CASTRIES, St. Lucia – The bell will ring for the biggest boxing event to ever be staged in the Eastern Caribbean, “Showtime in Paradise,” at the Beausejour Cricket Ground in St. Lucia on Friday, November 16, 2007.
Addressing a news conference at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort in Rodney Bay Village, the mega event’s planners announced that the bout would not only feature top-ranked boxers (to be announced in a month’s time), but will also showcase St. Lucia as a knockout vacation spot, in addition to its traditional quiet romanticism.
Senator Allen Chastanet, St. Lucia’s Minister of Tourism, announced Showtime Networks Incorporated, a CBS Company, is airing a live broadcast of the six-fight world class boxing event in association with BET J, which will carry a rebroadcast and prepare other promotional material that will highlight St. Lucia as the destination for the fight and as a prime tourism destination.
“This boxing event will give us an opportunity to expose ourselves to markets we have not been in,” said Senator Chastanet, who added “we will not only be known as a wedding destination, but now broaden our image to represent the planned growth that is taking place on the island.”
Senator Allen Chastanet (left) with Paxton Baker, President of BET Event Productions
President of BET Event Productions Paxton Baker said that apart from the Foreman-Frazier fight staged in Jamaica in 1973, and a couple of other fights in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, the November telecast will be the most recent from the Caribbean and the first to be done from the Eastern Caribbean.
“In addition to a rebroadcast on BET J, we will develop two additional 30-minute shows about the experience of the boxers in St. Lucia, while additional footage will be made available on other multi-media platforms which will allow St. Lucia to get additional exposure,” he said.
Well known boxing promoter Dan Goosen, President of Goosen Tutor Productions, said this was an exciting time for his company and for St. Lucia as the event would attract many fight fans to the island for a week of festivities leading up to the November event. “We compliment Minister Chastanet for his tremendous vision in using boxing as a means of promoting the growth of the tourism sector in St. Lucia,” he said, pointing out that the successful casinos in Las Vegas had all used boxing as a growth instrument as it always attracted television audiences and fans to their venues.
The event is being planned to coincide with the inaugural American Airlines non-stop service from New York to St. Lucia on Thursday, November 15.
From left: Senator Allen Chastanet; Dan Goosen, President of Goosen Tutor Productions; Kenneth Hershman, Senior Vice President of Showtime Networks; Maria Fowell, St. Lucia’s Director of Tourism; Minister of Sports Leonard Montoute; local boxing association president and sports tourism consultant Joseph “Reds” Perreira; and Paxton Baker, President of BET Event Productions
Photo credit: Dave Pascal