Following up on his impressive knockout of former World title challenger Rubin Williams this past March, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward looks to take that next big step towards a World Championship when Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism presents “Cayman Knockout: Championship Boxing” from the wonderful Caribbean. The event on Friday night, June 20, 2008 will be televised on SHOWTIME (“ShoBox: The New Generation”)..
Originating from the beautiful outdoor Truman Bodden Sports Complex in the capital George Town on Grand Cayman, the ShoBox telecast will feature a 12-round NABO Super Middleweight Championship Bout between undefeated Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (15-0, 10 KOs) and former Olympian Jerson Ravelo (18-2, 12 KOs); and in another featured bout, World ranked heavyweight Eddie Chambers (30-1, 16 KO) takes on hard-hitting 6’4,” 260 pound knockout artist, Raphael Butler (30-4, 23 KOs) in a 12-round USBA Heavyweight Championship Bout.
“This is a groundbreaking event for the Cayman Islands,” Minister of Tourism, Environment, Investment & Commerce Charles Clifford proclaimed. “We believe that with a professional boxing event of this magnitude, along with the sophisticated elegant charm of our country and residents, we will showcase to the worldwide television audience what we’re so proud of; and what better way to do this than by bringing Championship Boxing to the Cayman Islands. We are very excited to be hosting this momentous event and we look forward to working with Goossen Tutor Promotions and SHOWTIME on this historic occasion.”
The Cayman Islands – comprised of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman — is located in the center of the Caribbean, situated south of Cuba and west of Jamaica. A British Overseas Territory, English is the official language for the population of 50,000 representing more than 100 nationalities. Come the week of the event, elite World-class boxers will share the spotlight with the pure white sands and sky-blue waters of the Cayman Islands, inspiring each boxer to have his hand raised in victory in this beautiful country!
Ward, America’s sole Gold Medalist in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, brings a string of five consecutive knockout victories into his matchup against Ravelo. The 24-year old Oakland, California native is coming off a seventh-round stoppage against the rugged veteran Ruben Williams last month. Prior to that bout, he stopped then-unbeaten rising star Roger Cantrell.
Ravelo is a 30-year old from the Dominican Republic and a former participant in the highly successful “The Contender” boxing series, and currently resides and fights out of Newark, New Jersey. He earned an impressive, unanimous decision win over undefeated Paul Buchanan in the UK in his most recent bout, following on the heels of a highly competitive loss to highly-regarded and World ranked contender Allan Green. At 6’2,” Ravelo stands to be the 6’1” Ward’s first taller and toughest professional challenge.
The Chambers-Butler contest stands to provide some real intrigue. How will the Philadelphia-trained Chambers respond to his first career loss at the hands of the #1 World ranked Russian, Alexander Povetkin, in Germany three months ago in a Bout in which a win would have made him the mandatory challenger to IBF and WBO World Champion Wladimir Klitschko A fight that Chambers was winning early simply slipped out of his hands by letting the aggressive Povetkin outwork him. Butler, the 24-year old pride of Rochester, Minnesota has won his last five bouts after losing to then undefeated Art Binkowski, whom Butler managed to knock down three times in the first round but could not finish him off. Well ahead on all scorecards at the time of the 8th round stoppage, Butler said “lesson well learned” and promises not to let sure victory slip away again. With his five recent wins, Butler believes he’s ready to step up against a top ten opponent such as Chambers.
“It’s not too often that the location of an event can be as big a story as the fighters and fights themselves,” promoter Dan Goossen explained. “But that’s exactly what we have here. Look at virtually every major Las Vegas resort and casino, and you can be sure Championship Boxing helped put each on the map, and it still holds true today. The fans not only get to see rising stars such as Ward and Chambers, but also a great event with the beautiful Cayman Islands as a back drop; a vacation paradise in the middle of the Caribbean.“We look to provide an exhilarating experience of great fights to the Cayman Islands residents and tourists sitting ringside,” Goossen continued, “but also to the SHOWTIME television audience where the rough and tumble world of boxing collides with the lush scenery of one of the Caribbean’s – if not the world’s – most spectacular places – the Cayman Islands.”
Ticket information along with boxing travel packages to the Cayman Islands will be following soon, including the remainder of the undercard bouts.