PRESS RELEASE: Unified cruiserweight world champion Jean-Marc Mormeck and IBF titleholder O'Neil "Super Nova" Bell have signed to fight each other for the undisputed cruiserweight world championship in January. Bell visited Don King Productions' office on Wednesday to ink the deal and had a strong message for his French opponent. "I spoke to Jean-Marc in France by phone and told him he can bid adieu to his titles," Bell said. "Mormeck needs to be ready to face the most devastating fighter in the sport."
Mormeck was unfazed by Bell's challenge. "Bell was mistaken," the clever Mormeck said. "He must have meant I am the most devastating puncher in boxing. I think I proved to the world that I am a very special boxer when I met and defeated the great champion Wayne Braithwaite in Massachusetts. I am very excited for the opportunity to become the undisputed cruiserweight world champion.
Mormeck added special thanks to Don King for matching him "with his latest victim." The Frenchman also noted with great pleasure that he received many e-mails from American boxing fans after he became unified champion, many of which suggested he should adopt an intimidating nickname. He said he will bring the list to America and decide a moniker before the fight with Bell.
Mormeck's (and event) promoter Don King is currently negotiating the exact date, site and television network for this long-awaited match to crown the first undisputed cruiserweight champion since Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield held that distinction in 1988 after he defeated Carlos "Sugar" De Leon.
The chiseled Mormeck (30-2, 21 KOs), from France, won the WBA cruiserweight championship by stopping Virgil Hill in Marseille, France, on Feb. 23, 2002. He became unified champion by defeating longtime WBC champion Wayne "Big Truck" Braithwaite in a showdown in Worcester, Mass., on April 2 in a dominating 12-round performance. He also became the first Frenchman to become unified world champion.
The hard-punching Bell (25-1-1, 23 KOs), born in Jamaica and now a longtime resident of Atlanta, has not lost a fight since 1998. He became the No. 1-ranked IBF contender in 2004 and stopped No. 2-ranked contender Ezra Sellers in just two rounds on Sept. 4 of that year, making him the mandatory challenger to then-IBF cruiserweight champion Kelvin "Konkrete" Davis.
Unfortunately for Bell, Davis cancelled their scheduled meeting at the Savvis Center in St. Louis on Feb. 5 and was subsequently stripped of his title. Bell then fought Dale Brown for the vacant IBF title, winning a unanimous decision on May 20, 2005, at the Hard Rock Hotel Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
Bell's promoter is Warriors Boxing Promotions, and their executive director Leon Margules thinks his champion will prevail. "We're happy to be working with Don King and Don King Productions," Margules said. "We look forward to seeing O'Neil Bell bring home all three cruiserweight championship belts.