ST. LUCIA BRACES FOR FISTIC FIREWORKS AS FIRST
PRO BOXING CARD IS SET FOR FRIDAY NIGHT’S
“SHOWTIME IN PARADISE”
HEAVYWEIGHTS ORUH AND ABELL; SUPER MIDDLES WARD AND CANTRELL; FORMER 3-TIME WORLD CHAMP JOPPY AND CAMACHO, JR. HEAD A WORLD CLASS LINEUP
Castries, St. Lucia (November 14, 2007) – There were two common themes conveyed by the bevy of boxers seated at the dais at today’s final press conference leading up to Friday night’s debut of world class professional boxing on the SIMPLY beautiful Caribbean Island of St. Lucia: All of the fighters expressed their gratitude to the people of St. Lucia for welcoming them with open arms and treating them first-class, and they are all ready to “Get It On.”
Presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions and the St. Lucia Tourist Board, “Showtime In Paradise” will emanate from the Beausejour Cricket Ground, situated in the tourist resort area of Rodney Bay on the island's northeast coast, and will be televised worldwide on Showtime Network’s “ShoBox: The New Generation”.
The six-bout card will feature a pair of explosive 10-round battles. In the Main Event, Teke Oruh (14-0, 6 KO, Port Harcourt, Nigeria) will square off against Minnesota’s Joey Abell (17-1, 17 KO, Minneapolis, MN) in a clash of hard-hitting heavyweights. 2004 sole U.S. Olympic gold medalist and Oakland, California native Andre Ward (13-0, 8 KOs) will face his toughest test to date as he dukes is out with Roger Cantrell (12-0, 8 KO), of Puyallup, Washington in a clash of unbeaten super middleweights.
“I don’t know much about Joey except that he is a 6-5 southpaw,” admitted Oruh, who was originally scheduled to fight Cristobal Arreola. I trained hard for Arreola and continued to for this fight.”
Despite prodding from promoter and press conference emcee, Dan Goossen, Oruh avoided any predictions of a knockout. “All I can say is for sure I am going to win.”
Abell, whose 17 wins have all come via knockout, said while cleverly dismissing questions from Goossen as to which of his hands has the most power, “This is a big opportunity for me and I am looking forward to it. I intend on putting on a good show for the people of St. Lucia.”
As to his feelings on facing Andre Ward, Cantrell stated that “He’s the real deal and I am here to take that away from him. I hope he brings his A game because I am bringing mine. I’m ready to get this on and showcase everything I’ve been working on here in beautiful St. Lucia.”
“I am excited to be here and I thank the people of St. Lucia,” Ward opened. “They are first class and make you feel right at home. I am locked in and focused and I will bring on the heat. In Roger Cantrell I am facing a big test and I need to be tested. I need to see what I’ve got and know I can get to the next level.”
James Prince, Ward’s manager, affirmed that “This show is being televised by ‘ShoBox: The New Generation.’ Well, Andre Ward IS the New Generation and look for him to make Roger Cantrell a believer on Friday night.
Not to be outdone, Cantrell’s manager/promoter fired back: “They have a lot of crow here in St. Lucia. He’ll (Prince) have to eat it.”
Former 3-time world champion William Joppy (38-4-1, 29 KO, Washington, DC), now fighting as a super middleweight, makes his Goossen Tutor debut against veteran Etienne Walker (32-27-2, 21 KO, Warren OH) in a scheduled 8-rounder.
“When I got off the plane, the people of St. Lucia welcome me with open arms,” Joppy said. “I was going through a lot of things during the times I was fighting (Bernard) Hopkins and (Jermaine) Taylor, but now I have a fresh beginning. I want to show the world I have a lot left. Don’t judge me on those two fights. When I am at my best I can’t be touched. On Friday night I will show that I'm a force to be reckoned with.”
Perhaps the biggest bout of local interest in St. Lucia pits Ashley Theophane (18-2-1, 5 KO, London, England) against Marcos Hernandez (9-9-1, 6 KO, Santo Domingo, DR) in a scheduled 8-round junior welterweight contest. Theophane’s father was born in St. Lucia, which was quite apparent to scores of islanders who flooded Goossen Tutor email inboxes inquiring if Theophane would be on the show and how to purchase tickets.
“I am very happy to be here with my people,” offered Theophane. “My father was born in Castries and I am looking forward to a big fight on Friday, but more important I am representing St. Lucia.”
In another scheduled 8-rounder, flamboyant Hector Camacho, Jr. (42-3-1, 24 KO, San Juan, PR) will look to showcase his skills against Joshua Smith (17-35-1, 17 KO).
A scheduled 6-round tilt between unbeaten Lennox Allen (8-0, 4 KO, Georgetown, Guyana) and Jonathan Nelson (16-18, 15 KO, Oklahoma City, OK) rounds out the card.
“It was our vision when we kicked this thing off with the Minister of Tourism and the Tourist Board of St. Lucia to have at least three major events moving forward,” Goossen declared. “We know why Las Vegas has fights. They want to bring people to their casinos. Well, the Minister of Sport and the Minister of Tourism have the same vision to bring people out to showcase this beautiful island of St. Lucia.”
Perhaps Andre Ward said it best when he drew up an analogy of this event to a famous one of years past.
“Nobody knew about Zaire before (Muhammad) Ali and (George) Foreman fought there,” he observed. “After Friday night’s boxing show everyone will know about St. Lucia.”
Doors open at 7:00 PM (local time) with first bout scheduled for 9:00 pm.
Goossen Tutor Promotions