The undercard of DiBella Entertainment's "Seasons Beatings" should add more excitement and hoopla to the already stirring main event. Featuring undefeated rising stars, local favorites and a 2004 Olympian, the support bouts to Taylor vs. Joppy will keep fans entertained and on their feet from first bell though the main event on Saturday, December 4th at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, AR.
Unbeaten Brooklyn, New York star Paulie "The Magic Man" Malignaggi (18-0, 5 KO's) will square off against veteran Sandro Casamonica (34-4, 21 KO's) for the vacant WBC International Super Lightweight Championship. Malignaggi, known for his flair in the ring, will look to test his fast hands and quick defense against the more experienced Casamonica who hails from Rome, Italy. In his last fight on June 17th in Laughlin, Nevada, "The Magic Man" wowed the crowd en route to scoring a unanimous 10 round decision over Ramiro Cano (18-2, 14 KO's).
On the prospects of showing the people of the South his skills, Maliginaggi quipped "it's an honor to fight on one of Jermain's undercards, especially one in Little Rock. I've heard the crowds down there are wild. I can't wait to show the people in Little Rock my stuff and warm them up for the main event."
The undercard also features a ten round lightweight showdown pitting undefeated rising star Koba "The Cobra" Gogoladze (16-0, 7 KO's) against Roque Cassiani (22-17-2, 15 KO's) from San Basilio, Colombia. Gogoladze, originally from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia and now fighting out of Philadelphia, is a highly regarded prospect who is ranked number ten in the world by the WBO.
'Tis the season for Arkansas products as Little Rock's own heavyweight prospect Terry Smith (21-1-1, 15 KO's) will appear in a six round bout against Demetrice King (5-4, 3 KO's) of Flint, Michigan. This will be Smith's sixth fight in front of family and friends in Little Rock and his fifth on a Jermain Taylor undercard.
In an "All Arkansas" battle, Will Mitchell, fighting out of Crossett, Arkansas, and making his pro debut, squares off against Michael Taylor of Texarkana, Arkansas, in a four round junior welterweight contest.
Also on the undercard, boxing upstart and 2004 Olympian Andre Berto makes his pro debut in a four round junior middleweight affair against Michael Robinson (2-1, 2 KO's) of Forest, Mississippi. One of the most hotly recruited 2004 Olympic boxers, and considered an outstanding prospect, Berto, who hails from Winter Haven, Florida, represented Haiti in the 2004 Olymipc Games in Athens. Of his upcoming pro debut, Berto stated, "I have waited a long time and worked very hard for this day and I am honored that it's happening on the undercard of a Jermain Taylor fight."
Light heavyweight Danny Santiago (24-2, 16 KO's), coming off of two consecutive knockout victories, will see action in a six round bout against James "Baby Tyson" Brock of Los Angeles. Santiago's last win was also his most impressive, a fourth round TKO win over the highly respected Elvir Muriqi.
In the grand finale of "Season's Beatings", the evening's main event, sensational middleweight contender Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor defends his WBC Continental Americas Middleweight Title against former three-time World Middleweight Champion William Joppy. Taylor (21-0, 16 KO's), the United States 2000 Olympic Bronze medalist, has been a house on fire during his unbeaten pro career. "Bad Intentions" will face his sternest test to date against Joppy (34-3-1, 25 KO's), the former three-time middleweight kingpin from Silver Spring, Maryland.
Taylor, a 26-year-old phenom, is coming off his third straight TKO triumph, an HBO televised ninth round score over the former World Champion Raul Marquez at The Home Depot Center in Los Angeles on June 19, 2004. Taylor is currently ranked third by the WBC, WBA and IBF.
William Joppy has fought the best the division has to offer. The 34-year-old veteran's opponents have included the cream of the middleweight crop - Bernard Hopkins, Felix Trinidad and Howard Eastman.
HBO's popular Boxing After Dark series will televise the middleweight clash at 10:45 pm ET/PT and 9:45 pm CT.
Tickets are priced at $150, $108, $81, $54, $27 and $15 plus a limited number of $270 Gold VIP tickets and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at 501-975-7575, online at www.ticketmaster.com
, and at the Barton Coliseum box office (501-372-8341). "Season's Beatings" is brought to you by DiBella Entertainment in association with Don King Productions and Full Tilt Poker.com and is sponsored locally by Comcast Cable.
On fight night, doors open at 6:30 PM, and the first bout is scheduled for 7:30 PM.