CHATSWORTH, Calif. - Adult performer Travis Knight will fight former "Survivor" star Gervase Peterson on April 3 in Philadelphia for the Celebrity Boxing Federation light heavyweight title.
Knight accepted the fight with Peterson after actress Lindsay Lohan's father Michael turned down a proposed bout with him due to Knight's size advantage. Peterson gained notoriety after appearing as a contestant on "Survivor: Borneo," the first season of the hit reality series in 2000. He was voted off the show during the 10th episode.
Knight, who has performed in adult movies for the past nine years, lives in the Philadelphia area and is married to porn star Gina Lynn. He said the Celebrity Boxing Federation (CBF) promoters sought him out by repeatedly calling him at his Skin Industries retail store located at the King of Prussia mall in Pennsylvania.
"I got a call from Damon Feldman who runs the Celebrity Boxing Federation and he said they're looking for celebrities to box in this tournament. And he said I was a local celebrity for Philadelphia and wanted to know if I'd be interested in boxing Lindsay Lohan's dad," said Knight, a veteran of over 350 sex scenes. "I was like, ‘Yeah, that's cool, I always wanted to do something like that.' But Lindsay's dad turned me down because they said I was too big. And then they brought in Gervase Peterson. So I said yes to that."
Lohan will still fight in the main event of the "Celebrity Boxing 7: Hollywood Showdown" card against a local radio personality, Rocco from Q102.1 FM.
The CBF officially announced the event at a press conference Tuesday at the Philadelphia Airport Ramada Hotel, where the fights will be held.
"They had the local news, TV and radio there," Knight said. "I didn't realize it until I went to the [Philadelphia Flyers hockey] game the other night how much press it's gotten. I'm in yesterday's paper, there's a big picture of me. Everybody at the Flyers game was coming up to me, and I didn't even know the people."
Peterson was a no-show at the press conference, but his manager did poke some fun at Knight.
"He said he's not going to be like my other opponents and just lay on their backs. I just laughed," Knight said. "My response was, ‘He's going to be just like any other bitch that I've gotten in the ring with.'
"... It should be pretty interesting. They're expecting up to 1500 people at the event."
Knight, who was born in Reading, Penn., and raised in Hyder, Alaska, said he started training for the fight two weeks ago with an emphasis on cardio fitness. He said he'll begin working with some professional boxing trainers on Monday.
Knight said he did not know who Peterson was before accepting the bout.
"I had to do a search on the Internet. I kind of recognized him from somewhere but I'm not sure where," he said. "He's taller than me by five inches, and slimmer."
The 5-foot-11 Knight said he plans to weigh 198 pounds on fight night. He's currently 204.
"They're not hiding that I'm a porn star. That's why they picked me," Knight said. "I thought this would be something that is pretty cool. I'm boxing for Skin, which is my sponsor. I'm doing that and they're promoting skinpa.com which is our website. I get a percentage of all the tickets sold through our store and through their site (http://celebrityboxing.tv)."
Knight is donating his proceeds from the fight to the widow of Philadelphia police officer John Pawlowski, who was shot and killed on Feb. 13 outside the nightclub where Knight and Gina Lynn were inside celebrating her birthday.
"He was young, and he left behind a pregnant wife of four months," Knight said. "I've also been collecting donations at the store, and I'm going to give my proceeds to her."
The fight, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. on April 3, will be three rounds. The combatants will wear headgear and use 16-ounce gloves.
"I'm doing it for the promotion and it's just fun," Knight said. "Gina is my manager so she'll be ringside. I've been jumping rope every workout, weight training and running. I'll start sparring soon. I'm kind of psyched about the whole thing."