OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST ANDRE WARD
WINS FIRST TITLE
RONALD HEARNS SHUTS DOWN JOSE GONZALEZ
Friday, June 20, 2008, at 11 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME
Royal Watler Cruise Terminal, George Town, Grand Cayman
GEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman (June 20, 2008) – Top super middleweight prospect and Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward scored an eighth round technical knockout over Jerson Ravelo in his first title fight on the acclaimed SHOWTIME series ShoBox: The New Generation.
The 12-round NABO super middleweight championship fight was promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.
Ravelo’s corner threw in the towel at the 2:37 mark after Ravelo had trouble defending himself.
In the eighth stanza, Ward threw a clean right that dropped Ravelo onto his right shoulder.
Once Ravelo regrouped, Ward pounced on him cutting off any space between them. He landed numerous shots to the head and that’s when Ravelo’s corner had seen enough.
“If feels great to win my first title on ShoBox,” said Ward, who improves to 16-0 with 11 knockouts. “I wanted to win my first title by knockout. It feels awesome.”
Throughout the fight, Ward used a series of left hooks and overhand rights to stun and dismantle the overmatched Ravelo.
Neither fighter was able to establish a solid rhythm. Ward, a southpaw, switched to orthodox in the fifth round and started to catch fire in rounds six and seven.
“I had to adjust to Jerson’s style,” Ward said. “He throws a lot of wild punches and likes to grab a lot. He’s a tough, awkward fighter.”
Perspiration flew off both fighters’ heads more than usual due to the warm and humid 82 degree night.
Fans in attendance and viewers at home could easily differentiate between a solid shot and one that just grazed.
“Fighting in Grand Cayman was a great experience,” Ward said. “It was an exhausting camp, but it was well worth it. I’m not satisfied though. I want more title shots and I know I’ll get them down the road.”
Ravelo falls to 18-3 with 12 knockouts.
In an outstanding co-feature, Ronald Hearns made easy work of Jose Gonzalez registering a technical knockout in the seventh round after Gonzalez’ corner asked the referee to stop the contest at the 2:01 mark.
Hearns delivered plenty of punishment on Gonzalez (12-4-1, 10 KOs) in the form of sweeping right hooks, timely upper cuts and constant jabs.
“I had to sit inside on him more than I wanted,” said Hearns, who remains undefeated at 19-0 with 15 knockouts. “He’s a tough guy. He made me work.”
“The body shots hurt him. I saw him wince every time I landed.”
Hearns’ father, the legendary Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, worked his corner.
“I liked that Ronald was aggressive,” said the former world champion. “He set the tone early that he wasn’t about to back down from him at any point in the fight.”
Gonzalez looked tired at the start of the third round and never was able to establish a rhythm. His left eye was swollen after the second round.
Hearns did a masterful job of working the body and didn’t seem bothered by having to box inside for much of the fight.
“It’s a nice win because Gonzalez never backed up,” Hearns said. “He kept coming at me despite getting hit by a lot of punches.”
Popular play-by-play announcer Nick Charles and expert analyst/boxing historian Steve Farhood called the action from ringside. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
Also coming up on SHOWTIME tomorrow night…
Their first fight played out like a Hollywood script: rife with drama, incredible two-way exchanges, a broken jaw, blood, multiple head butts, low blows and controversy.
On Saturday, June 21, undefeated middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, and the explosive, hard-hitting Edison Miranda will co-star in the emotionally charged sequel, live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). Abraham won the first fight on a hotly disputed unanimous decision in a scintillating affair on September 23, 2006. The 12-round rematch will be contested at a catch weight of 166 pounds.
In the SHOWTIME co-feature, undefeated middleweight Giovanni Lorenzo (26-0, 18 KOs) of New York, by way of Dominican Republic, will face Raul Marquez (41-3, 29 KOs) of Houston, Texas, by way of Mexico, in an IBF World Championship eliminator. The two-fight telecast will originate from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., and is promoted by Seminole Warriors Boxing and Sauerland Event in association with The Seminole Tribe of Florida.
For more information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive video, photos and news links on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and EliteXC mixed martial arts telecasts, please go www.SHO.com/sports.