Bruce Carrington’s confidence encouraged the promising prospect to believe that he is ready for any of boxing’s featherweight champions merely 10 fights into his professional career.

Carrington understands, though, that he must remain patient while building his brand and taking incremental steps up in competition during this developmental phase. The Brooklyn native views his 10-round fight Friday night against Bernard Torres as especially important because it’s the first time that he has been scheduled to appear on ESPN.

The 26-year-old Carrington’s prior appearances have been streamed on ESPN+, which draws fewer viewers than bouts broadcast on the linear cable channel. Carrington (10-0, 6 KOs) and Torres (18-1, 8 KOs) will open ESPN’s three-bout broadcast as part of the O’Shaquie Foster-Abraham Nova undercard in The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.

“This is a big deal for me because it’s my first time fighting on national television,” Carrington, who answers to the nickname “Shu Shu,” told “I will be fighting on ESPN, not ESPN+. I love ESPN+, too, but it’s just a thing where I can have more people see me, more people to know me. Because I know when they see me fight they’re gonna love it.

“I’m gonna always bring a crowd-pleasing performance to every single one of my fights. And I feel like with this opportunity, it adds a little pressure. But I love the pressure. I think I fight the best when I have pressure on me, so I’m really excited for February 16th.”

Torres – a Gran, Norway resident raised in the Philippines – is the second southpaw Carrington has been matched against since he made his pro debut in October 2021. The first southpaw Carrington encountered as a pro took him the distance, but Carrington won a six-round unanimous decision in January 2023 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

“There’s always this stigma that they toss around with southpaws, ‘Oh, southpaws are hard to fight and whatnot,’ ” Carrington said. “Maybe back in the day, because it was more rare in that time. But now, I’ve seen it so many times in the amateurs and I have sparring partners that are southpaws, it’s the same thing. You’ve gotta just come up with a game plan. And once you follow that game plan, you should have no problem. So, it doesn’t really cause any problem for me.”

That said, Carrington considers Torres the most formidable opponent he has agreed to face as a professional. Torres, 27, has lost only a 10-round split decision to the Dominican Republic’s Frency Fortunato (15-1, 11 KOs) in September 2022 at Bally’s Event Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“I definitely feel like it’s a step up for me,” Carrington said. “I like his style. He has more of a slicker style than my last opponent [Jason Sanchez]. My last opponent was just like more of a blood-and-guts warrior. He was just ready to go. This guy is slightly more technical. He’s willing to get in there and trade shots, but he has boxing tendencies as well.

“So, I have to, at times, play the game of out-thinking him. And I truly believe that there’s nobody that can out-think me in the ring. I haven’t had that experience yet. So, you know, there’s gonna be some trouble that he’s gonna have to deal with come February 16th.”

Las Vegas’ Andres Cortes (20-0, 11 KOs) and Puerto Rico’s Bryan Chevalier (20-1-1, 16 KOs) will square off in ESPN’s co-feature, a 10-round junior lightweight fight, after Carrington faces Torres. Foster (21-2, 12 KOs), of Orange, Texas, is set to defend his WBC super featherweight title versus Nova (23-1, 16 KOs), of Albany, New York, in the 12-round main event.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.