Tarver & Forrest Headline SHOWTIME Championship Boxing Season Finale
(October 18, 2007) – Talk about saving the best for last! SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will present a world title tripleheader as its season finale featuring light heavyweight champion ANTONIO “MAGIC MAN” TARVER, super welterweight champion VERNON “THE VIPER” FORREST and flyweight champion NONITO DONAIRE, on Saturday, December 1. Promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, the Tarver-Forrest-Donaire world title extravaganza will be televised live from Foxwoods Resort Casino, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast.) Tickets, priced at $250, $150, $125, $100 and $75, are on sale now and can be purchased at www.foxwoods.com or by calling (800) 200-2882..
Article posted on 18.10.2007
Tarver (25-4, 18 KOs), from Tampa, Fla., who is serving his fourth term as light heavyweight champion, will be defending his International Boxing Organization title against former World Boxing Council interim world champion and current top-five contender Danny Green. For Tarver, this fight brings him full circle, back to Foxwoods where he won his first world championship belts -- the vacant World Boxing Council and IBF titles -- via a unanimous decision over former world champion Montell Griffin (120-106 on all three judges’ cards) on April 26, 2003.
There was no looking back for Tarver as he sought to challenge the biggest names in his division, backing up his patter with extraordinary victories. Tarver’s roster of world champion victims reads like a who’s who of boxing: Roy Jones, Jr. (KO 2, W 12), Glen Johnson (W 12), Reggie Johnson (W 12) and Griffin. He recaptured the IBO title in his last fight, winning a 12-round decision over Elvir Muriqi (34-3, 21 KOs), on June 9 on SHOWTIME. Boxing’s true Renaissance man, Tarver has expanded his horizons into the entertainment field where he landed a feature role in last year’s blockbuster motion picture “Rocky Balboa,” starring Sylvester Stallone, garnering boffo reviews.
Green (24-3, 22 KOs), from Perth, Australia, is looking for his second world title in as many divisions when he challenges Tarver. Green has won eight (six by knockout) of his last 10 bouts, including the WBC interim super middleweight title by knocking out former World Boxing Council champion Eric Lucas in 2003. He has won his last three fights by stoppage, all for the IBF Pan Pacific and PABA light heavyweight titles, and has moved solidly into the Top-10 world rankings at No. 3 in the IBF, No. 5 in the WBC, No. 8 in the WBO and WBA.
Forrest (39-2, 28 KOs), from Atlanta, Ga., is a two-time welterweight champion. He added world title no. 3 to his trophy case in July when he fought a masterclass against former world champion Carlos Baldomir, to capture the vacant WBC super welterweight title. For Forrest it was as much a personal triumph as it was a professional one.
Forrest, who has suffered a variety of physical ailments for most of his career, returned to the ring after successful shoulder surgery happy and healthy for the first time in many years. Forrest’s unanimous decision victory over Baldomir capped one of boxing’s best comeback stories in recent years. With a resume that boasts victories over world champions Sugar Shane Mosley (twice), Ike Quartey and Vince Phillips, Forrest has only lost to one man in his professional career – Ricardo Mayorga.
Since losing a very close majority decision to Mayorga in 2003, Forrest finally had shoulder surgery, returning to the ring after extensive physical rehabilitation in 2005, and fashioning a four-fight winning streak against Sergio Rios, Elco Garcia, Quartey and Baldomir. The combined record of this quartet when Forrest faced them was a sterling 116-16-7 – a winning percentage of 83%.
Forrest will have his hands full when he faces mandatory challenger Michele Piccirillo (48-3, 30 KOs), from Modugno, Puglia, Italy. Piccirillo is no stranger when it comes to fighting for world titles since he held the IBF welterweight title, capturing it in 2003 via unanimous decision over two-division world champion Cory Spinks. Piccirillo, whose professional resume includes victories over world champions Rafael Pineda, Juan Martin Coggi and Frankie Randall, returns to the ring riding a four-fight winning streak, including EBU title victories over Lukas Konecny, Luca Messi and Michael Jones, who had a combined record of 83-9-1 – a winning percentage of 89% when he fought them.
Donaire (18-1, 11 KOs), from General Santos City, The Philippines, returns to the ring fresh from the upset victory of the year – his July 7 demolition of undefeated IBF/IBO flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan on SHOWTIME. Darchinyan, who had successfully defended his title seven times – six by knockout – during his three-year reign, was totally befuddled by the boxing clinic the fearless Donaire was putting on. But nothing prepared Darchinyan for the one-punch knockout Donaire leveled on him in round five. So devastating was the knockout that Darchinyan had to be shown the replay to believe he had actually been knocked out.
For Donaire, it was the end of fighting in obscurity. A resident of San Leandro, California, Donaire was honored with a parade in his native Philippines, where he was feted by government officials and fans. He is riding a six-year, 17-bout winning streak.
SHOWTIME announcers Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast will be David Dinkins Jr., with Bob Dunphy directing.
For information on SHOWTIME Sports Programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://www.sho.com/sports.
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