Domestically Non-Televised Title Bout
Scratched From Saturday’s Boxing Card
At Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Miss.
IBF Bantamweight Champion Joseph King Kong Agbeko Falls Ill;
Two World Championships, a Championship Eliminator and Undercard Matches
Will Be Presented As Scheduled
BILOXI, Miss.—One of the three world championship matches set for Saturday’s Don King Productions fight card in Biloxi, Miss., has been scratched after one of the boxers became ill.
International Boxing Federation bantamweight champion Joseph King Kong Agbeko (25-1, 22 KOs), from Accra, Ghana, was to have made his first title defense against his mandatory challenger, IBF No. 1-ranked William “Chirizo” Gonzalez (21-2, 19 KOs), from Managua, Nicaragua, in a domestically non-televised title bout, but Agbeko contracted Malaria in August while training in Africa.
He arrived at Holy Trinity Hospital in Accra with symptoms including fever on Aug. 14, was treated and was released. Although he contracted a mild form of the disease, responded well to medication and was later deemed to be non-contagious, Agbeko admitted he’s not fit to box on Saturday.
“I wanted to fight but I’m just not strong enough to enter a world championship boxing match,” an obviously disappointed Agbeko said. “I tried my best to recover in time to fight my mandatory challenger William Gonzalez in Biloxi, but I now agree with the doctors that I can’t be ready by then.”
Agbeko saw Florida Boxing Commission Chief Physician and Vice President of the American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians Dr. Allan Fields in South Florida on Friday (Sept. 5).
“He appears to be regaining his strength,” Fields said of Agbeko. “He should complete his treatment and be able to resume training in two to three weeks. If all goes well, he could be able to participate in a match by October.”
Agbeko added, “I look forward to being back in the ring defending my title. I want my fans to know I’m doing fine and will have a beautiful performance for them to see very soon.
Saturday’s event will go on as scheduled in the Beau Rivage Theatre with Nate “The Galaxxy Warrior” Campbell making the first defense of his IBF, World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Association lightweight titles against undefeated two-division world champion Joan “Sycuan Warrior” Guzman.
In a world championship co-feature, undefeated World Boxing Council super lightweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (22-0, 11 KOs), from Palm Springs, Calif., will defend his title for the first time against Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry (24-5-2, 12 KOs), a native of the Bahamas now residing in Wauchula, Fla.
A domestically non-televised WBC 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 Sycuan Ringside Promotions. Both the Campbell-Guzman main event and Bradley vs. Cherry co-feature will 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.
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.