Paging Jason Voorhees. As fortune would have it, this Friday the 13th, Joe Louis Arena will host an eight-fight card of professional boxing.
ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” crew will roll in the trucks for a bout dubbed “Friday the Thirteenth Judgment Day” by local professional boxing promoter Four Corner Productions.
And, as part of this evening of rough-and-tumble, Teamcannon, a small gym on Detroit’s east side, will represent three undefeated members in separate bouts. The team has compiled an absurd 57-0 record.
Earlier fight cards for the upstart team took place at the DeCarlo’s Banquet and Convention Center in Warren.
The 21,000-seat Joe Louis Arena will have a different air.
Pushing the “team” ethos as a means to find their niche, Teamcannon always looks to book events as one unit.
“I always said, ‘You got to take them all or none of them,’” says the threesome’s manager, Grosse Pointe Farms attorney John C. Carlisle. “Everybody said it would never happen, but finally ESPN called up.”
The main event is a 10-round cruiserweight bout between Teamcannon’s Rydell “Rock N’ Rye” Booker and former International Boxing Federation world champion “King” Arthur Williams.
“It’s my first chance to fight on national TV and hopefully not my last,” says Booker.
The 22-year-old is ranked 14th by the World Boxing Council and boasts a 19-0 record with 11 knockouts, while Williams is 37-8-1 with 26 knockouts.
Booker is the Michigan State Boxing Federation cruiserweight champion and WBC youth cruiserweight champion. His first professional fight was at Cobo Hall back in August 2001, and resulted in a victorious first-round knockout in one minute and 10 seconds.
“Rydell is a fast … intelligent fighter,” says Booker’s teammate Rubin Williams.
Rubin “Mr. Hollywood” Williams (19-0, 11 KO) faces Epifanio “El Diamante” Mendoza (16-2-1, 16 KO) of Barranquilla, Colombia, in the middleweight bout.
“It feels good…because we’re doing it at home,” Williams says. “The local support is beautiful. That feeling when you’re in the ring with the people behind you makes a big difference.”
Also making a big difference in this event is Greektown Casino. With ample backing — Carlisle is seeing dollar signs.
“It’s very expensive to fight in Detroit,” Carlisle says. “That’s why I say, ‘I love Greektown.’”
Williams, 26, also known as “Murder Man,” has no problems dealing with Joe Louis-size crowds. The Detroit Osborn graduate has spit out rhythms as a member of hip-hop group D12 and once opened for local rapper Esham.
After dropping to 160 pounds last January, he won the Midwest Boxing Federation Middleweight Championship.
“I’m a great thinker in the ring and I’m an outstanding puncher,” Williams boasts.
Each fighter began at the age of 7, and throughout the years they have regularly sparred and trained together.
“We all just learn from each other,” Williams continues. “They’re like my idols and we all have our own style of fighting.”
The night’s heavyweight bout pits Teamcannon’s captain, Leo “Paco” Nolan (19-0, 7 KO) against Jeremy “The Assassin” Bates (15-6, 15 KO).
Nolan, 30, is the Midwest Boxing Federation Heavyweight Champion, and is, as Williams describes, “very poised.”
“He sets a pace in a fight and controls the ring.”
Nolan is soft-spoken with a calm demeanor that belies his scarred past. He suffered five gunshot wounds back in 1996 in an attempted robbery gone wrong, and subsequently spent four years in Jackson prison.
“This is a huge step,” Nolan says. “The venue is much larger. To me, this is a world-class fight and I’m at home.”
Tickets range between $30 and $500 and can be purchased at www.teamcannon.com or through any Ticketmaster outlet.
“All three of us are in the Top 10 contention right now,” Williams adds. “Possible all three of us get title shots, and possible all three of us win title shots.
“That’s the next dream.”
“Friday the Thirteenth Judgment Day” will take place at Joe Louis Arena (600 Civic Center Drive, Detroit), Friday, June 13. Call 313-983-6606 for more information.E-mail Scott "Hands" Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org