If you want to party like it's the mid-2000s, promoter Ivaylo Gotzev of Epic Sports and Entertainment has just the boxing card, one that will feature the return of former heavyweight titleholder Samuel Peter and former welterweight and junior middleweight titlist Ricardo Mayorga, as well as former junior middleweight titleholder Luis Ramon "Yory Boy" Campas.
The trio, long past their best days, will appear in separate eight-round bouts on a Sept. 27 show at the OKC Downtown Airpark in Oklahoma City, Gotzev said on Tuesday.
"We have a well-rested and recommitted Sam Peter eager to return to the ring in one of the main events, plus Ricardo Mayorga, who always entertains the crowd," Gotzev said.
Peter (34-5, 27 KOs), a native of Nigeria living in Las Vegas, will be fighting for the first time in 3½ years and is being matched extremely softly against Oklahoma City club fighter Ron Aubrey (12-3-1, 12 KOs), 47, an enforcer on the ice during a 12-year minor league hockey career.
Peter, who turns 34 on Saturday, won a world title in 2008 by knocking out Oleg Maskaev but lost the belt in his first defense when he was punished for eight one-sided rounds by Vitali Klitschko later that year.
Peter has not fought since suffering a ninth-round knockout loss to Robert Helenius in 2011, his second knockout loss in a row. In the previous fight, Peter was stopped in the 10th round challenging heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, Vitali's younger brother, in 2010. Aubrey has not fought since 2012 and his opponents had a combined record of just 9-39-1 when he faced them.
Mayorga (29-8-1, 23 KOs), 40, of Nicaragua, has not fought since suffering an 12th-round knockout loss to Miguel Cotto challenging for his junior middleweight world title in 2011.
He was supposed to end his long layoff in February, but when promoter Jimmy Burchfield put him on one of his cards, Don King, Mayorga's longtime promoter, threatened legal action, claiming he still had a contract with Mayorga, and Burchfield dropped him from the show.
King had also previously stopped Mayorga from participating in an MMA bout, claiming his promotional agreement covered all combat sports.
Gotzev, who made the deal with Burchfield for the canceled February fight, told ESPN.com that King's contract with Mayorga is long expired and that with him promoting the card, he won't take Mayorga off even if King threatens legal action.
"King knows he doesn't have a deal with Mayorga anymore," said Gotzev, who used to manage Peter and battled with King, who used to promote him, time and again over his fights and purses. "King has all my numbers and my email. If he wants to get in touch with me about this, I am ready. But he knows there is no contract. Ricardo Mayorga is free and clear to enter this contest and any other he wants."
Campas (102-17-3, 79 KOs), 43, of Mexico, has been boxing professionally for 27 years. He won a junior middleweight world title in 1997 by stopping Raul Marquez in the eighth round, made three successful defenses and then lost it by seventh-round knockout to Fernando Vargas in 1998.
Since challenging Oscar De La Hoya for a junior middleweight title in 2003, and getting knocked out in the seventh round, he not been in a significant fight but has remained active fighting all over the world, although mainly in Mexico. In his last fight, he won a six-round decision against Daniel Gonzalez in April in Montana.
If Mayorga and Campas win, Gotzev said he plans to match them together in a fight that might have mattered a decade ago. Gotzev said the fighters have agreed to fight if they win on Sept. 27. Gotzev said the bout would likely be in Texas at a site and date to be determined.
"Styles make fights and that one would have 'barn burner' written all over it, if and when it happens," Gotzev said. "It won't be easy for either man to get past their opponents in September, but if they do, we've got a war on our hands for the next event."