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2012 Shaw Boxing Evening

Annual boxing bout now in its 27th year

Media Release #5

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, April 13, 2012 . . .The sound of the boxing bell will once again draw crowds to the Canadian Room at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York when Shaw Festival Board of Governors Chair Gary M. Comerford and Shaw Festival Boxing Evening Chair Robert C. Olsen welcome the boxing-world elite to the Shaw Boxing Evening on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Popular CTV-Toronto sports broadcaster Joe Tilley is once again the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.

The Shaw Boxing Card, organized by Jim Gentle, Matchmaker, is as follows:

  • An opening bout for the Bagnato Cup pits Whitby, Ontario’s own Phil Rose “The Assassin” (1-1-1) against Israel’s Danny Netzer “Silent” (1-1-0) in a four-round Middleweight match-up.
  •  A second match of the Round Ontario Boxing Council’s Ontario Championship eight-round Light Heavyweight has Stephen Franjic (7-0-1) of Orangeville, Ontario battling Anthony Russell “The Rowdy One” (16-3-1) of Brockton, Massachusetts.
  •  The 10-round “Shaw Cup” main event is a Middleweight match-up featuring Adam Trupish “A-Bomb” (7-4-1) of Edmonton, Alberta against Darryl Cunningham (25-10-3) of Detroit, Michigan.

In attendance for this evening’s matches will be special guest Gerry Cooney, former world class heavyweight, businessman and philanthropist. Highlights of Cooney’s career include 25 bouts, including knockout victories over former world champion Ken Norton, contenders Ron Lyle and Jimmy Young; and a title fight against WBC World Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes. Before retiring in 1990 with a pro mark of 28-3 with 24 knockouts, Cooney engaged in high-profile bouts against Michael Spinks and George Foreman. His business endeavours include promoting championship boxing shows, owning a share of several minor league baseball teams and founder of F.I.S.T. (Fighter’s Initiative for Support and Training), a non-profit organization assisting boxers making the transition from the ring to the real world. Today, he lends his support to various charities and is a vocal campaigner against drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence.

Twenty-seven 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 an emerging 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!

Believed to be the largest charitable boxing event in the world, the Shaw Boxing Evening serves as the Shaw Festival’s major annual fundraising event. The annual event has been attended by over 20,000 people, and is not only an excellent fundraiser, but has also served as a showcase for some of North America’s best young fighters. Prominent Canadian fighters who have participated in past years include Willie Casey, LarryRazorSharpe, Neven Pajkic, Stephen Molitor, “Bad” Chad Brisson, Donovan Boucher, Clyde Gray and Moses James.

The Shaw Boxing Evening committee would like to express its thanks to the evening’s sponsors: presenting sponsor Deloitte, raffle sponsor Merit Travel Group, wine sponsor Peller Estates, beer sponsor Steam Whistle Brewing, hospitality sponsors Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey and Collingwood Hand-Crafted Blended Canadian Whiskey and premiere auction sponsor Porsche

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In the spirit of 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 additional information, members of the media can 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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