ANDRE WARD, 2004 US OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST, DEFENDS HIS CHAMPIONSHIP FEB. 6 AT TACHI PALACE
Los Angeles, CA (January 27, 2009) – On Friday, February 6, Goossen Tutor Promotions will kick off its 2009 Tachi Palace pro boxing series with a nationally televised show featuring undefeated Andre “SOG” Ward the Oakland, California native whose gold medal victory in the 2004 Olympics in Athens is the last since David Reid in the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Ward will be defending his NABO Super Middleweight, along with the NABF Super Middleweight Championship against Henry “Sugar Poo” Buchanan at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, California. The Live “ShoBox: The New Generation” coverage on Showtime will begin at 11 pm ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
The scheduled 12-rounder for Ward (17-0, 12 KOs), co-promoted by Antonio Leonard Promotions, will mark the third appearance for him in a main event on Showtime’s “ShoBox” series. Ward’s first two appearances emanated from the picturesque Caribbean. In November 2007, Ward traveled to the Island of St. Lucia, where he stopped then-undefeated prospect Roger Cantwell in the fifth round. Then, last June he made the trek to Grand Cayman and TKO’d former Dominican Olympian Jerson Ravelo in the eighth round to capture his NABO championship.
In his most recent outing last month, Ward registered his seventh consecutive knockout by blasting out former Mexican champion Esteban Camou in three rounds in Cabazon, California, cementing his world ranking by all four major boxing organizations.
“I’m looking forward to keeping my title at Tachi Palace and on Showtime, the 24-year old Ward said. “I have enjoyed many successes at Tachi with three wins and, of course, I won my first pro title on a ShoBox telecast.
“Each bout has its own unique significance and everything I’ve been working towards is at stake in every fight. Henry Buchanan is the next fighter looking to stop my destiny. That’s my main motivation. He has a great record and I am undefeated. This is the kind of fight the super middleweight division needs to see who is the top dog at 168 pounds.”
In 30-year old Capitol Heights, Maryland resident Henry Buchanan (17-1, 12 KOs), Ward will face off against a hard-hitting knockout artist who, with the exception of his one loss to current undefeated and world-rated contender Jean Paul Mendy, has an identical pro record. Perhaps Buchanan’s biggest claim to fame to date is that he is the nephew of San Diego Chargers Pro-Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman. He hopes to eclipse that by handing Ward his first loss as a pro and claiming his title in the process.
“I know I am viewed as the underdog in this fight,” Buchanan, coming in off a knockout win over Brian Norman last June, observed. “But who’d have thought the Arizona Cardinals would make it to the Super Bowl? Our records are almost identical and we have the same number of knockout wins. This fight is more of an even match in my eyes and I feel my power will in the end be too much for Ward.”
Goossen Tutor’s latest addition to its impressive stable of championship-caliber boxers, John Molina, Jr., (14-0, 10 KOs), will make his debut both under the banner – as well as his first appearance on “ShoBox” — in a scheduled eight-round jr. lightweight contest.
The signing of the 26-year old pride of Covina, California, who is coming off an impressive fifth-round stoppage of veteran Fernando Lizarraga, was announced during Goossen Tutor’s final show of 2008 at Cabazon last month. Known as “John John,” Molina has already established himself as a fan favorite for the all-out offensive action and excitement he brings into each bout.
Another California-based favorite and Goossen Tutor fighter, Wasco’s Manny “El Toro” Quezada (25-4, 15 KOs), will be on the card defending his WBC CABOFE heavyweight title in a scheduled 10-rounder against Eric Boose (14-3-1, 8 KO). No stranger by any means to the Tachi property, Quezada will be making his 14th appearance as a pro there. In his last bout in November 2008, Quesada won a unanimous decision against the once beaten Teke Oruh in Ontario, California.
“2009 promises to be a big year for our boxers, our sport, our fans and for Goossen Tutor Promotions,” president Dan Goossen forecasted. “What better way for us and our partner, Antonio Leonard Promotions, to see an American Olympic hero in Andre Ward taking the next step toward a world title and headlining a “ShoBox” telecast from one of our favorite venues: the Tachi Palace in Lemoore, CA.
“In addition, when the fans and viewers on Showtime see ‘John John’ (Molina) in action, they’ll be watching the next exciting jr. lightweight in our sport. He is pure power and entertainment with tremendous star potential.”
Tickets are priced at: $30, $40, $50, $60 and $400 and can be purchased at the box office of by visiting www.tickets.com. Doors are scheduled to open at 4:30pm. The first bout will begin at 5:00pm (PT) and the televised bouts will begin at 8:00pm (PT).