Having already experienced being a world-rated TV-level fighter under tremendous pressure to win every fight impressively, Miami-based slugger Josh “Dempsey” Gormley says he much prefers the lowered expectations of being considered the “opponent” since coming back to boxing.
“There’s a lot of pressure on you as the A-side guy,” explained Gormley. “As an opponent, I’m supposed to lose, so when I win it’ll be that much more dramatic.”
Gormley (22-4, 21 KOs) will face WBO #5-, IBF #5-, and WBC #7-rated and current NABF heavyweight champion Andy “The Destroyer from Mexicali” Ruiz (27-0, 18 KOs) in a non-title fight this Saturday in Detroit. The two bruising heavyweights will meet in the 10-round main event of Salita Promotions’ latest “Detroit Brawl” event at the Masonic Temple.
Sponsored by Thomas Magee’s Sporting House Whiskey Bar, tickets for “Detroit Brawl” will be priced at VIP $123, Box Seats $100, Ringside $93, Reserved $63 and $38, and Balcony $28, and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Tickmaster.com.
Gormley says he isn’t prepared to go along with the expected outcome for a 41-year-old fighter taking on a top contender in just his third fight since returning from a 16-year retirement. He’s coming to Detroit to win.
“He’s perfect for me,” he said of Ruiz. “I feel like I’m fighting the weakest guy in the top 10. He doesn’t punch hard and I won’t have to look for him. He comes forward a lot and he’s not Floyd Mayweather. I don’t think he can handle my power. Now that I’m older, I hit harder than ever and I’m in great shape. I doubt it’ll last the distance. I’ll get him out of there in about five rounds. Even if he does, I’m in great shape to beat him over the distance.”
Gormley, reportedly the grandson of all-time-great heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey, turned pro in 1992 and flirted with world-contender status before suffering a pair of tough losses and retiring in 1999. However, boxing, like any addiction, eventually lured him back.
“I just want to take opportunities and see what I can do,” he said. “Win or lose, I’m just carrying on my legacy and seeing what I can still do. My goal is to be champ of the world. But I’m not chasing that dream lie I used to. A long time ago I chased the heavyweight championship dream so hard that every loss was devastating. Now, I want to take the opportunities as they come and win some of them. And hey, when I beat this guy, I’m back in the top 10!”
Scheduled in support of the main event that night will be Giorgi Gelashvili (4-0, 2 KOs) of Brooklyn via Georgia facing comebacking veteran Eric Hall (8-9-1, 4 KOs) of Durand, Michigan in a super lightweight six-rounder.
Also, Serdar Hudayberdiyev (2-0, 2 KOs) of Turkmenabat, Turkmenistan, will face fellow undefeated fighter Steven Andrade (3-0, 2 KOs) of Atlanta, Georgia in a welterweight four-rounder.
The opponent for the long-awaited pro debut of Dearborn, Michigan’s “Southpaw Prince” Gheith Karim, a three-time national amateur champion, will be two-fight welterweight scrapper Dean Walsh Jr. of Monroe, Michigan.
Detroit prospect Demetrius Banks (7-0, 4 KOs) is scheduled for a six-round cruiserweight match-up against Niagara Falls, New York’s Eric George (4-11).
Promising Detroit bantamweight Jarico O’Quinn (1-0, 1 KO), a recent Salita Promotions signee, will take on Sergio Aguilar (0-3) of Miami Beach, Florida, in a four-round bout; super bantamweight Zach Shamoun (3-0-1, 3 KOs) of Royal Oak, Michigan, will face also-unbeaten Jose Elizondo (1-0) of San Antonio, Texas; and so-far perfect undefeated cruiserweight Clarence Dubose (3-0, 3 KOs) of Detroit will look to keep his KO streak intact against Karinn Davis (2-6, 2 KOs) of Jackson, Michigan.
Detroit middleweight Dorell Van Horn Jr. (9-0, 6 KOs) will face Rapid City, South Dakota’s Ryan Soft (3-5-1, 1 KO) in a six-rounder.