Pro Elite Inc. -- the parent company of EliteXC -- holds its third ShoXC Elite Challenger Series card Friday in California. The best reason to watch? The ShoXC series was created as a farm system for EliteXC to grow its talent pool, so it's a great chance to catch a glimpse of before-they-were-famous fighters.
A boxing promoter for many years, EliteXC President Gary Shaw says he came up with the concept four or five years ago "of getting young fighters [boxers] television exposure, of putting them in tough fights, and letting the cream rise to the top." The concept worked so well for Showtime's ShoBox franchise that Shaw implemented the idea for EliteXC.
One of the co-featured bouts of the night pits undefeated
This will be Rosa's second ShoXC event. He defeated
A former sparring partner of
Hamman also has college football on his resume. His last fight was an impressive KO victory over
In the night's other co-featured bout, Javier Vazquez squares off against JC Pennington in a 150-pound fight. Like Rosa, Vazquez has also fought under the Pro Elite banner before, winning a three-round split decision victory over
Vazquez is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and is also the husband of
Pennington, a Louisiana native who suffered through Hurricane Katrina, has won five of his last seven fights. Most of his wins have come by submission as well.
Shaw has consistently included women's fights as part of his EliteXC and ShoXC lineups. This one will feature a 135-pound bout between
Baszler is coming off a first-round armbar submission victory over
"If Shayna shines, she's one that we would definitely move up [to an EliteXC event]," Shaw said.
Still, Tate, a Fight Girls season two alum, should not be taken lightly. She has competed as an amateur boxer and is unbeaten in her MMA career. Most of her MMA victories have come by submission, making Tate a dangerous well-rounded fighter. Her resume is highlighted by a triangle choke submission victory over
Shaw has his eyes on Baszler and Vazquez as potential candidates to move up to EliteXC with worthy performances, but said there is no hard-and-fast criteria for graduating from the far lower-paying ShoXC circuit onto the big stage of EliteXC. All it takes is one sizzling performance and a fighter could be instantly bumped to the upper ranks.
Shaw also says that he would eventually like to hold ShoXC events in Oklahoma and Missouri, two places where he has enjoyed success putting on boxing matches.