Don King and Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
Partner to Bring Championship Boxing to the Gulf Coast
SHOWTIME will Televise Unified Lightweight Championship;
IBF, WBO & WBA Champion Nate Campbell vs. Undefeated Joan Guzman
BILOXI, Miss.—Flashy boxer Nate “The Galaxxy Warrior” Campbell will make the first defense of his International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Association lightweight titles against undefeated two-division world champion Joan “Sycuan Warrior” Guzman on Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Beau Rivage Theatre in Biloxi, Miss.
Campbell (32-5-1, 25 KOs), from Jacksonville, Fla., picked up his titles in a tremendous upset over previously undefeated unified lightweight champion Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz. Campbell outgunned and battered the previously unbeaten Diaz in his most recent appearance on March 8 in Cancun, Mexico. He won the fight by split decision but clearly dominated his opponent.
An International Boxing Federation bantamweight championship will be on the card with champion Joseph King Kong Agbeko (25-1, 22 KOs), from Accra, Ghana, making his first defense against No. 1-ranked mandatory challenger William “Chirizo” Gonzalez (21-2, 19 KOs), from Managua, Nicaragua.
A World Boxing Council featherweight championship elimination bout will also be showcased with No. 1-ranked Hector Velasquez (50-11-2, 35 KOs), from Tijuana, Mexico, against No. 2-ranked Elio “The Kid” Rojas (19-1, 13 KOs), from the Dominican Republic, now fighting out of Brooklyn, N.Y. The winner becomes the WBC featherweight mandatory challenger, guaranteeing a title shot.
The event is being promoted by Don King Productions in association with Beau Rivage. The Campbell vs. Guzman main event will be presented in association with One Punch Productions and will also be televised live on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT/8 p.m. CT (delayed on the West Coast). Ticket prices are $39.95, $69.95, $89.95 and $299.95 plus tax and service charge and can be purchased at the Beau Rivage Box Office or by calling 888.566.7469 (9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily).. Beau Rivage room reservations can be made by calling 888.567.6667 or visiting www.beaurivage.com.
At age 36, Campbell finds himself in possession of three world titles and great interest from the likes of the never-before-beaten Guzman—already a champion at the 122- and 130-pound limits, who would like to take away what Campbell has recently won at the 135-pound limit.
Guzman (28-0, 17 KOs), from the Dominican Republic now residing in Brooklyn, N.Y., was scheduled to defend his WBO junior lightweight crown against Alex Arthur on May 3 in Arthur’s home country of Scotland. When Arthur insisted on a later date, Guzman opted to move up to lightweight to challenge Campbell. (Guzman also previously held the WBO junior featherweight championship.)
The clash pits Campbell’s relentless and punishing style against the savvy, agile and rabbit-quick Guzman. Campbell is known for having some of the heaviest hands in the division, while Guzman is a defensive wizard who rarely gets hit and can also dish out serious punishment.
As if three world titles being on the line were not enough intrigue for one match, a personal rivalry has been brewing with a war of words between the two spilling into the press. The firestorm started after Guzman castigated Campbell after photos of his recent wedding began to appear on boxing Web sites.
“Everyone has seen the picture of Nate and his wife in their cute, white wedding outfits,” Guzman said. “I hope they’re enjoying their honeymoon because Nate’s honeymoon at the top of the lightweight division is going to end once he fights me.”
“I think he’s afraid of me. I’ll make Nate look so bad that he’ll retire after I wipe the floor with him. I guess I can understand why Nate doesn’t want to fight me. Twenty-eight boxers have tried to beat me and none of them came close to succeeding.”
The equally loquacious Campbell wasted little time in responding to Guzman.
“This clown (Guzman) reminds me of one of those yapping little rat dogs,” Campbell said. “[They] yip, yip, yip at your ankles.”
With pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao moving up in weight to dethrone David Diaz to claim the remaining major world championship at lightweight on June 28, both Campbell and Guzman would love nothing more than to emerge victorious in the hopes of possibly luring the “Pac Man” into a match to determine the undisputed lightweight champion.
“Nate Campbell is the rare boxer who can back up his talk,” promoter Don King said. “That’s why I love him. He comes straight at you, tells you what he’s going to do, and then he executes his game plan. He’s truly one of the most exciting fighters we have in boxing today, and Beau Rivage should be commended for stepping up to host one of the bigger fights of the year.”
Beau Rivage is delighted to bring such a big card to the Gulf Coast. “We are pleased to host this major boxing event in Biloxi and to be partnering with the legendary Don King, whose name is synonymous with championship boxing,” said George P. Corchis, Jr., president and chief operating officer of MGM MIRAGE’s Mississippi resorts, which includes Beau Rivage in Biloxi, and Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica. “We look forward to having the Mississippi Gulf Coast serve as a backdrop for such an important fight where three world titles are on the line.”
ABOUT BEAU RIVAGE:
Casual elegance is redefined at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, MGM MIRAGE’s destination resort on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Named one of the top 100 hotels in the continental United States and Canada by Travel + Leisure, Beau Rivage blends world-class amenities with world-famous Southern hospitality. Featuring 1,740 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites; 11 restaurants; four nightclubs and bars; a 1,550-seat theatre; an upscale shopping promenade; a world-class spa & salon; and Fallen Oak, a new Tom Fazio designed championship golf course; Beau Rivage offers the finest destination resort experience in the Southeast. For more information or to make reservations, call (888) 567-6667 or visit www.beaurivage.com.
ABOUT DON KING PRODUCTIONS:
Don King Productions has promoted over 500 world championship fights with nearly 100 individual boxers having been paid $1 million or more. DKP also holds the distinction of having promoted or co-promoted seven of the 10 largest pay-per-view events in history, as gauged by total buys, including three of the top five: Holyfield vs. Tyson II, 1.99 million buys, June 1997; Tyson vs. Holyfield I, 1.6 million buys, November 1996; and Tyson vs. McNeeley, 1.58 million buys, August 1995.
DKP has promoted or co-promoted 10 of the top 15 highest-grossing live gates in the history of the state of Nevada including four of the top five: Holyfield vs. Lewis II, paid attendance: 17,078, gross: $16,860,300 (NOTE: Also second-highest live-gate gross for any event in the history of the world.), date: Nov. 13, 1999; Holyfield vs. Tyson II, paid attendance: 16,279, gross: $14,277,200, date: June 28, 1997; Holyfield vs. Tyson I, paid attendance: 16,103, gross: $14,150,700, date: Nov. 9, 1996; and Tyson vs. McNeeley, paid attendance: 16,113, gross: $13,965,600, date: Aug. 19, 1995.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING announcers Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray reporting from ringside. The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.
For information on SHOWTIME Sports Programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://www.sho.com/sports.