ANTICIPATION IS HIGH FOR FRIDAY NIGHT’S
CARIBBEAN CLASSIC BOXING SHOWCASE
George Town, Grand Cayman, (June 18, 2008) – The spectacular Seven Mile Beach behind the Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa served as the backdrop for today’s final press conference to promote the “Cayman Knockout” professional boxing extravaganza set for Friday night.
This world championship class event will be held at the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal in the Grand Cayman capital city of George Town and presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.
In the scheduled 12-round main event to be televised live on Showtime’s “SHOBOX: The New Generation”, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward (15-0, 10 KOs, Oakland, CA) and 2000 Dominican Republic Olympic representative Jerson Ravelo (18-2, 12 KOs, San Cristobal, DR) will display their superior boxing skills in a battle for the coveted NABO Super Middleweight Title.
Also featured on the card, “Fast” Eddie Chambers (30-1, 16 KOs, Philadelphia, PA) will face a tough test in defending his USBA Heavyweight Title against knockout artist Raphael Butler (31-4, 24 KO, Rochester, MN); Former world bantamweight champ and 1996 Irish Olympic Silver Medalist Wayne “Pocket Rocket” McCullough (27-6, 18 KOs, Las Vegas, NV via Belfast, Northern Ireland) returns from a three-year absence to square off against talented Juan Ruiz (21-5, 6 KOs, Santa Clarita, CA) in a super bantamweight Special Attraction; junior welterweight Ronald Hearns (18-0, 14 KOs, Southfield, MI), son of the legendary Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, battles Jose Luis Gonzalez (12-3-1, 10 KOs, Garden City, KS); in another junior welterweight bout, Ty Barnett (13-0-1, 9 KOs, Washington, DC) will be opposed by Pavel Miranda (15-1, 8 KOs, Tijuana, MX); and local Cayman Islands junior middleweight favorite Charles “Killa” Whitaker (30-12-2, 18 KOs, George Town, CI) will square off against Troy Lowry (27-8, 16 KOs, St. Paul, MN).
The festivities began with an initial warm welcome to the Cayman Islands by The Honorable Charles E. Clifford, Minister of Tourism, Environment, Investment and Commerce, where he conveyed that “there is a lot of excitement building on the island for this event. There is a very large boxing audience in the Caymans and we are very much looking forward to this event on Friday night at the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal. As a country we are certainly very proud to be associated with two very, very strong brands: Showtime and Dan Goossen/Goossen Tutor Promotions. It’s a relationship that we hope to build on and maintain, and that we will get the level of success from this event that will justify it becoming an annual event on the Cayman Islands Calendar of Events.”
“It truly is a great honor to be the first one really to come out here to the Cayman Islands and bring an event of this magnitude to not only the locals here, but throughout the world on Showtime,” Goossen declared, taking over the dais for the remainder of the media event. “To bring boxing of this level out to the Cayman Islands really sends a message. The message is clear. Especially for the viewers at home that tune in, see it on the replay or when they are doing their channel surfing and they see these great shots of the Cayman Islands and a boxing ring set up, they are going to be scratching their heads and take notice. And that’s really one of the purposes here. Not only are we promoting a boxing event, but we’re promoting a country, a beautiful paradise.”
Following completion of Goossen’s remarks, he proceeded to introduce many of the boxers who are being featured on the card. Here are some of their comments.
Andre Ward: I’ve been training for this title fight my entire life. I’m an Olympic Gold medalist and people want to beat me. But that’s behind me as far as being an Olympic Gold Medalist is concerned. I’m desiring a world title and you have to conquer steps like Friday night first. Like winning this NABO title will be special to me. I just don’t know if anyone else is as hungry as I am. People think that being a Gold Medalist I’ve been fed with a silver spoon, but it’s been a lot of work. I plan on beating Jerson Ravelo and laying the belt at the feet of my wife and children. They’ve been asking me everyday: ‘Daddy, when are you coming home; when are you coming home.’ I’ve had to sacrifice being home after seeing my new baby girl for one day. All I want to do is bring that belt home.”
Jerson Ravelo: “What can I say; I’m ready for the fight. I’ve pretty much been through it all in my career. I had the injuries, got let go by managers and promoters who wouldn’t help me. But I kept going. I put up a speed bag and a heavy bag in my garage and I was training myself for about a year and got fights on my own. So that shows my determination right there. And now I’m getting the chance to fight a Gold medalist in Andre Ward, who I know is coming prepared for this fight. But I’m prepared myself, so it’s going to be a great fight. This is a golden opportunity for me to show the world what I can do and win a title.”
Eddie Chambers: “I want to really, really prove that the Povetkin fight was a distant memory, something that I’m not going to remember anymore. I’m trying to come up and do great things and hopefully get to that world title shot. But first I have a tough task in fighting Raphael Butler here. And I am taking it seriously and am going in with the right mindset, something I didn’t do in my last fight. And, hopefully take it to him.”
Raphael Butler: “Like everybody is anticipating, this is going to be a great fight. I’ve been training hard for this fight and I’m sure Eddie Chambers has too. It’s going to be a great fight and I’m going to do my best to put on a great show for the Cayman Islands. I’m ready.”
Wayne McCullough: “I’m looking forward to fighting this fight with one of the future stars in Juan Ruiz. It’s going to be exciting. I haven’t fought in three years. I thank Juan for fighting me because I’ve had five fights fall out in the last three years. It’s been very difficult, but I keep training every day in my gym and focus on what the great Eddie Futch told me — to keep working hard and it will pay off. I’m looking forward to Friday night.”
Juan Ruiz: “I’m really, really honored to fight Wayne McCullough. I know he is going to come out to fight, and me too. So, it’s going to be a great fight.”
Ronald Hearns: “I’d just like to say that as a man you have to stand on your own two feet. No matter what my daddy did in the game, I have to fend for myself. So I am thankful for the opportunity to fight him because I know he is a good fighter. So you can look for a good show. You will see a lot of me.”
Jose Luis Gonzalez: “I know they don’t us guys in the Midwest a lot of credit, but my amateur background speaks for itself. My pro record speaks. I know I am ready. This was one of the hardest training camps we’ve had. I’m not a big talker. We’re just ready for this fight.”