Thompson/Beck Heavyweight Clash held in 20′ Ring
ESPN2 FNF at the New Daisy Friday, April 16!
By JD Meredith Brief Description of New Daisy Theatre
Memphis, TN – Fight supporters and media gathered Thursday afternoon (4/8) at a press conference/luncheon for the ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights – The Proving Grounds” from the historic New Daisy Theatre on Beale Street. The bout on Friday April 16, will mark the fourth consecutive year ESPN and Prize Fight Boxing have teamed up to bring a nationally broadcast boxing to Beale Street and Memphis.
“This is a star studded card from top to bottom.” – Brian Young
Prize Fight’s Brian Young has brought four ESPN fights to Memphis in as many years.
Memphis sport talk radio host Dave Woloshin opened the press conference saying, “How fitting is it that we have boxing here. I can remember back twenty-five years ago there were fights on Beale every Tuesday night and we now reenact that great time.”
Owner of the New Daisy Theatre, Mike Glenn, has some interesting history with the ESPN network. Years ago Glenn managed a cruiser fighter from Memphis by the name of Mike Greer. Greer fought as a cruiser weight in a tournament on ESPN in the network’s formative years.
Mike Glenn appears filled with excitement about his venue playing host making statements such as, “To have ESPN come to Memphis all these years that Brian and Russ have brought it to Handy Park and for it to end up here – this is like a Rocky movie.” In another statement he said, “This is an exciting moment for me and this is an exciting moment for Beale Street. And let me tell you something, this main event is going to be the fight of the year.”
” My entire adult life is built here on Beale Street and some of my younger days I ran around out here in the street but don’t let my mother find out about that,” said Glenn.
Brain Young of Prize Fight Boxing’s, co-promoter of this ESPN2 FNF event, greeted the media and thanked supporters (Kevin Kane, John Elkington, Patrick Ashcroft and Mike Glenn to name a few). With heartfelt appreciation he conveyed his love and thanks for his home town, Memphis, TN. Young was also quick to bring to the media’s attention a powerful fact stating, “This card is the fourth year we have brought back an ESPN fight to Beale Street.”
“ESPN told me the other day, when we booked this fight with them, that they love coming back to Memphis. And thats why they do at least once–maybe twice a year.” Young continued, “Memphis and Los Angeles are ranked as the top two cities in the United States for boxing according to ESPN. Its two of their favorite cities to do boxing in. So I think we will continue to bring ESPN back, here to the Memphis market, every year.”
The colossal main event features two top ten contenders, Tony Thompson 33-2 (21 KO’s) and Owen Beck 29-4 (20 KO’s). The southpaw Thompson, making his first appearance of 2010, is fresh off a ninth round TKO of Chazz Witherspoon and three fights removed from his only loss in nearly a decade, an eleventh round stoppage at the hands of IBF/WBO/IBO Heavy Champ Wladimir Klitschko. The Tiger stands at 6′ 5″ and most recently fought at 250lbs.
Thompson’s opponent, Nashville, TN’s, Owen “What the Heck Beck” most recently contended for a heavy title in 2006 against “The Russian Giant” Nikolay Valuev (L, TKO3). After that defeat Beck reeled off four wins before losing by TKO in the final round (TKO10) of a bout verses Manuel Charr who is now 14-0 (7 KO’s). Beck stands at 6′ 3 1/2″ and last fought at 250.5 lbs.
“Both have fought for the world title and lost hard fought battles.”– Brian Young
“These two giant men, 6’5, 245-250 lbs each are fighting right here–ten feet in front of where I am standing–in a 20′ x 20′ ring. There is no room for a man that size to hide. These two men will go at it from the opening bell. There is no love lost. There’s a little bit of history there between the two. They will throw down and I’m not sure the fight goes 4 or 5 rounds. I think the over under will be less than five rounds. That fight will be a war and will alone be worth the price of admission.
Two undefeated top lightweights in the world today Hanky Lundy 17-0 verses Tyrese Hendrix 18-0, of the Prize Fight Boxing stable, could be a “Fight of the Year” candidate. “I think that strongly of the fight. Both kids have already been going at it on the internet about the out come of the fight,” said Young. Hendrix (18-0-1, 7 KO’s) and Lundy (17-0-1, 10 KO’s) will battle for the NABO Lightweight Title.
The bout sheet includes two Olympians, Gary Russell, Jr. (8-0, 5 KO’s ), captain of the 2008 USA Olympic Team as he faces Carlos Diaz in a six round feather bout and Taureano Johnson (1-0, 1 KO) who represented the Bahamas faces Ryan Bianchini in a four round middle bout.
In other action Lanard Lane (11-0, 7 KO’s) of Houston is set to face veteran John Brown (24-17-2, 11 KO’s) in an scheduled eight round jr. welter match up.
The swing bout of the evening will showcase two mid-south fighters in a grudge match for turf when Memphis’ Marlon Lewis (1-1, 1 KO) climbs in the ring with Batesville, AR’s, Chris Gray (1-0). Lewis says he is taking Memphis back to Arkansas with him while Lewis says that he is ready for the win, “You hear?!”
The New Daisy is tight, dark, smokey and its fans are boisterous – that’s for a non-televised fight!
Tickets are $15, first come first served basis.
This is classic boxing at its best! Do not miss this opportunity to be a part of this fantastic nationally televised event at the New Daisy Theatre!