Cedric Kushner has launched a new boxing promotional company entitled Gotham Boxing, which will make its debut with The Premiere at the Hammerstein Ballroom at Manhattan Center on Eighth Avenue at West 34th Street on Wednesday night, May 24, featuring Brooklyn heavyweight contender Shannon Briggs vs. Chris Koval in the main event for the vacant USBA Heavyweight Championship. Kushner was the first promoter to host a fight card at the Hammerstein, as well as its sister site, Manhattan Center’s Grand Ballroom, and has promoted at such varied and innovative New York venues as The Apollo Theatre, the Jacob Javits Center, Roseland Ballroom, Radio City Music Hall, The Paradise Theatre, as well as the “Mecca of Boxing” Madison Square Garden and the Theater at the Garden.
The Briggs-Koval affair features two big punchers, and will have heavyweight aficionados chomping at the bit from the opening bell. New York fan favorite Briggs has put forth a sterling 46-4-1 ring record, with 40 victories coming by way of knockout. The veteran heavyweight hurler is ranked sixth by the WB0, eighth by the WBC, 10th by the IBF and 11th by the WBA. Briggs is a winner of 10 in a row and is set to reemerge as a force to be reckoned with in the heavyweight ranks.
Kushner is Briggs’s longtime promoter and has had a penchant for success with the big men, making such heavyweight title clashes as Rahman-Lewis, Shultz-
Foreman and Briggs-Lewis, and believes the duo will team for a world championship.
Youngtown, Ohio’s Koval (23-2, 18 KO’s) has reeled off three straight triumphs, and 12 wins in his last 13 bouts.
In the co-feature, Twin Cities’ light middleweight Matt Vanda (34-2, 32 KO’s) will see action on the card in a 10 rounder.
Unbeaten heavyweight JD Champan (20-0, 19 KO’s) will also appear in a 10 rounder.
The card also features the Puerto Rican unbeaten cruiserweight Francisco Palacios (8-0, 4 KO’s), New York City’s popular up and comer Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (4-0, 3 KO’s) White Plains, New York’s undefeated heavyweight Tony Grano (3-0, 3 KO’s), and top notch female fighter Norika Kariya (3-1), from Vancouver now fighting out of Jersey City.
Vanda has scored victories in his last two fights against the well-regarded former champion Yory Boy Campos and the tough Troy Lowry. Quillin has bagged impressive triumphs in his first four pro bouts, including three victories by way of knockout in the super middleweight ranks and is quickly proving to be a New York fan favorite fighting at the Grand Ballroom and MSG. Grano has put away his opponents with a devastating knockout punch in all three of his professional bouts.
Tickets are priced at $250, $200, $150, $125, $100, $85, $75, $60 and $45, are available through ticketmaster at 212-307-7171, and by calling Gotham Boxing, Inc. at 212.755.1944