LOS ANGELES (June 1, 2005) - Long seen as boxing's glamour division, the heavyweights have always captured the imagination of fight fans the world over. On Thursday, June 9, from the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California, Goossen Tutor Promotions is proud to present "The Best Damn Heavyweight Show Period," an action-packed card which will feature the present and future of the game's most compelling division.
In the main event, Great Britain's 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist Audley "A-Force" Harrison faces always-exciting Robert Davis, and in the co-feature, Kirk Johnson continues on his climb back to a heavyweight title shot as he squares off against Cuban bomber Yanqui Diaz.
"The wait is over for me and my fans," said the unbeaten Harrison. "On June 9 people will realize I am ready to begin the next phase of my career that will end up with the heavyweight championship of the world."
Both bouts are scheduled for ten rounds, and Harrison's bout will be televised live on FSN's hit show "Best Damn Sports Show Period" beginning at 8pm ET / and 8pm PT (delay).
A native of England who has relocated his base of operations to Las Vegas, Audley Harrison (17-0, 12 KOs) is seen as a can't-miss prospect for world title honors. Blessed with size, power, and a veteran’s ring savvy, "A-Force" was coming off an impressive defense of his WBF heavyweight title against Tomasz Bonin last June before suffering an injury in the fall. Now making his first start since healing from the torn ligament in his finger, Harrison is poised to make a run at greatness in the coming months.
"I feel in great shape, my fitness is excellent and my hand has fully healed," said Harrison. "I have always said 2005 would be the year I go for it and coming back on national television in the United States is a testament to the seriousness of what I plan to do."
Promoter Dan Goossen said "Right now we have one or two heavyweights out there that the media and fans are looking to as the future of this prestigious division. Once they see Audley on June 9, I believe he will immediately ascend to the top of this list. He has it all, size, strength, power and most importantly, the mindset."
Harrison's opponent, Robert Davis (31-6, 19 KOs), has faced some of the best fighters the heavyweight division has had to offer during his exciting eight year career, including former world champions Greg Page and Michael Moorer, as well as top contenders Monte Barrett, Joe Mesi and Michael Grant. A two-fisted power puncher with a crowd-pleasing style, Davis brings a three-fight unbeaten knockout streak into the ring with him on June 9.
Nova Scotia's Kirk Johnson (35-2-1, 26 KOs) is unquestionably one of the most talented heavyweight fighters on the planet, having been at or around the top of the division for the last five years. But he has fallen short of the pinnacle with losses to current champions Vitali Klitschko and John Ruiz, and he is well aware that he needs a few big wins to get back into serious contention. The 32-year-old Johnson is ready to make that commitment, starting now.
"He's in one of these positions that normally bring out the best in an athlete-- a do or die fight. It's win or forever hold your peace. Not only does Kirk have to win, but he needs to win pretty, something he is very capable of doing. It won't be easy though against Diaz, who is virtually in the same position and just as hungry for redemption," stated Goossen.
Cuban banger Yanqui Diaz (13-2, 8 KOs) may not have a lot of professional fights, but his record against highly regarded competition like Juan Carlos Gomez and Vaughn Bean speaks for itself, and he would like nothing better than to add the name of Kirk Johnson to his list of high-profile victims. A native of Pinar Del Rio now living in Las Vegas, Diaz broke onto the world scene in 2004 with a first round blowout of the then-unbeaten former cruiserweight champion Gomez. Diaz is coming off a loss to rising star Samuel Peter in January, but a win over Johnson will quickly erase that defeat in the eyes of the boxing public.
And the heavyweight action doesn't stop there, as 2002 National Golden Gloves champion and promising pro prospect Malcolm "The Showstopper" Tann (15-1, 8 KOs) takes on his most imposing challenge to date in former world title challenger Vaughn Bean (45-5, 34 KOs) in a ten round contest, and 2003 National Golden Gloves champ Travis Walker (10-0, 8 KOs) puts his unbeaten record on the line in a six rounder against Chicago's Lamar Stephens (6-1-1, 3 KOs).
Opening up the show will be a welterweight bout featuring another National Golden Gloves champion, Michigan's Lorenzo Reynolds (5-0, 3 KOs), in a six rounder.
Tickets are priced at $125, $100 and $75, online w/credit card; or please call the Pechanga Resort & Casino box-office at 951-303-2507 or toll free 888-711-2WIN; or visit the Pechanga box-office between 10am - 10pm daily.
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?