Braithwaite vs Jones To Be Televised On Showtime
18.08.05 - A World Boxing Council and an International Boxing Federation cruiserweight elimination bout between former World Boxing Council cruiserweight champion Wayne “Big Truck” Braithwaite and Guillermo “El Filino” Jones has been tapped as the co-featured main event on the Sept. 3 Don King Productions-promoted and SHOWTIME-televised card at Gund Arena after the originally scheduled showdown between World Boxing Organization junior middleweight champion Daniel “El Pillin” Santos and former WBA welterweight champion Jose Antonio Rivera was scrapped after Rivera suffered a training injury late last week..
Article posted on 18.08.2005
The shared main event that will lead the domestic SHOWTIME telecast 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) remains Owen “What the Heck” Beck facing Sergei “White Wolf” Liakhovich, a bout with world title implications.
Rivera saw noted Boston physician Dr. Bill Morgan recently regarding a chronic condition in his left elbow. (Morgan had been the Boston Red Sox team physician until this year and is best remembered for successfully treating Curt Schilling’s ankle problems during last year’s Playoffs and World Series. He has also previously performed successful surgeries on Rivera including to his thumb and wrist.)
Rivera sparred on Thursday in Windsor, Conn., and blocked many punches with his arms. He awoke on Friday morning to find his condition had deteriorated to the point where he could not extend his left arm. After consulting with Rivera by phone, Morgan recommended elbow surgery.
Braithwaite (21-1, 15 KOs), from Brooklyn, N.Y., by way of Guyana, had been invincible in all of his contests prior to his last bout. He won the vacant WBC cruiserweight title by defeating Vicenzo Cantatore in Italy in 2002 and easily defended his title three times before entering a world title unification match against Jean-Marc Mormeck in Worcester, Mass., on April 2.
Braithwaite put his WBC crown and undefeated record on the line against the WBA champion Mormeck, the first and only man to enter the ring looking bigger and stronger than the strapping Braithwaite. The two pounded it out for 12 rounds, but it was Mormeck who walked off with the unanimous decision and titles.
Braithwaite has chosen a difficult opponent to get back on the winning track in the slick veteran Jones, (32-3-2, 25 KOs), from Colon, Panama. Jones last opponent was former International Boxing Federation cruiserweight champion Kelvin “Koncrete” Davis, who had just been stripped for inexplicably refusing to fight his mandatory challenger, O’Neill “Give ‘em Hell” Bell.
Jones disposed of Davis in impressive fashion with a shocking series of combinations in the fourth round that prompted referee John O’Brien to step in and halt the action.
Two of the best heavyweight contenders in the world, both of whom have suffered only one loss, are ranked in the world top 10, and are knocking on the door of their first world title shot will meet for the USNBC heavyweight championship.
Beck (24-1, 18 KOs), originally from Jamaica now living in Nashville, Tenn., was undefeated with 24 wins, but untested against proven competition, before stepping into the ring against the more seasoned Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett in St. Louis on Feb. 5 in an elimination bout with a world title shot going to the winner.
Barrett scored a second-round flash knockdown, but Beck regained his composure and rocked Barrett in the middle rounds, coming very close at one point to a knock down. Beck’s performance was strong enough to be ahead on one of the judges’ scorecards before succumbing to Barrett by technical knockout in round nine.
Liakhovich (22-1, 14 KOs), a Belarussian now living in Scottsdale, Ariz., defeated then-undefeated champion Friday “The 13th” Ahunanya to take his North American Boxing Association heavyweight championship in 2001.
In his next appearance, the young Russian suffered his lone loss to the always dangerous spoiler Maurice “Mo Betta” Harris in 2002.
Liakhovich hasn’t lost since, racking up six wins in three years. In his last showing on Dec. 3 in Atlantic City, N.J., he came in as a slight underdog against rising prospect Dominick Guinn, but he sent a strong message to the heavyweight division by giving a dominating performance that led to victory by way of unanimous decision.
Tickets priced at $100, $50 and $25 areon sale now at the Gund Arena ticket office (where there is no service fee), all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone in Cleveland at (216) 241-2121 and in Akron at (330) 945-9400. For more information, log on to www.GundArena.com or call the Gund Arena event information line at (216) 420-2200.
A typically stacked Don King Productions undercard will lead with the return of former IBF bantamweight champion “Cincinnati Kid” Tim Austin (25-1-1, 22 KOs) and Cleveland’s own heavyweight Ray “The Rainman” Austin (22-3-3, 15 KOs), who is coming off an impressive performance at Madison Square Garden against Larry “The Legend” Donald that resulted in a hard-fought draw on April 30. Opponents for these fighters will be announced soon.
Santos (29-2-1, 20 KOs), from Puerto Rico, came to prominence in 1999 when he avenged a controversial decision against Ahmed Kotiev by knocking out the Russian to take his WBO welterweight title. He successfully defended the title twice before moving up to 154 pounds where he won the vacant WBO junior middleweight crown by defeating noted Mexican Luis “Yory Boy” Campas in 2002.
He has successfully defended his junior middleweight crown four times. In his last appearance, he won a technical decision over the highly touted Antonio Margarito (now the reigning WBO welterweight champion). The Mexican suffered a nasty gash over his right eye after an accidental clash of heads in round six, and the referee stopped the fight and went to the scorecards in round nine with Santos winning a split decision.
Rivera (37-4-1, 24 KOs), an American of Puerto Rican descent from Worcester, Mass., won the vacant WBA welterweight title by defeating Michel Trabant in Germany in 2003. Rivera had then planned to face Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga at Madison Square Garden on April 17, 2004, but the Nicaraguan wildman was unable to make the 147-pound limit. In his last fight, Rivera drew a tough foe in Louis Collazo, who stepped in to fight the champion on just three weeks’ notice in Rivera’s hometown of Worcester on April 2. In a close, action-packed contest, Rivera lost a narrow split decision. Rather than continue to fight at 147 pounds, Rivera feels he will be stronger at 154 pounds.
Don King Productions has promoted more than 500 world championship fights and holds the distinction of having promoted seven of the 10 largest pay-per-view events in history, as gauged by total buys, including: Holyfield vs. Tyson II, 1.95 million buys, June 1997; Tyson vs. Holyfield I, 1.6 million buys, November 1996; Tyson vs. McNeeley, 1.58 million buys, August 1995; and Bruno vs. Tyson, 1.4 million buys, March 1996.
DKP promoted or co-promoted 12 of the top-20 highest-grossing live gates in the history of the state of Nevada including the top five: Holyfield vs. Lewis II, paid attendance: 17,078, gross: $16,860,300 (NOTE: Also 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; Tyson vs. McNeeley, paid attendance: 16,113, gross: $13,965,600, date: Aug. 19, 1995; and De La Hoya vs. Trinidad, paid attendance: 11,184, gross: $12,949,500 (Also garnered the most pay-per-view buys for a non-heavyweight fight at 1.4 million.), date: Sept. 18, 1999.
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