On Sunday, March 2, 1997, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Sonne Productions, Inc., will present its "Carnival of Champions" at the University of New Orleans Keifer Lakefront Arena, in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. This event, a Live, International, All Championship Boxing Match in the "Big Easy" is generating tremendous Worldwide interest. The participants in the Six (6) scheduled Title Bouts come from Three (3) Countries on Two (2) Continents and include three (3) Louisiana fighters, Dierdre Gogarty and Jason Pappillion of Lafayette and Wayne Boudreaux of New Orleans.
The sixty-eight scheduled Title Rounds on the bout card will open with a 12 round N.A.B.U. Light Welterweight Championship bout matching Mark "King Cobra" Fernandez (32/12/1/15KO) of Denver, Colorado, with Orlando "Hollywood" Hollis (12/4/0/8KO) of Austin, Texas. Following the Fernandez/ Hollis bout will be the first of the evening's two women's 10 rounders.
W.I.B.F. World Welterweight Champion Jane Couch (5/0/0/2KO) of Bristol, England, known as the "Fleetwood Assassin," will defend her title against Andrea Deshong (13/3/1/11KO) of Columbus, Ohio. Couch, with only 2 years of boxing under her belt, wrested the title from Sandra Geiger in Copenhagen last May. Although the W.I.B.F. rules declare two minute rounds for the ladies, the speed and spirit of the W.I.B.F. fighters compress more action into two minutes than you could ever imagine.
In the second 12 round N.A.B.U. title event, legendary manager/ trainer Angelo Dundee will pit one of his current superstars, Terry Ray (33/4/0/20KO) of Terre Haute, Indiana, against Jose Luis Rivera (14/1/0/11KO) of Cleveland, Ohio. Following the final bell, one of these two seasoned veterans will be awarded the title of N.A.B.U. Light Heavyweight Champion.
When the announcer reopens the festivities following the intermission, New Orleans area sports fans will be asked to welcome their own hometown favorite Wayne Boudreaux (22/7/0/111 KO) who will be attempting to earn the coveted N.A.B.U. Welterweight Title in his 12 round bout against "Sugar Ray" Collins (16/8/1/4KO), one of the two "Carnival of Champions" entries from Las Vegas. Boudreaux comes from a fighting New Orleans family- his father, Jerry; two uncles, Al and Mark; and his brother, Jerry, Jr., were all professional fighters. "Uncle Al" Boudreaux is Boudreaux's manager/ trainer.
"The Cobra" and "The Best in the World" are two of the most common epithets applied to W.I.B.F. World Super-Featherweight Champion Bonnie Canino (29/3/1/11KO) of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In addition to her W.I.B.F. title, Canino, a professional kickboxer, currently holds the Women's W.A.K.O. Featherweight World Kickboxing Title. In the second women's contest of the evening, "The Cobra" will be defending her W.I.B.F. World Super-Featherweight Title against another Louisiana favorite, the # 1 world contender, Dierdre Gogarty (15/4/2/13KO) of Dublin, Ireland. Gogarty is being trained under the watchful eye of Beau Williford at his facilities in Lafayette, Louisiana.
The sixth and final title bout in the "Carnival of Champions" will feature another of Williford's superstars, U.S.B.F. Junior Middleweight Champion Jason Papillion (25/2/1/15KO) of Broussard (Lafayette), Louisiana, as he attempts to add the W.B.U. International Light-Middleweight Belt to his collection. His opponent, 3 time World Champion Roger Mayweather (56/13/0/35KO) of Las Vegas, Nevada, sports the longest and most successful record of title bouts of any of the participants in this truly World-Class event.
The original "New Orleans 'Carnival of Champions'", a three day event, ended on September 7, 1892, with a bout between James J. Corbett and John L. Sullivan. Corbett KO'd Sullivan in the 21st round. In keeping with the New Orleans Mardi Gras theme, Sonne Productions, Inc., has named Boxing Hall of Famer and former World Light-Heavyweight Champion Willie Pastrano of New Orleans as the honorary King of the "Carnival of Champions". Pastrano will reign over a prestigious honorary krewe headed by 2 additional legends of past New Orleans boxing venues- former World Champion and Hall of Famer Ralph Dupas and World Champion Joe "Old Bones" Brown.
Rounding out the honorary krewe, Pastrano will play "King" to the current undefeated World Super-Middleweight Champion Roy Jones, Jr., former World Champion and Hall of Famer Carmen Basilio, manager/ trainer legend Angelo Dundee, and other boxing greats Jerry Peligrini, Tony Licata, Percy Peau and Joe Dorsey. Thanks to the promotional consideration of the Sonne Productions, all will be on hand to join the participants and the many national and international celebrities in welcoming the return of the "New Orleans 'Carnival of Champions'" after the long 105 year lapse.
An ardent supporter of youth sports programs and community activities, Robert Walshak, President of Sonne Productions, Inc., has offered a portion of the net proceeds and ticket sales from the event to go to the Optimist Park Foundation of the Optimist Club of Boynton Beach, Florida, for the construction of Optimist Park, a community youth oriented sports and recreation facility. Upon completion, the facility will be donated to the City of Boynton Beach by the Optimist Club. Additional funds are to be directed to the Optimist International Foundation to help support the worldwide youth oriented programs of Optimist International.
Reserved Ringside VIP Tables are available exclusively through Sonne Productions, Inc., and can be ordered by calling (561) 736-5679. Gallery Ringside, general admission and student tickets may be obtained at all TicketMaster outlets and at the Keifer UNO Lakefront Arena boxoffice. Additional information can be obtained by calling (561) 736-5679 in Florida; (504) 646-2310 in Slidell, LA, or (318) 237-8290 in Lafayette, LA.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:Sonne Productions: Bobby Walshak (561) 736-5679 Jim DeLand (561) 966-2416 (800) 345-2461 toll free digital pager
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