Don King always packs his fight cards with tremendous bouts, and he’s doing it again on April 30 at Madison Square Garden by adding two great heavyweight title matches to go with the intriguing World Boxing Association heavyweight championship featuring champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz against challenger and three-time world champion James “Lights Out” Toney.
DaVarryl “Touch of Sleep” Williamson, who has met some of the best heavyweights in the world in the last three years, will take on the colorful and hard punching Derrick “D-Train” Jefferson for the vacant North American Boxing Organization heavyweight title while Larry “The Legend” Donald, hot off his unanimous decision win over Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, must get past Ray “Rainman” Austin to keep his world title hopes alive.
Williamson (21-3, 17 KOs), from Denver, returns to the Garden after scoring one of his biggest wins against former world champion Oliver “The Atomic Bull” McCall during his last outing on Nov. 13. He was a stellar 6-foot-4-inch collegiate quarterback who came to the boxing late at age 25, finished a huge amateur career with an astonishing 88 percent knockout ratio (120-17-1, 103 KOs), and his recent experience at the world-class level indicates he may just be a few punches away from a world title.
“Derrick is just another obstacle in my path,” Williamson said. “I'm taking that train off the tracks. Everyone in the sport knows that I'm carrying dynamite in my hands, and Jefferson will feel the explosion.”
Standing in Williamson’s way is the 6-foot-6-inch power-punching Jefferson (28-3, 21 KOs), from Detroit, who is a fight fan’s heavyweight as evidenced by the fact that 24 of his 29 contests have ended in knockouts. He is currently riding a five-fight winning streak and has tangled with some of the sport’s best including Wladimir Klitschko, Oleg Maskaev, David Izon, Maurice Harris and Bert Cooper.
“I am going to destroy Williamson,” the brash Jefferson said. “Everybody knows when Derrick Jefferson fights somebody is going to get knocked out and it’s not going to be me on April 30. I’m not training for 12 rounds because it’s not going to take that long.”
The slick Donald (42-3-2, 24 KOs), from Cincinnati, had a career-best performance against Holyfield in the Garden. New trainer Colin Morgan urged Donald to “let his hands go” and the result was a dominating performance.
“Everyone saw what I did to Holyfield,” Donald said. “I deserve a world title shot. If you liked what you saw against Holyfield, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
Hoping to douse Donald’s world-title aspirations is Austin, (22-3-2, 15 KOs) from Cleveland, who is unbeaten in his last nine fights. The 6-foot-5-inch pugilist leaped into the world ratings two years ago with a knockout win over fellow prospect Jo-el Scott.
Tickets priced at $350, $250, $175, $100 and $50 are on sale now at the Garden box office and all Ticketmaster locations or by calling Ticketmaster at 212-307-7171, 201-507-8900, 631-888-9000, or 914-454-3388. Ticketmaster purchases are subject to convenience charges.
Don King Productions and Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with Madison Square Garden are presenting this event.
DKP has promoted more than 500 world championship matches including some of the biggest events in history. DKP has promoted or co-promoted 12 of the top-20 highest-grossing live gates in the history of the state of Nevada including the top five: Holyfield vs. Lewis II, paid attendance: 17,078, gross: $16,860,300 (NOTE: Also highest live-gate gross for any event in the history of the world.), date: Nov. 13, 1999; Holyfield vs. Tyson II, paid attendance: 16,279, gross: $14,277,200, date: June 28, 1997; Holyfield vs. Tyson I, paid attendance: 16,103, gross: $14,150,700, date: Nov. 9, 1996; Tyson vs. McNeeley, paid attendance: 16,113, gross: $13,965,600, date: Aug. 19, 1995; and De La Hoya vs. Trinidad, paid attendance: 11,184, gross: $12,949,500 (Also garnered the most pay-per-view buys for a non-heavyweight fight at 1.4 million.), date: Sept. 18, 1999.
MSG Sports Properties, a division of Radio City Entertainment, is part of Madison Square Garden L.P. Cablevision Systems Corporation owns Madison Square Garden, L.P., which includes MSG Network; FSN New York; the New York Knicks (NBA); the New York Rangers (NHL); the New York Liberty (WNBA); Radio City Entertainment; the Hartford Wolf Pack (American Hockey League), and the Madison Square Garden arena complex, located in the heart of the New York