James Toney Headlines "Fight Night At The Tank" on May 24
02.05.07 - For more than two years, Goossen Tutor Promotions and HP Pavilion in San Jose, California have provided Bay Area boxing fans with world-class events featuring a blend of future stars and Bay Area boxers for the successful “Fight Night at the Tank” series. On Thursday, May 24, the series “American Metal and Iron Fight Night at the Tank” will be headlined by its biggest star ever, as seven-time world champion and future first ballot hall of famer, James “Lights Out” Toney makes his return to the ring in his first stage of reclaiming the world heavyweight title belt..
Article posted on 02.05.2007
In the scheduled 10-round heavyweight main attraction, Toney (69-6-3, 43 KOs), who lives in California by way of Ann Arbor, Michigan, will take on Greenwich, New York native Danny Batchelder (25-4-1, 12 KOs).
This will mark Toney’s first fight since his two battles with heavyweight giant, Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter. In his first meeting with Peter, a decision loss last September at LA’s Staples Center in front of more than 12,000 screaming fans, the Showtime TV announcers, media and fans overwhelmingly thought Toney clearly won in decisive fashion against the hard-hitting Nigerian. In the thrilling fight, Toney solidified his status as the self-proclaimed “People’s Heavyweight Champion” with his crowd-pleasing performance and star power to generate the highest televised boxing rating and third highest overall Showtime program rating of 2006. Six months earlier a crowd of 13,000 in Atlantic City, along with a highly rated HBO audience, saw Toney fight to a draw with then-WBC Heavyweight Champion Hasim Rahman. Toney’s last fight, a decision loss against Peter in their rematch, January 6, 2007 and also televised by Showtime, sold out the new Hard Rock Arena in Florida with a star-studded crowd ringside.
Television ratings and filled arenas aside, Toney’s mind is focused on taking the old George Foreman grass roots approach by getting back in the ring and fighting in front of boisterous and appreciative fans who are thrilled to see a legend on his path to the heavyweight championship.
“I’m rested and ready to fight anyone, anytime and anywhere,” Toney shouted. “It begins here in San Jose. I promise you will see the best heavyweight in the world on May 24. I come to fight. You won’t see me dancing. Hell no! I’m coming for the knockout. I am more determined than ever!”
In the 30-year old Batchelder, Toney will face an opponent who, like himself, has worked his way up from super-middleweight to the heavyweight division – albeit without all the world championship hardware Toney has worn around his waist. Batchelder holds big victories over former IBF Cruiserweight Champion Arthur Williams and in February 2006, he beat Charles Davis to capture the WBC Continental Americas Cruiserweight title.
Also added on the card is San Jose’s Ricardo “El Guero” Cortes (19-1-1, 14 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round middleweight co-feature. Cortes, whose only defeat came via disqualification, recently signed a promotional agreement with Goossen Tutor and is anxious to fight in front of his hometown fans after a 10-month layoff.
“I am looking forward to getting back in the ring in San Jose at The Tank. It’s my home,” the 27-year old Cortes, who will be fighting professionally in his hometown for the 14th time, offered. “Now that my career is being guided by Goossen Tutor, I will be more active and in line for some bigger fights in my pursuit of a world title.”
Promoter Dan Goossen was only too pleased to be able to present a boxer of Toney’s stature to the faithful following that have turned up in the thousands for each event of the “Fight Night at the Tank” series.
“Back in March we promoted world class local favorites Andre Ward, the sole Olympic Gold Medallist, and fan favorite Chuy Rodriguez to the Bay Area fans,” Goossen observed. “When I heard the tremendous response James Toney received for his VIP visit with the fans on the March 29 card at The Tank, it was a no brainer to see if he would be willing to fight in front of these great fans. He enjoyed the reception so much, and witnessed the enthusiasm of the fans and actually said to me they ‘were some of the most enthusiastic fans in the world.’ There was absolutely no hesitation from him when I mentioned the idea of fighting there on May 24. It is a perfect match of a great fighter and appreciative and great fans!
“In addition, the fans will be treated to our latest signing and local sensation Ricardo Cortes. We have high expectations and tremendous confidence in him,” Goossen added. “He is a terrific talent who will achieve great success in this sport.”
The event will be promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions and Don King Productions in association with American Metal and Iron Fight Night at the Tank. The doors will open at 6:30PM PT with the first bout starting at 7:30PM PT with tickets ranging from $25-$75. On sale next Monday, April 30 at 10 a.m. at the HP Pavilion ticket office, online at tickemaster.com or by phone at 408-998-TIXS, 415-421-TIXS or 510-625-TIXS
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