30.09.04 – Showtime’s spectacular tripleheader on Saturday, October 2, will be the first boxing event to take place in the new outdoor Amphitheatre at Caesars Palace, recalling an era of legendary nights of boxing including Sugar Ray Leonard against Thomas Hearns, Larry Holmes against Gerry Cooney, Muhammad Ali against Larry Holmes and Leonard against Marvelous Marvin Hagler at the famed Las Vegas resort. It was also the scene of the Hagler against John Mugabi, Showtime’s first boxing event on March 10, 1986. The telecast will begin at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
In the main event, former WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (42-3, 39 KOs) will make his SHOWTIME debut against former NABF heavyweight champ DaVarryl Williamson (20-2, 17 KOs). In a pair of world title fights on the telecast, IBF Junior Middleweight Champion Verno Phillips (38-9-1, 20 KOs) will defend against IBF No. 1 contender Kassim Ouma (19-1-1, 13 KOs) and IBF No. 1 contender Syd Vanderpool (35-2, 23 KOs) will take on IBF No. 4 contender Jeff Lacy (16-0, 13 KOs) for the vacant IBF super middleweight belt.
“I am happy to be fighting again, and to be fighting again in Las Vegas. To take part in a fight outdoors at Caesars Palace, with their tradition, is exciting. I thank SHOWTIME for giving me the chance. DaVarryl is a good fighter with many skills, but I am confident of a good result. This is a struggle to survive for both of us and will be a great fight. This will really be a fan’s fight, just like the others on this great fight card.”
“I really appreciate getting this opportunity, but I feel the Klitschko people made a mistake. It will not be easy but I am going to get the job done. I have been down this road before so now I know what and what not to do. To beat Klitschko on a national stage like SHOWTIME will do wonders for my career.”
“I really did not need any more incentive but when my friend, Glen Johnson, knocked out Roy Jones, I got some more. It is like, OK, he did it, now it is my turn. I paid my dues, now it is my time to shine. I hope Lacy brings along all that firepower he is supposed to have because I am bringing mine.”
“It is good to be at Caesars and great to be on SHOWTIME again. I am going to do whatever it takes to win. Vanderpool keeps talking about my punching power, but he is forgetting my determination and other skills. I am going to put in all together Saturday and I hope all the fans tune in early to catch it.”
“I am very excited about making my debut in Las Vegas and fighting on SHOWTIME. I am ready to fight and steal the show. I beat Phillips once, and I am going to do it again.”
(Note: Verno did not arrive in time for press conference)