LAS VEGAS AND ATLANTIC CITY, November 7, 2002 - Caesars, which built its reputation as the world`s leading casino brand by creating the modern boxing spectacle, is back in the ring as the sponsor of two historic heavyweight matches set for December and March.
In association with Don King Productions, Caesars Atlantic City is promoting a December 14 match-up at Boardwalk Hall between four-time World Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield (38-5-2, 25 KOs) and former World Boxing Organization champion Chris Byrd (36-2, 20 KOs), now the number one contender for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) crown. The event will be televised live nationally by HBO (10 p.m. EST) and internationally by King Vision.
In Las Vegas, Caesars Palace and Don King Productions are presenting a March 1 bout at Thomas & Mack Center pitting undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion Roy Jones, Jr. (47-1, 38 KOs) against World Boxing Association Heavyweight Champion John Ruiz (38-4-1, 27 KOs). The event is being co-promoted with Murad Muhammad, who heads M&M Sports, in association with Square Ring, Inc. (the promotional company of Roy Jones, Jr.). Jones, a former Middleweight and Super Middleweight World Champion, will try to become the first middleweight to win the heavyweight title since the 1890s.
Entitled “Hard Road to Glory,” the World Heavyweight Championship Series is intended, in the words of Don King, to “restore the magic, reverence and excitement” to the sport of boxing.
“The name Caesars is synonymous with world class boxing,” said Thomas E. Gallagher, president and chief executive officer of Park Place Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: PPE), Caesars` parent company.
“Both Caesars Palace and Caesars Atlantic City are excited to join with Don King in sponsoring this World Heavyweight Championship Series. As Atlantic City`s first heavyweight championship fight in more than four years, the Holyfield versus Byrd match will be a major attraction. We expect to create the same kind of excitement with the Jones versus Ruiz contest in Las Vegas next March,” Gallagher added.
As an added attraction, current World Boxing Council Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis will join King to serve as a commentator for the international broadcast. Lewis also will co-host a New York City press conference today to formally announce the series. In a written statement, Lewis suggested that he would consider accepting a challenge for the world heavyweight title from the winner of the World Heavyweight Championship Series.
“Perhaps from my coverage and observation of the winner, I may permit him to challenge me, the emperor of heavyweight boxing,” Lewis said.
Tickets for the Holyfield-Byrd fight go on sale tomorrow, Friday, November 8, through TicketMaster at 1-800-736-1420 or at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets also will be available at the Boardwalk Hall Box Office. Prices range from $75 to $850. Ticket information for the Jones-Ruiz match will be announced later.
Park Place Entertainment owns, manages or has an interest in 28 gaming properties operating under the Caesars, Bally`s, Flamingo, Grand Casinos, Hilton and Paris brand names with a total of approximately two million square feet of gaming space, 29,000 hotel rooms and 55,000 employees worldwide.
Additional information on Park Place Entertainment can be accessed through the company`s web site at www.parkplace.com .