SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING to Feature World Championship Tripleheader
Sports Editors & Boxing Writers
NEW YORK–(BW SportsWire)–March 17, 2000
WBA Cruiserweight Champion Fabrice Tiozzo
WBA No. 2 Cruiserweight Contender Valery Vikhor
WBO Junior Welterweight Champion Randall Bailey
WBO No. 4 Junior Welterweight Contender Ray “Rocky”
WBA Super Middleweight Champion Byron Mitchell
WBA No. 1 Super Middleweight Contender Bruno
Saturday, April 8, 2000, at 10 p.m. ET/PT
From Palais Omnisports de Paris – Bercy in Paris, France
World Boxing Association (WBA) Cruiserweight Champion Fabrice Tiozzo will make his fourth title defense when he takes on WBA No. 2 contender Valery Vikhor in the main event of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING fight card on Saturday, April 8, from Palais Omnisports de Paris – Bercy in Paris.
In the co-featured main events, Randall Bailey will make the second defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight title when he takes on WBO No. 4 contender Ray “Rocky” Martinez, and WBA Super Middleweight Champion Byron Mitchell will defend his crown for the second time in a rematch against WBA No. 1 contender Bruno Girard.
The televised fight card, promoted by Don King Productions Inc., will be telecast via same day tape delay on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Tiozzo (41-1, 27 KOs), of St. Denis, France, captured the WBA cruiserweight title in a 12-round unanimous decision over Nate Miller on Nov. 8, 1997, in Las Vegas. Tiozzo has made three successful title defenses since, including a first-round knockout over Terry Ray and a second-round stoppage of Ezequiel Paixao in his native France in 1998.
In his lone effort of 1999, Tiozzo retained his crown by scoring a seventh-round technical knockout over Ken Murphy on Nov. 13 in Las Vegas. Prior to moving up in weight, Tiozzo won the World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight title by upsetting Mike McCallum on June 16, 1995, in Lyon, France.
Vikhor (23-7-4, 10 KOs), of Lutsk, Ukraine, is the Pan-Asian Boxing Association 190-pound champion. He has won eight out of his last 10 starts (8-1-1) dating back to March 1996. The bout against Tiozzo marks Vikhor’s third consecutive start in France, and sixth overall. The battling Ukranian is unbeaten in his last four bouts, including a points win over Samuel Florimund in his last start on Aug. 7, 1999.
Bailey (20-0, 20 KOs), of Miami, will be making his European debut. The undefeated Floridian knocked out Carlos “Bolillo” Gonzalez in the first round in May 1999 to win the WBO junior welterweight title. In his initial defense on Dec. 11, Bailey scored a ninth-round technical knockout over Hector Lopez. The 24-year-old has dominated his opponents, knocking out everyone he has faced. In fact, only two of Bailey’s fights have lasted into the seventh round.
Martinez (32-3-1, 17 KOs), of Chicago, is the WBO Latin American junior welterweight champion. He captured the title with an eighth-round TKO of Roberto Nunez on Nov. 13, 1998, and made his only defense in April 1999 by defeating Javier Carmona in a 12-round decision. In his only prior world championship appearance, Martinez dropped a 12-round decision on Nov. 4, 1995, to then-International Boxing Federation (IBF) Lightweight Champion Philip Holiday.
Mitchell (20-0-1, 16 KOs), from Ozark, Ala., has scored six knockouts in his last seven bouts. Following a punishing third-round stoppage of Carlos Sanabria in March 1999, Mitchell captured the WBA super middleweight title with an 11th-round technical knockout over Frankie Liles in Wilmington, Mass., on June 12, 1999. Coming from behind to floor the quick champion for the third time in round 11, Mitchell was awarded the belt via technical knockout due to the three-knockdown rule.
In the first defense of his WBA super middleweight title, Mitchell took on Girard in the main event of a SHOWTIME card from Tunica, Miss., on Dec. 11, 1999. In a see-saw battle, Mitchell retained his title in a disputed split-decision draw. The judges scored the bout 114-114, 116-114 for Mitchell, and 115-113 in favor of Girard.
Girard (36-2-1, 5 KOs), from Blois, France, first won the French Championship by defeating Jean Tsidjo in Levallois, France, in April 1996. It was a title Girard would successfully defend four times before defeating Andrei Schkalikov for the European Championship in April 1999. German Jurgen Hartenstein was unable to take the Frenchman’s title in Girard’s last bout prior to the first showdown with Mitchell on June 7, 1999.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s Steve Albert, “Fight Doctor” Ferdie Pacheco and former world champion Bobby Czyz will call the action from ringside. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast is Jay Larkin with David Dinkins producing and Bob Dunphy directing.
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