On the eve when millions of Americans will rush to beat the IRS deadline to file their income taxes, two can’t miss heavyweights face a taxing crossroads fight. The winner catapults himself back into top world contention while the loser rolls craps in boxing’s glamour division. Audley Harrison and Dominic Guinn are slated to headline the ESPN2 telecast of “Friday Night Fights” in a scheduled 10-round main event at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, CA on Friday night, April 14th.
In making the announcement, Dan Goossen of Goossen Tutor Promotions acknowledged that this is a pivotal fight in the careers of both combatants and should provide those fans on hand and watching on television a fight with all the marbles on the line.
“Whenever you have a fighter’s back against the wall, you can anticipate a career defining performance. In this case, we have two fighters in that position. This is a make it or break it fight for both Audley and Dominic and should provide great drama for a national audience,” Goossen stated. “Both fighters started their careers with long winning streaks, but each are coming off losses. The stakes are high for the fighters, leaving the winner the ability to challenge the top heavyweights in the world for big money.”
A native of London, England now residing in Las Vegas, the 34-year-old Harrison (20-1, 14 KOs), known as “A Force,” had future superstar written all over him after winning a gold medal in the super heavyweight division at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. The southpaw won his first 19 professional fights before dropping a split-decision to Mike Tyson conqueror, Danny Williams in London last December. “This is a very important fight for me,” Harrison explained. “I have a lot to prove after my loss to Danny Williams which was certainly my most disappointing performance to date.”
Guinn (25-3-1, 18 KOs) a 30-year-old from Hot Springs, AK tabbed as “The Southern Disaster” did not enter the pro ranks with quite the same Olympic fanfare as Harrison, but did have a very impressive amateur career leading to victories in his first 24 bouts as a pro. In fact his losses are at the hands of highly regarded heavyweights, Monte Barrett, Serguei Lyakhovich and WBC #1 contender James “Lights Out” Toney, all of who have a combined record of 118-7-2.
Promotional and management distractions a distant memory and equipped with new trainer Joe Goossen, Guinn believes his best days are ahead. “The experience I gained from those losses will benefit me far more than my early wins,” Guinn shared. “I learned a lot especially in my fight with James Toney. If I fight like I did against Toney, I can beat any heavyweight on any given day. I need to be aggressive and willing to take his punches to throw my bombs knowing I’m going against a fighter big in stature, 6’7” and a strong 260 pounds in Harrison. “I’m younger and more determined.”
The desert undercard will feature another pair of young heavyweights in separate bouts. Chris Arreola (13-0, 11 KOs), who hails from nearby Riverside, CA is scheduled to appear in an eight-round contest, while Nigerian sensation Teke Oruh (9-0-1, 5 KOs) is slated to go four rounds.
Arreola, known as “The Nightmare,” is a fast rising local favorite with an in-ring attitude of throwing one haymaker after another from the opening bell with a ferocity and punching power that have produced 11 knockouts, including a fifth-round stoppage of Dominic Jenkins in his last bout in October. Arreola has a strong loyal following that will make the short trek from the Riverside area to watch him perform at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage.
An alternate on the 2000 Nigerian Olympic Team who has trained with the likes of Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, among others, Oruh has strung together seven consecutive wins (4 via knockout) since battling to a majority draw in February of 2002. Last time out he stopped Douglas Robertson in two rounds in December.
Beginning on Saturday, March 4th, tickets priced at $150 (Ringside), $80 Floor), $50 (Lower Bleachers) and $35 (Upper Bleachers) may be purchased at the Agua Caliente Casino Box Office located at 32-250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270, or by calling 1-760-320-2000, 1-888-999-1995