NEW YORK (May 31, 2005) – SHOWTIME will set off fireworks July Fourth weekend with a spectacular heavyweight showdown. Featuring the hottest fighter in the division, Samuel “the Nigerian Nightmare” Peter will continue his ascension toward the top of the heavyweight ranks when he returns to the network on Saturday, July 2, at 9 p.m. ET/PT (tape delayed on the west coast).
Touted by many as the future of the heavyweight division, he possesses perhaps the most devastating knockout power in the heavyweight ranks today. Now, Peter will attempt to tame “The Bull” when he battles North American Boxing Association (NABA) Heavyweight Champion Taurus Sykes on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. Duva Boxing will present the 12-round heavyweight bout from the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.
In his final 2004 appearance, Peter (23-0, 20 KOs), of Las Vegas, Nevada, by way of Akwaibom, Nigeria, thrilled a national television audience by recording his biggest victory with a sensational second-round knockout over Jeremy Williams Dec. 4 on SHOWTIME. The current World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 6/International Boxing Federation (IBF) No. 9 heavyweight contender connected with a devastating left hook to Williams’ chin to end the contest 27 seconds into the second.
Sykes and the Peter camp recently have engaged in a war of words, adding to the already high anticipation of this match up.
“This is my year, the year of “The Bull,” and I am not only going to defend my title, but I am going to march up the ranks of the heavyweight division and bring the world championship back to Brooklyn,” Sykes said. “Samuel Peter has been running from me. After we both beat Jovo Pudar, Peter was scared to fight me because he knew I would have jabbed him all the way back to Africa.
“Peter is cut from the cloth of cowards, and under his trunks, he wears panties. When he sees the menace from Brooklyn, he will shiver in fear.”
Promoter Dino Duva remains puzzled by the verbal attacks against his fighter.
“I am not sure what is behind this new-found courage from Sykes,” Duva said. “Last year, we offered him a fight and he ran for the hills and could not be found for a while. When Peter hears how badly Sykes has disrespected him, I am almost afraid of what will happen in the ring on July 2.”
Peter captured the vacant USBA heavyweight title by scoring a fifth-round TKO over Yamplier Azcuy on Jan. 22, 2005, in Miami. Despite getting penalized two points in the second round for intentionally hitting Diaz when he was down, Peter floored his opponent five times en route to the impressive victory. Referee Brian Garry stopped matters at 0:54 of the fifth round.
“The Nigerian Nightmare” made his SHOWTIME debut as the main event on “ShoBox: The New Generation,” Aug. 5, 2004, from Hollywood, Fla. In front of a sold-out crowd, Peter put on a boxing clinic and bloodied Pudar’s nose en route to registering a 10-round unanimous decision.
Peter made his pro debut at age 20 on Feb. 6, 2001, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and scored a first-round knockout over Gueorgui Christov. During his initial year punching for pay, Peter went 7-0 with seven knockouts, including six KOs within the opening stanza. In his last outing on April 29, 2005, the undefeated heavyweight tallied his third consecutive knockout by sending Gilbert Martinez to the locker room early with a third-round KO in Las Vegas.
Married with one child, Peter, a devout Christian, is a well-respected role model to the Nigerian community in his adopted home of Las Vegas. He lives a clean life, does not smoke or drink and refuses to talk trash or generate controversy.
“I do my talking in the ring,” Peter said.
Sykes (23-1-1, six KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., captured the vacant NABA heavyweight title in his last outing with a 12-round unanimous decision over Friday Ahunanya on March 11, 2005, from Hobbs, N.M. Sykes utilized his jab effectively and added simple one-two’s to control the pace. The judges scored the bout 118-110, 116-114 and 115-113.
The pride of Brooklyn opened 2004 on Feb. 21 by registering a 10-round unanimous decision over Pudar in Reno, Nev. Sykes was impressive, picked his spots and made the fight exciting. The three judges scored it 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94.
In his next outing, Sykes stopped Onebo Maxime in the second round on Dec. 10, 2004, from Albuquerque, N.M. Sykes floored his opponent three times en route to the stoppage.
“I waited too much,” Sykes said. “I won this fight with my jab and I hurt him a couple of times. But I could have done better. I thought it was a fair performance.”
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast will be Jay Larkin, with David Dinkins Jr. producing and Bob Dunphy directing.
For information on upcoming SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios and records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at www.sho.com/boxing