Sensational middleweight contender Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor returns home to Little Rock, Arkansas, to defend his WBC Continental Americas Middleweight Title against former three-time World Middleweight Champion William Joppy on Saturday night, December 4, at Barton Coliseum, when DiBella Entertainment presents "Season's Beatings." The announcement was made today by DBE president Lou DiBella.
HBO's popular Boxing After Dark series will televise the middleweight clash at 10:45 pm ET/PT and 9:45 pm Central.
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.
"Jermain Taylor is on the threshold of capturing a World Championship," said DiBella. "We are anticipating another great performance against William Joppy, and are proud that it will be in front of a packed house in Little Rock. This is a fight that is sure to delight the fans in attendance and those watching on HBO. The road to Bernard Hopkins and the undisputed World Middleweight Championship begins on December 4th at Barton Coliseum."
"William Joppy has proven as a three-time WBA middleweight champion that he is one of the great middleweights of this era," said Joppy's promoter Don King. "He will have another opportunity, in the land of opportunity, to prove his greatness when he faces Olympic champion and undefeated rising star Jermain Taylor."
"It is a thrill to be getting back into the ring, all the 'away from boxing stuff' is behind me," said Joppy. "Thank God for Jermain Taylor, he is the new rising star, but I am going to take him to school on December 4th."
The co-feature will pit Brooklyn's unbeaten Paulie Malignaggi (18-0, 5 KO's) vs. Sandro Casamonica (34-4, 21 KO's) for the WBC International Super Lightweight Championship. On the undercard, Little Rock's own heavyweight prospect, Terry Smith (20-1-1, 15 KO's) will see action in a six round bout while Will Mitchell of Crossett, Arkansas, will make his pro debut in a four round junior welterweight fight. Two other bouts are scheduled for the card and will be announced shortly.
Tickets are priced at $270, $150, $108, $81, $54, $27 and $15 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).
On fight night, doors open at 6:30 PM, and the first bout is scheduled for 7:30 PM.