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Annual Shaw Festival Boxing Bout Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Media Release #8

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, April 6, 2010 . . . The sound of the boxing bell and a regulation-size boxing ring will once again draw crowds to the Canadian Room at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel when Boxing Evening Chair Robert C. Olsen welcomes the boxing-world elite during the 25th anniversary of the Annual Shaw Festival Boxing Evening on Thursday, April 8, 2010.

 The evening’s scheduled match-ups* by matchmaker Jim Gentle include:

  • The 8-round World Boxing Association Shaw Cup main event pitting Lightweight Logan “Cotton” McGuinness of Mississauga, Ontario against Adrian Valdez of Juarez, Mexico. Considered to be Canada’s top boxing prospect, McGuinness is 10-0-0 with 4 knockouts; Valdez is 19-7-3 with 10 knockouts.
  • Canadian Super Bantamweight Champion Tyson “The Prince of Hali” Cave of Halifax, Nova Scotia battling Willie “Big Bang” Casey of Limerick, Ireland in the 6-round Bagnato Cup match. Cave is 10-0-0 with 2 knockouts; Casey is 4-0-0 with 4 knockouts.
  •  The 8-round Lightweight duel of Buzz Grant of Orangeville, Ontario and Michael Kelly of Dundalk, Northern Ireland. Grant is 8-3-0 with 4 knockouts; Kelly is 8-0-0 with 2 knockouts.

 *Please note: fight card is subject to change

In attendance for the Annual Shaw Festival Boxing Evening’s quarter-century celebration will be special guests Jay Tunney, son of legendary world heavyweight champion, Gene Tunney; Shawn O’Sullivan, former Canadian boxer, 1981 World Amateur Championships gold medalist and 1984 Summer Olympics silver medalist (lightweight division); and Egerton Marcus, 1988 Summer Olympics silver medalist (middleweight division).

Twenty-five years ago, Christopher Newton, then Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival, and Allan Slaight, then Board of Governors Chair, hit upon the idea of having a fundraising event built around a sport close to Bernard Shaw’s heart. Shaw was emerging as a major literary figure at a time when boxing was a popular gentleman’s sport and Shaw himself was an enthusiastic amateur boxer. A natural fit!

The Annual Shaw Festival Boxing Evening serves as the Shaw Festival’s largest annual fundraising event. Over the years it has raised a cumulative net worth of $6.5 million for the theatre company. It is believed to be the largest charitable boxing event in the world. Not only is this event an excellent fundraiser for the Shaw Festival, it also showcases some of North America’s best young fighters. Prominent Canadian fighters who have participated in past years include Stephen Molitor, “Bad” Chad Brisson, Donovan Boucher, Clyde Gray and Moses James.

Popular CTV-Toronto sports broadcaster Joe Tilley will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

The Shaw Festival would like to express its thanks to the Annual Shaw Festival Boxing Evening’s returning sponsors: Deloitte has partnered once again with the Shaw Festival Boxing Evening as Presenting Sponsor, Merit Travel Group returns for its fourth consecutive year providing exciting vacation and travel packages for the raffle and silent auction, Jackson-Triggs will be providing the fine wine accompanying dinner and Creemore Springs returns as Beer Sponsor and are on tap for the evening.

The Shaw Festival welcomes Martell Cognac and Wiser’s Canadian Whiskey to this year’s festivities as Hospitality Sponsors.

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In the spirit of George Bernard Shaw, the Shaw Festival provokes the mind and stirs the soul through a theatre experience so compelling that, year after year, ever-broadening groups of artists, audiences and supporters are drawn to our work in Niagara-on-the-Lake and beyond.

Please visit our website at www.shawfest.com/news for other Shaw Festival media releases. For more information, or to download images from our image bank to accompany this release, members of the media may contact:

Odette Yazbeck
Public Relations Director
(905) 468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2222
odette@shawfest.com

Jenniffer Anand
Public Relations Coordinator
(905) 468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2224
janand@shawfest.com

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