LOS ANGELES – Goossen Tutor Promotions was informed today by Dr. Doug Frankel that Tony “The Tiger” Thompson is suffering from acute bronchitis and was given immediate orders to stay out of the gym and subsequently his plans to enter the ring next weekend (December 13) at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa and broadcast on VERSUS to face 3-time World Champion, James “Lights Out” Toney, (70-6-3, 43 KOs) in a scheduled 12-Round NABO/IBA Heavyweight Championship Bout.
Upon receiving the news, Goossen Tutor Promotions matchmaker, Tom Brown acted quickly and replaced Thompson, with WBO Latino Heavyweight Champion and former World Title challenger, Fres “The Big O” Oquendo (29-4, 18 KOs) in the 12-round bout.
Oquendo started his career with 22 fights without a loss and in his 23rd took on the hard-punching and undefeated David Tua on April 13, 2002 in a fight Oquendo was dominating until getting caught by a Tua bomb and being stopped in the 9th round. Two wins later, he fought reigning IBF World Heavyweight Champion Chris Byrd, losing a close and controversial 12-round decision. His performance in the Bryd fight earned him another World Heavyweight Championship bout against then-champion John Ruiz in his next fight, which was the first time two Puerto Ricans had ever faced each other in a heavyweight championship bout. In a back-and-forth fight with Ruiz on April 17, 2004, held at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Oquendo was stopped in the 11th round.
Oquendo came back strong in February 2006 after taking 2005 off, and got back into the win column. He followed up that victory with a May 25, 2006 win over James Toney’s stablemate, Javier Mora. On November 10, 2006 the “Big O” fought living legend, Evander Holyfield at the San Antonio Alamadome where Holyfield escaped with a very controversial decision victory. In 2007 and 2008 he’s had three bouts, all victories, two by KO.
"I was training for a fight that was recently cancelled, and when I was informed that I had the chance to fight Toney, there was zero hesitation,” said an elated Oquendo. “This was the opportunity I was looking for. It gets me right back into a position to challenge for a World Title.”
The second featured televised bout will showcase 2004 Olympic Gold medalist and #4 WBO and #5 WBC top rated Super Middleweight World contender Andre Ward (16-0, 11 KOs) in a 10-round bout against Estaban “Rocky” Camou (23-4, 19 KOs) of Navojoa, MX. The Oakland, California native – who captured the NABO title by stopping former Dominican Olympian Jerson Ravelo last June in Grand Cayman -- will be returning to action for the first time since that bout and undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery due to a non-boxing injury.
Also, making his television debut will be East LA 2008 Olympian, Shawn Estrada (1-0, 1 KO) in a 4-round bout. The rest of the card features IBF #7 Heavyweight World contender Eddie Chambers against Cisse Salif; Undefeated heavyweight, Malik Scott (31-0, 11 KOs) battles Raphael Butler (34-7, 24 KOs); and the Lil Warrior, Michael Franco in an 8-round Bantamweight bout.
‘Now or Never’ is promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions and will air live on VERSUS.
Doors open at 4 PM PT; first non-televised bout at 4:30 PM PT. The live VERSUS telecast begins at 9PM ET/6 PM PT.