- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson had a long association with Showtime during the 1990s through the end of his boxing career. In fact, 16 of his final 18 bouts were on the network.
Tyson is returning to Showtime, but now as a promoter as his Iron Mike Productions will promote a tripleheader on the network’s “ShoBox: The New Generation” series April 18 (10:45 p.m. ET/PT) at the Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville, Pa., a Pittsburgh suburb.
Cuban light heavyweight prospect Alexei Collado (18-0, 16 KOs), who defected to Ireland, headlines the card against Rod Salka (18-3, 3 KOs), of Bunola, Pa., in a 10-rounder.
In the semifinal, southpaw Felix Diaz (14-0, 8 KOs), a 2008 Olympic gold medalist from the Dominican Republic who now trains with Robert Garcia at his Oxnard, Calif., gym, will face Emmanuel Lartey (15-1-1, 7 KOs), a Ghana native based in Brooklyn, N.Y. They meet in an eight-round welterweight fight.
Sammy Vasquez Jr. (13-0, 9 KOs), of Monessen, Pa., faces Juan Rodriguez Jr. (11-0, 5 KOs), of Union City, N.J., in an eight-round welterweight bout to open the show.
“Iron Mike Productions is fairly young but is a quickly growing company that has expeditiously risen to the achievement of world-class competition,” Tyson said in announcing the card. “I'm looking forward to continuing our rise to prominence in the field of championship boxing. I was the first fighter to bring Showtime to the apex of its prominence, and it is great to have my company start off where I finished.”