LOS ANGELES (Feb. 2) – On Saturday, Feb. 18, Paul “The Punisher” Williams, Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud and Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola will bring their aggressive, knockout power and crowd-pleasing all-out action style to the great fans and city of Corpus Christi, Texas. The stacked fight card will emanate from the 9,200-seat American Bank Center Arena in an event presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions. On the SHOWTIME Championship Boxing world championship doubleheader (LIVE at 10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast), the Williams vs. Nobuhiro Ishida bout will be promoted in association with Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Promotions. The Cloud vs. Gabriel Campillo bout will be promoted by Don King Productions in association with Sampson Boxing, LLC. Arreola will battle Eric Molina to headline the preliminary bouts on SHOWTIME Extreme.
The fights from Corpus Christi — which is a two-hour drive from the Mexican border — will begin at 6:30 p.m. CT, with Arreola stepping into the ring at 8 p.m. CT. Tickets are priced at $25, $35, $50, $75, $100 and will available at the American Bank Center box office and on Ticketmaster.com starting Saturday, January 14 at 10 a.m. CT. VIP packages are also available by calling (817) 296-4546.
The 30-year old Williams (40-2, 27 KOs), a southpaw from Aiken, S.C., who twice held the WBO Welterweight Championship and the interim Super Welterweight Championship, will take on Japan's Nobuhiro Ishida (24-6-2, 9 KOs) in the scheduled 12-round junior middleweight main event.
“The Punisher” takes on Ishida with his sights strictly on re-establishing his reputation as “The World's Most Feared Boxer.” Fighting just three times in the past two years, Williams is looking to stay busier and getting back to dominant victories. Before sustaining a devastating second-round knockout in a WBC World Middleweight championship bout against Sergio Martinez in November 2010, Williams was involved in one of the more unique victories in boxing when Kermit Cintron took a nosedive through the ropes and landed on the floor beneath the ring, declaring himself unable to continue. After the Martinez bout, Williams took on the challenge of Cuban Erislandy Lara back in July of last year and earned what many considered a very controversial decision win, despite the fact Williams threw and connected with more punches than Lara.
In facing the 36-year old Ishida, Williams will be taking on a dangerous veteran who, back in April of last year, handed current WBC Continental Americas Super Welterweight Champion James Kirkland his first defeat in 28 fights by knocking him down three times en route to a first-round stoppage in Las Vegas – his only fight on American soil to date. After his KO loss to Ishida, Kirkland landed a November fight with Alfredo Angulo, who had 17 knockouts in his 20 wins, and in a slugfest, he stopped Angulo in the sixth round, making Ishida's KO victory over Kirkland that much more impressive.
“I am happy to be getting back in the ring and honored to be fighting on SHOWTIME and I know 2012 is going to be a good year for me,” Williams stated. “Just like in the gym, sometimes you have good days and sometimes bad days. I had a couple of bad days against Martinez and Lara, but I am much more focused now and I intend to show everyone in Corpus Christi.
“I know Ishida is a hungry fighter and a hungry fighter is a most dangerous fighter. Lara fought over his head against me and I am going to try not to let it happen again with Ishida. I am looking to get some belts in 2012 at 154 and 160 pounds.”
“I'm coming with every intention to win, but I'm not underestimating my opponent,” said Ishida. “I respect him, but I fight for the welfare of my family. Obviously, after winning this fight I'm looking for a shot at the world title. I'm really excited to fight in the United States again, so I will put it all on the line against Paul Williams.”
Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud (23-0, 19 KOs), of Tallahassee, Fla., will be making the fourth defense of the IBF light heavyweight title he won via 12-round unanimous decision over former world champion Clinton Woods in August 2009. The undefeated, 29-year-old then successfully defended his title against Glen Johnson, Fulgencio Zuniga and Yusaf Mack.
Challenging him for the IBF belt is the very competent 33-year-old Spaniard from Madrid, Gabriel Campillo (28-3-1, 8 KOs). A former WBA light heavyweight world champion, Campillo handed current world champion Beibut Shumenov the only loss of his career – on his home soil in Kazakhstan, no less. Now, in his second trip to America, he presents a serious challenge to Cloud.
Arreola (34-2, 29 KOs), 30, from Riverside, Calif., remains determined to become the first man of Mexican descent to win a world heavyweight championship, having lost his first opportunity to long-reigning WBC Champion Vitali Klitschko back in 2009. Since experiencing his only other loss as a pro to Tomasz Adamek in April 2010, “The Nightmare” has dedicated himself to training and physical conditioning while rattling off six consecutive wins, four by knockout, weighing about 20 pounds less while doing so.
In his most recent outing back in November, Arreola traveled to Leon, Guanajuato to make his highly anticipated Mexican debut at the grand arena “El Domo” where he headlined an event promoted by Goossen Tutor and Promociones Del Pueblo and broadcast on Televisa. He stopped Raphael Butler in the third round in front of over 7,000 rousing fans in attendance.
“I am very excited about fighting on February 18 in Corpus Christi and being on SHOWTIME Extreme,” Arreola exclaimed. “I remember seeing Fernando Vargas fighting in front of a full house here and I believe I will bring that type of excitement for these great fans. I am looking to build off a positive 2011 when I showed that I could get my weight under control and take my training and conditioning more seriously. This will be the first fight of what I predict will be a big and exciting 2012 for me and my career.”
Standing directly in Arreola's path towards heavyweight supremacy, is 29-year-old Eric Molina (18-1, 14 KOs). Having tasted defeat in his professional debut, Molina and his camp went back to the drawing board to make sure that it wouldn't happen again. To this point he has been successful in that regard, defeating all of his next 18 opponents, while dispatching 14 of them by knockout.
“Six sluggers, three world champions, all in 'Triple Threat' fights,” said promoter Dan Goossen. “This will definitely be SHOWTIME for the fans in attendance and the ones watching at home”.