Lake Buena Vista, FL (February 24, 2011) – Ray “The Emperor” Narh (24-1, 21 KO’s) returns to the ring on ESPN Friday Night Fights on March 4, defending his USNBC light-welterweight title against former world champion Freddie Norwood (43-3-1, 23 KO’s) in a 10-round co-feature bout. Narh’s fight is the lead-in to the main event of Ismayl Syllakh (14-0, 12 KO’s) defending his NABF light-heavyweight belt against No. 1 contender Yordanis Despaigne (8-0, 4 KO’s) at Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Narh has been frustrated in attempts to lure any top contender in the ring, most recently offering himself to WBA world champion Amir Khan when Khan claimed he could not find a viable opponent for an April 16 title defense. “Nobody wants to fight Ray,” says Eric Bottjer, Matchmaker for Square Ring Promotions, Narh’s promoter. “I’m constantly told that he’s ‘too good,’ or ‘too dangerous.’”
Narh hopes a win over Norwood, a former champion with an excellent record, will lead to a leap higher in the WBC ratings (Narh is currently No. 7) and an opportunity at an elusive championship fight. “Thank God the WBC has supported me,” says Narh, who inexplicably is not rated by the other sanctioning groups. “I am willing to fight anyone and willing to defend my (USNBC) title against anyone. That is what boxing should be about: the best fighting the best. All my fans from around the world, especially in the UK & Ghana, will get a chance to see me showcase my skills and defend my WBC USNBC belt on ESPN.”
“Narh had better not count his chickens before they hatch,” said former world champion Freddie Norwood. “He can forget about Kahn, Pacquiao and the other 140 lb. champions, ‘cause on March 4, after I get through kickin’ his butt, he’s gonna wish they’d found somebody other than me.”
Tickets are priced at $100 for ringside and $35 for general admission and went on sale Friday, February 11 and are available at Ticketmaster.com and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Doors at the Jostens Center will open at 7:30PM ET with the first bout scheduled for 8:00PM ET.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV