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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, April 20, 2024


Dec 4, 2003 — Main event "Rumble in Paradise" fighters Francisco Lorenzo and Courtney Burton made no predictions for the World Boxing Organization/NABO's lightweight title fight, but both said at a press conference Wednesday that they came to the territory to win.
The battle will be joined at the Sports and Fitness Center on the UVI St. Thomas campus and will be televised live as part of ESPN 2 "Friday Night Fights." Approximately 85 million viewers will be tuning in, said Sterling McPherson of Sterling promotions.
"I am looking forward to the return," said Sen. Adlah Donastorg, adding that he would like to see how many homes actually watch the televised bout.
But the boxers have other things to think about. "Mentally, physically, heart and dedication," Burton said, are the main goals of fight preparation.
To prepare for this bout physically, Burton trained from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily, but with only two days left before the fight he is now relaxing, eating well and enjoying the "beauty of the Virgin Islands."
McPherson said that is was difficult to bring a fight from the United States mainland, but said it will not be the last time they bring a fight to the territory.
Ron Katz, director of boxing, said that one of the problems was having to disassemble, ship and reassemble an entire "fly pack" — a vehicle used for television productions away from studios.
"Being two ex-fighters, we know not to quit," said McPherson, referring to former boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard. "The lights will come on Friday."
Originally, promoters had hoped to have heavyweight contenders Lawrence Clay-Bey and Samuel Peter enter the ring as the main event, but due to a rotator-cup injury to Clay-Bey, they decided not to match Peter with another fighter. They wanted to "make the best and most meaningful fight" match up, Katz said.

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