The Fallon Fights are the real deal.
In addition to being televised live on Aug. 8 on ESPN2, legendary five-time former heavyweight champion Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield will be in attendance, according to Rick Gray, executive director of the Fallon Convention and Tourism Authority, and Tommy Lane, co-founder of Dynasty Boxing, who are promoting the fights.
Holyfield is a goodwill ambassador to China for Dynasty Boxing, Lane said. Holyfield will attend the press conference on Wednesday and the weigh-ins at 5 p.m. on Thursday at John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks.
The weigh-in will also feature a live radio broadcast during the “Don and Ben Show” on ESPN 94.5 FM.
Holyfield will also be inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame on Aug. 9 in Las Vegas. Fellow former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson will present Holyfield.
Tyson and Holyfield’s legendary history stems from when Tyson bit off a part of Holyfield’s ear during a bout in 1997.
Holyfield will be inducted into the non-resident category of the Hall of Fame along with former champs George Foreman and Roberto Duran.
“He will be sitting ringside,” Gray said of Holyfield’s appearance at the fights.
The fights are highlighted by Dynasty Boxing’s Chinese heavyweight Zhang Zhilei, whom Holyfield advises. Zhilei is a 6-foot-6 former silver medalist in 2008 and is making his professional debut.
“We wanted to bring him out here to advise Zhang,” Lane said. “He is going into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame the next day.
Co-founders Duva, Terry and Tommy Lane created there company to focus on the potential and talent of Chinese boxers.
Calling the fights will be the famed voices of ESPN boxing, Teddy Atlas and Todd Grisham. Gray said a live feed of the broadcast will be pumped through the fairgrounds for fans in attendance to listen.
The fairgrounds, meanwhile, will undergo its transformation on Wednesday as lightning and power crews create on the layout.
“The site buildup is going to be more complex than in years past,” Gray said.
The scheduled main event (bouts may change), though, is Willie Nelson of Cleveland (22-1-1, 13 KOs) against Luis Grajeda of Chihuahua, Mexico (17-2-2, 13 KOs) in a 10-round junior middleweight bout.
Nelson is ranked No. 5 in the world in the division by the WBC (World Boxing Council).
“He is knocking on the door for a title,” Tommy Lane said of Nelson.
The co-main event, meanwhile, is searching for a second fighter to take on Norbert Nelson (14-0, 13 KOs) of Budapest, Hungry. Lennox Allen (17-0-1, 10 KOs) of New York was scratched from the eight-round super middleweight bout.
Zhilei, meanwhile, will open the broadcast against Curtis Lee Tate of Oakland, Tenn., in a four-round heavyweight fight.
“We are expecting a card of national prominence,” Gray said.
Before airing, fans will be treated to three other bouts including Fallon Fights regular Oscar Vasquez of Reno. Vasquez is 6-1 with one knockout in his professional career. Vasquez will make his fourth appearance at the Rural Rumble.
He will take on Sergio Lopez (2-1-1) of Las Vegas in a six-round flyweight bout. Lopez beat Vasquez’s brother, Santos, earlier this year.
“Sergio and Oscar will be a special fight,” Lane said. “That will be a very good fight.”
The other two fights slated are Eduardo Alicea (7-0, three KOs) of Cleveland against Kirk Huff (3-0, one KO)of Arnold, Mo., in a six-round middleweight bout, while super featherweight Joel Diaz (16-0, 12 KOs) of Palmdale, Calif., is still waiting for an opponent.
Gates open at 5 p.m. and the first bout begins at 6 p.m. Advance general admission adult tickets start at $12 for adults, $7 for children and $10 for military and seniors. Advance ringside tickets start at $27.
Ringside tables for eight are available for $500 including a cooler of beer, program and special Fallon Fights souvenir.