World Boxing Association heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz will put his title on the line against three-time world champion James “Lights Out” Toney at Madison Square Garden on April 30 in a match promoted by Don King Productions and Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with Madison Square Garden. 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.
Ruiz is the first and only Latino to have won a heavyweight title. He possesses a tough, burrowing style of fighting that has served him well since scoring a unanimous decision over Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield to win the title in Las Vegas on April 3, 2003.
Ruiz, (41-5-1, 28 KOs) from Chelsea, Mass., now training in Las Vegas, has successfully defended his title against top heavyweight contenders Kirk Johnson, “Fast” Fres Oquendo and former World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation heavyweight champion Hasim “The Rock” Rahman. Ruiz’s last successful title defense came in a unanimous decision victory over Andrew “Powerful Pole” Golota at the Garden on Nov. 13.
“Toney is the WBA mandatory challenger and I will be fulfilling my obligation before going on to clean up the rest of the heavyweight division,” Ruiz, 33, said. “I am going to put James Toney’s lights out on April 30 and silence his big mouth.”
The outspoken and colorful Toney, (68-4-2, 43 KOs) from Ann Arbor, Mich., now living and training in Los Angeles, has become a force to be reckoned with in a wide-open heavyweight division. He has won world titles in the middleweight, super middleweight and cruiserweight divisions and now wants to add Ruiz’s heavyweight title to his resume.
Ruiz vs. Toney lead release – Page 2
“Other fighters haven’t been able to beat Ruiz and make him go away, so that’s why I am promising to knock him out,” Toney said. “I told people I’d knock out Holyfield and that’s exactly what I did. Now I’m telling you I’ll knock out Ruiz.”
Toney, 36, was named The Ring and USA TODAY Fighter of the Year recipient in 2003 for his winning heavyweight performances against Vassiliy Jirov and Holyfield. He has a lifetime record of 10-1-1 in world championship matches.
Promoter Don King believes this fight will change the direction of the heavyweight division.
“I am calling this fight The Turning Point because it features the current and two-time WBA champion Ruiz against a man in Toney who says he can beat any heavyweight in the division,” King said. “Toney will have his hands full because Ruiz is a tough guy and is on a mission to unify the titles. Toney wants to be the destroyer.”
King added, “These guys don’t like each other. They have already spoken out and are showing no respect to one another. They’ll have the chance to settle their differences in the Garden on April 30.”
Don King Productions 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 metropolitan area.