my best and show everybody what's coming in the future of the heavyweight division."
Born in Kinshasa, Congo, where Muhammad Ali beat George Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle,” the 6-foot-5 Mulowayi is a stablemate of WBC World Cruiserweight Champion Ilunga Makabu. Mulowayi went the distance with unbeaten 20-0 SHOBOX alum and highly regarded heavyweight prospect Frank Sanchez. He has come back from that unanimous decision loss to win four consecutive fights, including the biggest win of his young career by registering a TKO stoppage over-then 20-0-1 Apti Davtaev in Russia last April.
“I am very happy and appreciative to have another chance to come back to America,” said Mulowayi. “This is a bout of vindication for me and my career. When I boxed Frank Sanchez in 2019, I froze and was not mentally or emotionally ready to fight in the U.S. Now I am, and I’ve won four straight bouts since my last defeat. I am not intimidated by the reputation of my opponent. My style, now, is to go for the knockout no matter who I fight, and my defense is my offense. I plan to give an explosive performance and prove that I am a world championship level contender.”
Garcia vs. Green – Eight-Round Heavyweight Bout
Garcia was born in Mexico and moved to Umatilla, Ore., when he was four. A four-time Oregon Golden Gloves champion, he was also a star Greco-Roman wrestler in high school and has dabbled in mixed martial arts, winning three MMA bouts by submission. He brought that multifaceted background with him to training camp and sparring sessions with former two-time unified heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua before he beat Andy Ruiz in their rematch in December 2019.Garcia’s commitment to boxing was evident at an early age when he endured eight-hour roundtrips five days a week to the closest boxing gym 260 miles away in Tacoma, Wash. He later competed in Mexico, winning national and Golden Gloves titles. During that time, he lived out of his car, sending earnings he made from doing odd jobs back home to support his family. His hard work and sacrifice resulted in an 85-10 amateur record with 42 knockouts and a No. 3 ranking at super heavyweight with USA Boxing. He now works with renowned trainer Joel Diaz in Indio, Calif.
“After my last fight, I took some time off to be with my wife as we welcomed our first child, Elena,” Garcia said. “But now I am back and more focused than ever on my boxing career. My training camp in Indio, California, has been going according to plan. My coach, Joel Diaz, and I both know we have a tough fight against Green and we will be ready. I would like to thank Lou DiBella for the opportunity to be part of the Hall of Fame weekend festivities. I also want to thank my wife and daughter, who are my motivation to get up every day and work so hard.”
A pro since 2016, Cleveland’s Green is also undefeated and is coming off a sixth-round stoppage win over Samuel Clarkson in March in Columbus, Ohio. Green was a two-sport athlete in high school before he discovered boxing. Green boasted a 54-9 amateur record and placed third in an Olympic trial qualifier in Spokane, Wash., in 2015. He has campaigned as a cruiserweight at times in his career, most recently knocking out previously undefeated Taylor Duerr in two rounds in November 2021
“I would like to thank my team, promoter, manager and DiBella Entertainment for this great opportunity,” Green said. “I plan on introducing myself to the boxing world on June 10 and seeing to it that Elvis Garcia leaves the ring with his first loss."
Plevako vs. Kristinsson – Eight-Round Welterweight Bout
A native of Kharkiv, Ukraine, Plevako is a former Ukrainian national champion and member of the famed Ukrainian National Boxing Team who captured the New York Golden Gloves twice after moving to Brooklyn. He is managed by David McWater of Split-T Management and trained by Bashir Abdullah.
“I am very excited to be fighting on SHOWTIME because this is a big step for my career,” Plevako said. “You will see Iegor Plevako at his best.”
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Kristinsson is a former Iceland national champion who has trained with Steward at Detroit’s famed Kronk Gym since 2017. Kristinsson cut his teeth sparring with highly ranked Robert Helenius, as well as with undefeated contenders Filip Hrgovic and Jared Anderson, and title challenger Kubrat Pulev.
“As the only heavyweight pro boxer in Iceland, I’ve been training for two years during Covid travel restrictions awaiting my opportunity,” Kristinsson said. “I can’t wait to unleash my power and give the fans a thrill June 10th on SHOWTIME. Iegor Plevako is a decent fighter, but he won’t survive more than two rounds with me.”
Tomlin vs. Thonson – Eight-Round Lightweight Bout
Just 22 years old, Tomlin is from the same hometown as former super middleweight world champion Caleb Plant and has cultivated a passionate fanbase in Ashland City, Tenn. Tomlin started boxing at age nine and was a highly decorated amateur, finishing 65-15 and winning bronze at the 2015 Junior Olympics before turning pro. He is trained by his father, Darryl Tomlin, at the Team Tomlin Gym, which was built five years ago on the family’s home estate. Tomlin fought four times in 2021 and five times in 2020, including a super lightweight bout against Jose Zaragoza on the undercard of the Plant vs. Vincent Feigenbutz card at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville where he won a unanimous decision.
"This is my biggest fight to date, and I thrive in situations like this,” Tomlin said. “When the lights are brightest, I am at my best. I intend to put on a dominant performance and introduce the world to ‘Short Fuse' in a big way.”
Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to immigrant parents from Jamaica, Thonson is the No. 3-ranked lightweight from Canada. He has a twin brother, Trevor, who is older than him by seven minutes and is also a prizefighter. The two shared the same card in January 2022 when they both recorded second-round stoppages. They are both trained by Chris Johnson, who won Olympic bronze for Canada in 1992 at middleweight and finished 26-3-1 as a pro, losing his final fight to Antonio Tarver in 2001.
“I'm anxiously awaiting my bout against Tyler Tomlin,” said Thonson. “I know that he is a formidable opponent, but I am coming to win. This is a major opportunity and I appreciate DiBella Entertainment and SHOWTIME providing the platform. I'm very confident and am training hard."