TAMPA, FL (July 29, 2005) – The round card girls won’t be the only knockouts in the ring at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida on August 6, promoter Gary Shaw announced today a quintet of undefeated contenders who will be highlighting the nine-bout undercard of the Jeff Lacy-Robin Reid IBF/IBO super middleweight championship.
SHOWTIME will televise the main event live, beginning at 9 P.M. ET/PT (Delayed on the west coast.)
“BAD” CHAD DAWSON, 18-0 (12 KOs), NICK CASAL, 11-0 (11 KOs), AMERICO SANTOS, 21-0 (17 KOs), JOHN MURRAY, 12-0 (6 KOs), and “THE MENSA MAULER” CHAZZ WITHERSPOON, 6-0 (4 KOs), combined have an amazing – and perfect – 68-0 (50 KOs) record. Less than 23% of their opponents have made it to hear the judges’ decisions against them.
Dawson, the 6’2” middleweight from New Haven, was the 2000 U.S. National Under-19 165-pound amateur champion. He has a professional resum – nearly four years long – that belies his 21-years-of-age. Since knocking out Dumont Welliver, 14-5-1, in 2003 to capture the vacant WBC Youth middleweight title his first 10-rounder and 14th professional fight overall, Dawson stepped up his level of opposition in 2004, all in defense of his title. He scored a 10-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Darnell “The Ding-A-Ling Man” Wilson, 8-0-1, on scores of 100-90, 100-90 and 98-91. He followed that with a seventh-round TKO of former world champion Carl Daniels, 49-4-1. Daniels entered that fight with an 11-1-1 record in his previous 13 fights, with his sole loss coming from middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins. In his last bout, April 1, 2005, Dawson knocked out Efraín García, 17-4-1, in the fourth round, propelling him to his current rating of No. 1 in the NABF and No. 11 in the WBC.
Witherspoon, 23, the 6'3 heavyweight from Philadelphia, PA, was an alternate on the 2004 U.S. Olympic team. A cousin of former two-time world heavyweight champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, Chazz returns to the ring fresh from his May graduation from St. Joseph’s University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Marketing – on a complete academic scholarship. Chazz captured the 2004 National Golden Gloves Championship, winning all his bouts by knockout – a feat never accomplished before in the history of the tournament.
Santos, 22, from Garland TX, made his pro-debut on May 10, 2002, one month shy of his 19th birthday. The heavy-handed slugger won his first 11 fights by knockout, including a streak of six-straight first-round triumphs. His professional resume includes Texas State lightweight and jr. welterweight titles as well as the IBA Continental lightweight championship. Santos is currently rated No. 9 by the NABF, No. 10 by the USBA and No. 21 by the WBC.
Casal, 19, a jr. welterweight from Niagara Falls, NY, is well on his way to knocking out his age with 11 KOs in as many pro fights – and we’re only in July! After a tremendous amateur career, Casal, who is trained by his father Ray, turned professional in June 2004, signing with manager Shelly Finkel and promoter Shaw. Already he is rated No. 16 by the NABF and No. 40 by the WBC.
Murray, 20, the lightweight wunderkind from Manchester, England, is already being touted as the heir apparent to IBF jr. welterweight champion and Manchester native Ricky Hatton.
The undercard will also feature the farewell fight of three-time world title challenger “Diamond” David Santos, from St. Petersburg, FL.
Tickets: Tickets for this event are on sale at the McDONALD’S BOX OFFICE at the St. Pete Times Forum and all Ticketmaster outlets. To order tickets by phone, call Ticketmaster at 813.287.8844 or 727.898.2100. For more information please call 813.301.2500 or visit www.stpetetimesforum.com. The only remaining tickets are priced at $100 and $50. Prices do not include service charges or facility fees. For dinner reservations at Medallions Restaurant on the night of the event please call 813.301.6926. A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit MacDill Air Force Base charities.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV