MONTELL GRIFFIN: RESURRECTION OF A CHAMPION
Fights George Khalid Jones On Nov. 3 for WBC Continental Americas
LOS ANGELES (Oct. 8, 2002) - They're
calling it a WBC Continental Americas light-heavyweight championship,
but its much more than that. When Montell Griffin (43-3, 28 KOs)
squares off with George Khalid Jones (18-1, 13 KOs) on Nov. 3 at
the Table Mountain Casino in Friant, CA, Griffin will be fighting
for more than just a title. He'll be trying to prove that some of
his best fights are still inside him.
Like the recent resurrection of James "Lights Out" Toney
and heavyweight contender Lou Savarese, Griffin is near the top
of his game, a new and improved fighter with a new promoter - Goossen
Tutor - and a new outlook and work ethic. "I feel like I'm
getting a second chance,'' said Griffin, who beat undisputed light-heavyweight
champ Roy Jones, Jr. by disqualification before losing to Jones
in a rematch. "I just need to keep fighting hard and aggressively.
This is what the fans and network executives want to see. With the
TV fights I'm getting, I stay fresh in peoples' minds. The fans
know who I am and what I can do, but I will surprise even them.
It will be all action from me in the future. The big goal is to
get another victory over (Roy) Jones.''
Griffin, ranked No. 3 by the IBF with only Antonio Tarver between
him and Jones, said he still takes his fights one at a time. "This
fight (against Khalid Jones) means everything to me,'' he said.
"But now I try to fight every fight like its a championship
fight.'' As for being under the same promotional banner as Toney
- who will fight IBF cruiserweight champ Vassiliy Jirov in January
- and Savarese, Griffin said its like we're on a team. "We're
all well-respected fighters,'' he said. "You can see Toney
is taking his career more seriously now just like me. And Savarese
is the same, he had a great fight with Tim Witherspoon. He survived
that big right hand and came out throwing a lot more punches for
Promoter Dan Goossen compared the fighters to a struggling football
team. Bring in a new coach - or promoter - and everything can change.
Teams can suddenly become contenders or champions. Sometimes its
just getting their mental preparedness at their highest level. "For
these fighters, its not about making money. Its about winning and
how to do it,'' Goossen said. "If you win, everything else
will fall into place. If it was just about the money, fighters would
be satisfied just getting into the ring. These fighters aren't like
that. Their motivation is winning, proving their critics wrong.
When a fighter has that mentality, and the ability to go along with
The fight card will also feature heavyweight prospect Cedric Boswell
(18-0, 13 KOs) who will take on tough Talmadge Griffis (21-3-3,
13 KOs) in a scheduled eight-rounder. After almost three years of
inactivity due to contract problems with his former promoters, Boswell
has fought twice in the past two months since signing with Goossen
Tutor, winning a decision over durable Melvin Foster last month
and stopping Clarence Goins in the second round in August. "I'm
on the fast track to the top 10 heavyweight world ratings, and a
victory over Griffis certainly would catapult me to that goal,"
Boswell stated. "I could have taken the safer route with a
much lesser opponent, but hey, I want it now."
In a 10-round lightweight bout, Steve Quinonez (28-6-1, 11 KOs)
of Desert Hot Springs, CA will face tough Lovemore N'Dou (31-4-1,
19 KOs) of Transvaal, Australia. Quinonez is coming off a tremendous
victory over Jose Luis Juarez, the recent victor over N'Dou in a
fight that has to be considered one of the best of the year. "N'Dou
feels a victory over Quinonez would be sweet vindication for his
close loss to Juarez" Goossen stated.
In another light-heavyweight match, IBF no. 6, Derrick Harmon (22-3,
10 KOs), who lost a decision to Griffin in July, will face former
number one contender Tim Littles (27-2, 18 KOs) of Saginaw, Mich.
Also on the undercard is heavyweight prospect Malcolm Tann, who
will be making his pro debut. The 2002 National Golden Gloves heavyweight
champion, Tann is considered one of the hottest prospects to come
out of the amateur ranks in years. "I worked with Malcolm in
1998 in the Goodwill Games,'' said Al Mitchell, who trained former
junior-middleweight champ and Olympic Gold Medallist David Reid.
"I've watched him the last two years and he's gotten so much
better. He has good height and good range and he's an outstanding
individual. If Dan (Goossen) and Tom (Brown) take their time and
bring him along, he could go a long ways in the heavyweight division.''
Tann is also a veteran of the United States Air Force and of our
war in Afghanistan. He participated in Operation Enduring Freedom
from October 2001 to February 2002. He served in Afghanistan as
a Senior Airman. He is retiring as a staff sergeant.
The fights will be televised as part of the Fox Sports Net "Sunday
Night Fights'' series and will feature beautiful ring announcer
Amy Hayes, who appeared in the March issue of Playboy magazine.
Norman D. Horton
Goossen Tutor Promotions, LLC.