Showtime Championship Boxing Update

Toney vs. Guinn

Byrd vs. Williamson

Marquez vs. Mabuza

 

October 1, 2005

Reno Events Center

Reno, Nevada

 9:15 PM ET/PT*

 

 

IBA Heavyweight Title Bout (12 Rds)

James Toney (68-4-2, 43 KOs) vs. Dominick Guinn (25-2-1, 18 KOs)

 

IBF Heavyweight Title Bout (12 Rds)

Champion Chris Byrd (38-2-1, 20 KOs) vs. DaVarryl "Touch of Sleep" Williamson (22-3, 18 KOs)

IBF Bantamweight Title Bout (12 Rds)

Champion Rafael Marquez (34-3, 30 KOs) vs. Silence "African Spice" Mabuza (18-0, 15 KOs)

 

 

________________________________________________

 

 

Showtime Championship Boxing To Present

The Return of James Toney,

IBF Heavyweight and Bantamweight World Titles
 


NEW YORK  - Lights (Out), camera, action!! Heavyweight superstar James Toney is back and returning to

the ring on SHOWTIME.

 

The charismatic, talented Toney and Dominick "The Southern Disaster" Guinn will lock horns in what is

sure to be an action-packed 12-round International Boxing Association (IBA) heavyweight title main event on

a terrific SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader Saturday, Oct. 1, 2005, at 9:15 p.m. ET/PT

(delayed on the west coast).

 

In two other 12-round bouts on the sensational card, International Boxing Federation (IBF) Heavyweight

Champion Chris Byrd will defend his title against IBF No. 3 contender and mandatory challenger, DaVarryl

"Touch of Sleep" Williamson, while IBF Bantamweight Champion Rafael Marquez defends his belt for

the sixth time when he takes on International Boxing Organization (IBO) 118-pound champion/IBF No. 1

contender, Silence Mabuza.

 

Gary Shaw Productions, in association with Goossen Tutor Promotions and Don King Productions, will

promote the event from the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nev.

 

Toney (68-4-2, 43 KOs), of Grand Rapids, Mich., will be make his first start since he fought for the World

Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight crown on April 30, 2005, in New York. Toney easily outpointed

defending champion John Ruiz to take the title, but the bout was later ruled a no-decision when Toney

tested positive for a banned substance.

 

"No matter what happens, I know I did not cheat or take any illegal substances," Toney, whose suspension

ended July 30, said. "Keep in mind when the topic of steroids and drugs surface in the sport, James Toney

states there is no need and has never been a need for me to indulge at all in any illegal substances to help

me beat anybody."

 

Toney had a "Lights Out" 12 months in 2003. He was named "Fighter of the Year" for his victories over

Vassiliy Jirov and Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield. On April 26, he shocked the boxing world by

scoring one knockdown en route to winning an electrifying 12-round decision over the then-undefeated Jirov

for the IBF cruiserweight title. Then, the following Oct. 4, he dominated the legendary five-time heavyweight

champion Holyfield, knocking him down once en route to a one-sided ninth-round TKO.

 

"I have always been ready to fight anybody out there, any time, anywhere," Toney said. "I will knock them all

over. My talent speaks for itself."

 

Guinn (25-2-1, 18 KOs), of Hot Springs, Ark., was highly regarded when he turned pro at age 25 on June 16,

2000. He had his way at the outset of his career and won his initial 24 starts. But he has suffered some

setbacks in recent bouts, going 1-2-1. Guinn knows that he needs a victory badly to help resurrect his

promising career.

 

"It is now or never," Guinn said. "For me, fighting James Toney is like fighting for the undisputed heavyweight

world title.

 

"When I beat Toney, I will show people what I am all about. I know I can perform at a higher level. It was

almost too easy for me at the beginning. But this is the ultimate challenge and I am ready for it.''

 

Guinn, who began boxing at age nine, compiled a 290-26 amateur record. He captured several titles,

including the Junior World Championships (1993), the National Golden Gloves ('97 and '99), the U.S. National

Championships ('98) and a bronze medal at the Goodwill Games ('98).

 

The hard-hitting heavyweight emerged as a force to be reckoned with on June 7, 2003, when he stopped

former title contender Michael Grant in the seventh round from New York. Guinn floored Grant four times

before the referee stopped the contest.

 

On March 27, 2004, Guinn lost his first bout as a pro when he suffered a 10-round split-decision to the more

experienced Monte Barrett in Little Rock, Ark, by the scores 93-97 twice and 96-94.

 

Guinn rebounded to register a 23-second, first-round knockout over Phil Jackson in his next start. However,

Guinn dropped a 10-round decision to Sergei Liakhovich on Dec. 3, 2004, and boxed a 10-round draw with

Friday Ahunanya on April 22, 2005.

 

Byrd (38-2-1, 20 KOs), of Flint, Mich., captured the World Boxing Organization (WBO) heavyweight title on

April 1, 2000, with a ninth-round TKO over Vitali Klitschko in Berlin, Germany. Although trailing on all the

scorecards after nine rounds, Byrd captured the victory and championship when the bout was stopped before

the 10th-round bell had sounded because of a Klitschko shoulder injury.

