Clash of The Heavyweight Titans. Michael Grant faces Tye Fields. Casamayor vs Manuel Leyva. PPV card Friday March 11 Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
Ron ‘The American Dream’ Johnson, Aaron Williams in title bout highlight exciting undercard action!
A clash of heavyweight titans, matching 6-foot-7-inch Michael Grant of Atlanta against 6-foot-9-inch Tye Fields of Las Vegas, plus a battle between former world champion Joel Casamayor of Miami, Florida, and highly regarded Manuel Leyva of Mexico highlight a nationally and internationally televised pay-per-view card Friday, March 11, in the Planet Hollywood Theatre for the Performing Arts at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev..
Also on the card presented by Sterling Promotions in association with American Dream Presents and Heads Up Entertainment, in separate fights will be light heavyweight Ron Johnson and cruiserweight Aaron Williams, who’ll be fighting for the World Boxing Council/United States National Boxing Championship interim 200-pound title.
All four fights are scheduled for 10 rounds.
The card will be televised live, starting at 7 p.m. (Pacific)/10 p.m. (Eastern) on pay-per-view in the United States and Canada and on a tape delay basis internationally. The suggested price is $24.99 for the card, which is available through cable and satellite providers. The pay-per-view telecast is being produced and distributed by MultiVision Media, Inc.
The 38-year-old Grant has a record of 46-4 with 34 knockouts and has met far better opponents, including former world champion Lennox Lewis. Grant challenged, unsuccessfully, for Lewis’ World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation titles during 2000.
Grant burst back into the international spotlight in his most recent bout Aug. 21 with a stellar but, ultimately, unsuccessful, 12-round effort against No. 1-ranked (World Boxing Organization) heavyweight Tomasz Adamek.
Fields, a southpaw who now divides his residences between Las Vegas and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has a record of 45-2 with 41 knockouts. While Fields is renown for his size, he has been untested during his 12-year pro career, meeting primarily less than top-notch competition. This fight against Grant not only will be Fields’ toughest test, but could go a long way in determining the 35-year-old’s future in the heavyweight division.
Casamayor, the former World Boxing Association super featherweight and WBC lightweight champion, has a record of 37-5-1 with 22 knockouts, while Leyva has an impressive mark of 20-1 with 12 knockouts.
The 39-year-old Casamayor, a southpaw who’s originally from Cuba, was the WBA 130-pound champion during 2000 to 2002 and the WBC 135-pound champ during 2006 and 2007. But he’s best known for his two wins over the late Diego Corrales and, more recently, his knockout victory over Michael Katsidis.
The 28-year-old Leyva, a southpaw from Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico has won 14 straight, the past four by knockout.
The 24-year-old Johnson, originally from Cleveland but now residing in Las Vegas, has a record of 11-1 with three knockouts. The slick boxer has won five straight.
His opponent, 27-year-old Brent Urban from Dallas, has a record of 7-3-1 with five knockouts.
Williams, like Johnson, a 24-year-old who is originally from Cleveland but now residing in Las Vegas, has a record of 20-3-1 with 13 knockouts.
His opponent, 34-year-old Shane Steele from Louisville, Ky., has a record of 7-3 with five knockouts.
Other bouts on the card include:
Heavyweight Razvan Cojanu of Las Vegas, who represented Romania at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, making his pro debut against an opponent to be determined in a four-round bout;
Super middleweight Semen Uporov of Las Vegas (10-1, 5 KOs) against Duane King of Reidsville, N.C., (2-2, 0 KOs) in a six-round fight;
Light heavyweight Hiromitsu Miura of Tokyo (5-0, 3 KOs) against an opponent to be determined in a four-round clash;
And super welterweight Dante Moore of Cleveland (6-0-1, 4 KOs) against an opponent to be determined in a four-round battle.
Tickets, priced at $25, $40, $60, $90 and $150, are available at the Planet Hollywood Theatre box office from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday or by calling the Planet Hollywood box office at 702-785-5555, ext. 55620 during those hours. Tickets also are available through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or at www.ticketmaster.com.
The card starts at 6:30 p.m. with doors to the Planet Hollywood Theatre opening at 6.
The pay-per-view telecast is being produced and distributed by MultiVision Media, Inc., and is available through cable and satellite providers, starting at 7 p.m. (Pacific)/10 p.m. (Eastern) on pay-per-view in the United States and Canada and on a tape delay basis internationally. The suggested price is $24.99.
All bouts are subject to change.
Fields Fully Prepared for “Big” Fight
6′ 9″ heavyweight Tye “Big Sky” Fields (45-2, 41 KOs) says he’s in the shape of his life, as he prepares to face fellow giant and former #1 contender “Big” Michael Grant (46-4, 34 KOs) at the Theatre For The Performing Arts in the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, on Friday, March 11.
