HOLLYWOOD, Florida (July 26, 2005) – The heat will be on in South Florida and across the national television airwaves on Friday night, August 26, when some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division will be in action. Warriors Boxing Promotions in association with Cedric Kushner Promotions present “Heavyweight Heat” featuring a long-awaited showdown between “Merciless” Ray Mercer (34-5-1, 25 KOs) and Shannon Briggs (42-4-1, 36 KOs), and the return of top contenders David Tua (43-3-1, 38 KOs) and Jameel McCline (31-5-3,19 KOs) live on pay-per-view at the brand new Hard Rock Live Arena at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Tuaman will step into the ring against the 6’4” New York native Cisse Salif (17-4-2, 16 KOs) in a ten round affair. McCline will battle Steve Pannell (34-8, 28 KOs), a 6’4” right-hander fighting out of Salem, Virginia.
In another co-featured bout on August 26, IBF cruiserweight champion O'Neil Bell (24-1-1, 22 KOs) will defend his world title for the first time against South African strongman Sebastian Rothmann (18-3-2,12 KOs).
Also on the action-packed card, highly regarded junior welterweight contender Juan “Iron Twins” Urango (15-0-1, 12 KOs), will aim to keep his unbeaten record intact when he battles slick boxing New Yorker Andre Eason (15-3-0, 6 KOs), in a scheduled ten-rounder.
In another heavyweight bout, Lance Whitaker will also be featured in a ten round contest.
In the heavyweight main event, also scheduled for ten rounds, longtime world title contender Briggs squares off against granite-chinned warrior Mercer. It's a matchup of two fighters who both gave former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis plenty of trouble, and who have fought some of the best heavyweights in the world during the past decade. Briggs has reeled off six straight victories on the heels of a hard-fought loss to McCline at Madison Square Garden. The Brooklyn-born bruiser has won ten of his last eleven fights. Mercer has won eleven of his last twelve outings, the only loss coming at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko.
Samoan strongman Tua is one of the most feared knockout artists in the game today, as his 80% knockout ratio will attest. He has beaten top former contenders Fres Oquendo, Oleg Maskaev and Obed Sullivan. He has also turned back the challenges of some of the premiere heavyweights in the sport such as former world champions Hasim Rahman, John Ruiz and Michael Moorer. Tua was denied the chance for ultimate glory by then-champion Lennox Lewis when the two men fought.
New York-bred McCline has faced both Chris Byrd (IBF) and Wladimir Klitschko (WBO) for the heavyweight championship, and most recently lost a close split decision for the IBF title against Byrd at the Garden. McCline emerged as a bona fide contender for the title in 2000 when he reeled off seven consecutive wins against the likes of Al Cole, Lance Whitaker, Michael Grant and Shannon Briggs.
“Boxing aficionados love the heavyweights and this show will not disappoint,” said co-promoter CedricKushner. “With Tua fighting for the first time in the States in over two and a half years and McCline returning to the ring in separate bouts, [and] with Mercer slugging it out with Briggs in the main event, the card is sure to have an impact on the heavyweight landscape, and fight fans won't want to miss the first boxing show from the beautiful new Hard Rock Live Arena.”
Showtime Pay-Per-View will distribute “Heavyweight Heat” and it will be priced at $29.95.