 

"I have tried to make Klitschko fight me again so we can know who the true heavyweight champion is, but I

do not think he wants to fight me," Byrd said. "I am willing to fight anybody. I am not worried about Klitschko

anymore. If he says he is the true champion, let us do it again."

 

The WBO belt went back to the Klitschko family when Vitali's brother, Wladimir, outpointed Byrd by the

scores 120-106, 119-107 and 118-108 on Oct. 14, 2000, in Cologne, Germany.

Byrd proved he was the real deal when he defeated Holyfield for the IBF title on Dec. 14, 2002, in Atlantic

City, N.J. Byrd was victorious by the scores 117-111 twice and 116-112.

 

"After the Holyfield fight, the world saw that I can stay in there with the great heavyweights because I beat

one of them," Byrd said. "I beat him to the punch all night long. I showed that I could trade with him and

compete with the big boys. For me, it had been a long time coming."

 

Byrd has made three successful IBF defenses, the last coming on a hard-fought, 12-round split decision over

Jameel McCline on Nov. 13, 2004, in New York. The champion trailed early after going down in the second,

but came on strongly to win five of the last six rounds on all three judges' scorecards to triumph 115-112,

114-113 and 112-114.

 

"The way I fought back, I showed I am a true champion," Byrd said. "I had to dig down. McCline weighed 270

pounds. I definitely did enough to win the fight. I am a champion."

 

Williamson (22-3, 18 KOs), of Washington D.C., has won his last two fights following a split fifth-round

technical decision loss to Wladimir Klitschko Oct. 2, 2004, on SHOWTIME. In his last outing, Williamson

scored two knockdowns en route to registering an exciting second-round TKO over Derrick Jefferson on

April 30, 2005, in New York.

 

"Byrd and I are friends,'' Williamson said. "He and his wife sat with my wife at ringside during the Jefferson

fight not knowing I would be his next opponent. It is emotional because we like each other, and happen to

like a lot of the same things. I teach his son little drills in basketball. I know his sister, Tracy. But we have to

put our friendship aside, obviously. I will find a way to win on Oct. 1."

 

However, Williamson's familiarity with Byrd also could change the dynamics of the fight.

 

"I have used five different sparring partners," Williamson said. "Byrd has a very unique style, and you cannot

find just one person to emulate him. You have to do different things in case Byrd gets into his boxing mode

where he moves around the ring, or if he wants to stand there and still move and dare you to throw punches

at him.

 

"I have to be prepared for him. He is one of the best-conditioned heavyweights, and is one of the best boxers

out there. He is the longest reigning heavyweight of the four we have today."

 

Marquez (34-3, 30 KOs), of Mexico City, Mexico, has successfully defended his title five times since

knocking out previously undefeated champion Tim Austin in the eighth round on Feb. 23, 2002.

 

"I did not go for it early because Austin hit me with some shots to the body that really hurt," Marquez said.

"My corner told me I had to quit wasting time, so I just went for it all in the eighth.''

 

Marquez, whose brother, Juan Manuel Marquez, is recognized as one of the most talented featherweights

in the world, currently is riding a 13-bout winning streak that dates to December 2000. During the streak, he

has knocked out former world champions Mark Johnson and Mauricio Pastrana. In his most recent title

defense, Marquez cruised to a 12-round decision over Ricardo Vargas on May 28, 2005, in Los Angeles.

Marquez floored his opponent in the fight's final minute to ensure the nod by the scores of 116-111 twice and

118-109.

 

"I am ready to go," Marquez said. "I cannot wait to get in the ring and silence Silence Mabuza. He has never

fought anybody of my caliber, and on Oct. 1, I will give him a boxing lesson."

 

Mabuza (18-0, 15 KOs), of Johannesburg, South Africa, captured the IBO bantamweight title in only his 11th

professional bout by knocking out Jose Sanjuanelo in the sixth round of their March 2, 2002, bout in

Brakpan, South Africa.

 

Undefeated as a pro, Mabuza successfully defended his title for a sixth time in his last bout by recording a

12-round unanimous decision over former world champion, Cruz Carbajal, on May 13, 2005, in Las Vegas.

"Marquez is a talented boxer with a distinguished ring record," Mabuza said. "Beating him will add more

value to my boxing career.

 

"I have tapes of his last couple of fights and have been keeping tabs on him. He is a tough puncher who has

a tight defense, but I feel I can take him out."

 

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING's 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 Jay

Larkin, with David Dinkins, Jr. producing and Bob Dunphy directing.

 

For information on upcoming SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and “ShoBox: The New Generation”

telecasts, including complete fighter bios and records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME

website at http://www.sho.com/boxing. 

 

* Taped Delayed on the West Coast

 

 

- Press Release issued by Showtime with a little editing from us (color, highlights, etc...)

 

 

 

(9/20/05)