Fields says he’s learned a lot since suffering his first loss, a devastating first-round knockout to fringe contender Monte Barrett in June 2008. Working with trainer Ken Lakusta in his adopted home of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the 36 year old has rattled off four straight knockouts.
“I couldn’t have planned it this well,” explains Fields happily of the move to Canada he and the family made for wife Jennifer’s career in the casino industry. “Ken is a technician and he’s been teaching me how to box and the science of boxing. These are things I haven’t learned in the past.”
A loss to Grant could end the dream for the former college basketball player turned fighter. Barrett was Fields’ first fight against a top 50 opponent. Grant, coming off a valiant loss to top heavyweight contender Tomas Adamek, will be the second.
“He’s at the age where we have to find out one way or the other, so we’re ready to step up again. I think he’s ready,” explains manager Billy Baxter.
Baxter, who has previously managed world champions Roger Mayweather, Bruce Curry and Vernon Forrest, says his fighter is a lot better than the man knocked out by Barrett. “He was ready against Barrett. That was just a bad night. We’d like to move him right up. We’re ready to fight almost anybody.”
Fields and Grant have worked together in the gym in the past and Fields claims he knows the way to beat him.
“I sparred with him before and I know he’s a skilled boxer, but he doesn’t throw as many punches as I do and I’m two years younger. I envision myself going out there in great spirits, wining the jab war, controlling the jab, throwing more punches and moving. I’m going to apply smart pressure on him.”
Fields also says his last fight, a TKO 3 over former Canadian champion Raymond Olubowale, turned out to be the perfect practice drill for facing Grant. “I plan on fighting him the way I fought Olubowale. They’re the same dimensions and I couldn’t have asked for any better than that. I fought a few people 6′ 8″ and taller and it usually works out to my benefit because the punches are coming in the way they do for everybody else – straight and not up.”
Life is Good for Michael Grant
“Everything is going really good,” admits heavyweight “Big” Michael Grant.
Coming off a career-resurrecting performance against top heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek, Grant (46-4, 34 KOs) will take on fellow giant Tye “Big Sky” Fields (45-2, 41 KOs) at the Theatre for the Performing Arts in the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, on Friday, March 11.
“I’m training at home,” he continues, “for the first time in my career, I didn’t go away to training camp. I love being here with my family and my kids. I’m here training and my wife is here working. Life is good.”
Things are definitely looking up for the 6′ 7″ heavyweight who was widely regarded as all washed up when in 2003, he was stopped by then-promising Dominick Guinn in a listless performance on national television.
Grant left the ring for two full years before embarking on a comeback that, until the fight against Adamek, had garnered little attention.
Wobbling and staying highly competitive with a top heavyweight contender throughout an entertaining 12-rounder tends to re-energize a career.
And so here is Michael Grant, the 2011 version. A victory over Fields would probably propel him back into the top 10 rankings and put him in line for another big-money showdown… right where he has wanted to be for so long.
Early in his career, then-undefeated Grant became the #1 contender and was brutally knocked out by champion Lennox Lewis in two rounds. His career since then has been about getting back to that level in the sport and this time making good on the promise he showed while rising through the ranks.
“It’s a difficult time right now for American heavyweights. The landscape is really harsh. A lot of things are not the way they should be right now. The world is suffering. The economy is suffering. Everything is suffering. But I continue to pursue my ultimate goal of fighting for the heavyweight title again.”
Grant says he learned what he needs to know about Fields when the two sparred for four rounds years ago. “He’s a puncher and not much of a technician. Punchers are always a risk. They can take you out at any time, but we’re going to keep Tye turning. He’s not a technical guy. He’s just looking to land that looping left hand. He’s not really an inside fighter either. There are going to be some good opportunities to exploit on the inside… and good opportunities on the outside as well. I won’t be looking for the KO, but if it comes: good!”
The 38-year-old Grant also reveals that Fields’ massive size will not be an issue… only his stance. “I like fighting guys bigger than me. All the shadow boxing you do, you always jab above your shoulder, so fighting someone even a little bigger than me blends in with my training better. The only difference is that he’s a southpaw. You can’t find too many 6′ 9″ southpaws to spar with unless you go to a basketball team. I have sparring partners and we’ve been working together real good. I have a guy I can punch on and he gives punches back and I have a guy showing me angles from the southpaw stance. He’s making me more comfortable with that.”
“Big” Michael Grant has fought his way back to edge of contendership after faltering on the brink of oblivion for many years. One of the true gentlemen in the sport, he admits he has one sincere wish for the outcome of this fight: “Hopefully we both end up healthy and we both live to fight another day.”