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GL: What’s the latest and greatest with Goossen Tutor Promotions? “This Friday, Travis Walker fights on Showtime in the ShoBox main event. He’s fighting the once beaten TJ Wilson, the former amateur star and Walker’s third top national amateur champion in his last five fights. It’s a big heavyweight fight for Travis.”
GL: What’s the latest with James Toney?
Dan Goossen: “I’m meeting with James and John Arthur tomorrow to discuss exactly that. He’s getting ready to fight and we’re hoping to get him back in the ring in December or the first part of the new year.”
GL: I spoke with Jirov recently. He’s still very interested in the Toney rematch and seems to think it will happen in the near future, is that the case?
DG: “Greg with the way the heavyweight division is right now, I don’t know if Vassiliy is in those plans for James. We haven’t pursued that fight recently, but the current landscape in the heavyweight division is filled with mandatories and hopes of unification. Some champions leaning toward unification, and others needing to respect their mandatory obligations. Once these mandatory fights are completed, there’s going to be an opportunity for a title fight for a fighter like James. He will get another shot and hopefully he can take advantage of it with a victory. James always likes to take the path that few have traveled.”
GL: Over the weekend Sultan Ibragimov defeated Evander Holyfield. How confident are you that Tony Thompson, his mandatory who you promote, will be enforced next?
DG: “I’ve had conversations with everyone with Ibragimov. It’s certainly a fight that Tony is ready to move forward with immediately. We’ll obviously know more within the next week or so. I’ve had good discussions with Sampson and Leon and it’s a fight that we’ve been talking about for six months now. I’ve told Tony he’ll get his shot in 2008, one way or the other. Tony and his manager Nate Peake have been patient men knowing we’re working to get Tony that world title fight as soon as possible. The key is Tony knows that it is mandated and his opportunity is there. I also believe that Tony is the dark horse in the heavyweight division. I know his name is not on the lips of many media or television executives out there, but once they get a good look at Tony, especially at this level, they’ll find out a lot more about him inside and outside the ring, and they’re going to fall in love with him. He’s a very charismatic person for somebody who is so respectful and quiet. I truly believe that he’s going to excite a lot of the fans in the heavyweight division and become a strong world champion.”
GL: Everyone knows about the possible unification between Klitschko and Ibragimov. Would you advise Tony to step aside if he were guaranteed the unified champion in writing?
DG: “We’ve never closed the door on any sensible business discussions and would look at anything that made sense. But our desire is to get in the ring immediately challenging for the WBO title. That’s our number one desire. Tony has earned his shot in the ring and he’s been very classy in waiting for his opportunity. He’s very ancy to get that WBO belt around his waist and knows the only way to do it is getting into the ring with the champion.”
GL: When will Paul Williams return to the ring?
DG: “Paul will be fighting in the first part of 2008. We’re still working on the possible challenges, including Kermit Cintron. Paul has always wanted the biggest challenges and fights, and we’re still pursuing all roads in that direction.”
GL: Can you give us some thoughts on Guerrero-Honrio?
DG: “We were very disappointed that the Juarez fight fell apart because it would have given Robert the opportunity to show the media and fans of his growth inside the ring against a known warrior such as Juarez. Honorio is a tough fighter, but an unknown one. So it’s Robert’s job to go out there and have a devastating performance to put himself in the thick of things in the 126 and 130 pound divisions. Right now it’s one of the hottest divisions in boxing. With a statement type of performance, Robert has the ability to put himself right there at the top of the class with the other 126 and 130 pounders, starting with Manny P.”
GL: Who are some of the opponents under consideration for Toney’s return?
DG: “When you ask questions like that Greg, it comes down to what television is out there, and at what level. That’s really what we’re sifting through right now. James has always generated strong ratings and with a win or two will fight his way toward another opportunity. With his marquee name he will get his shot. James will be in the ring soon, against whom and on what network is what we’re dealing with now. All I know, he’s ready for some body contact, so the sooner the better.”
GL: Give us some thoughts on the Chambers-Brock fight.
DG: “This IBF heavyweight tournament is good for TV, good for the fighters, and great for the fans. The winner of this tournament clearly will have earned their right to fight Klitschko. We believe that Eddie Chambers will perform to the level that he needs to in order to win this tournament. Calvin Brock is obviously a formidable challenge. His only lost was to Klitschko and we’re very familiar with Calvin having promoted him for three or four years earlier in his career. Eddie is a very deceiving heavyweight. People look at him and they take his size as a disadvantage thinking he can’t beat the bigger heavyweights. On November 2 I’m very confident he’s going to show that the size of the heart, ability and speed is more important than the size of the man.”
“The winner of this fight on November 2 fights the winner of the Povetkin and Byrd fight on October 27. Many experts are picking the Russian to beat Chris. I don’t think Povetkin has met anyone as formable as Chris, but if he beats him, it’s going to setup a great match-up, if Chambers is successful which I believe he will be, with two of the hottest young heavyweights in the world today.’
GL: What’s good with Chris Arreola?
DG: “On November 16 the fans will be lounging in their beach chairs watching the waves roll in on the Caribbean as they get ready for Showtime in Paradise. One of the most exciting locales that we’ve ever promoted a fight will be televised on Showtime from the beautiful Island of St. Lucia. Andre Ward fights the undefeated Roger Cantrell in Andre’s first scheduled ten round bout. Brian Halquist, the promoter of Cantrell, believes his fighter will pull the upset. Andre, not one to take any challenge lightly, has stepped up his training and I believe we will see those results taking him to the next level in his professional career. Cantrell is a real warrior, but Ward has a special gift inside the ring. Cristobal Arreola defends his WBC Continental Americas title when he takes on another undefeated tough challenger in Teke Oruh in the main event. November 16 is going to be an exciting night for boxing and the fans in St. Lucia. We expect a sellout of over 5,000 screaming fans enjoying a sport few have seen at this level locally. Starting with this Friday night fight with Walker vs. Wilson, it is one young heavyweight contender after another, all televised on Showtime’s ShoBox the New Generation series. Chambers vs. Brock, Arreola against Oruh and the 168 pound Olympic Gold Medalist, Andre Ward. The series that features these young hot fighters showcasing their skills to see how close they are to the big stage begins at Raley Stadium in Sacramento Friday and concludes on a beautiful tropical island in St. Lucia November 16, 2008 is going to be a great year for each and every one of these young men, and especially for the fans.”