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28 February Tuesday

The Last Punch

Byrd Theatre, 2908 W. Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23221 United States
The Last Punch


The Last Punch tells the true story of James Cornelius, an Atlanta hustler turned boxing promoter who used his street smarts to navigate the shark-infested waters of the 1980s fight game. James must race against the clock, evade the F.B.I., and somehow find a way to make Muhammad Ali's last fight, The Drama In Bahamas, a reality. The Drama in Bahamas was Muhammad Ali's final and most infamous fight. But the battle that raged outside the ring was even more compelling. At the center of that drama was the fight's promoter, James Cornelius, a street-wise man from Atlanta who had to navigate the shark-infested waters of the fight game, and stay one step ahead of the authorities while doing so. Based on true events.

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Jesse Vaughan with his Emmy awards. Vaughan recently came to Northern Arizona University's School of Communication and is now in the running for nine more Emmys this year. (James Bauerle/Arizona Daily Sun/Order this photo at

Artist Bio


Before directing "The Last Punch" for General Productions American film director Jesse Vaughan directed his first feature film Juwanna Mann for Warner Bros./Morgan Creek, starring Vivica A. Fox, Miguel Nunez, Kevin Pollak and Tommy Davidson. Jesse started his career as a director for WTVR-TV6 in Richmond, Virginia where he directed local news and produced his first television show at the ripe age of 19-years-old. He later moved on to produce nine nationally syndicated educational documentaries distributed to PBS stations all across America entitled “Fourth R: Rights.” NBC took notice of his precocious accomplishments offering him a job at age 22. While there for over ten years he directed The Jesse Jackson Show for Quincy Jones Entertainment and America’s Black Forum with Julian Bond. In addition to his work on Meet The Press, President Reagan’s Inauguration, Reagan’s State of The Union Addresses and major White House Press Conferences, Vaughan also worked on NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, The Charlie Rose Show, The McGlaughlin Group and Headlines on Trial with Arthur Miller. Vaughan also directed WRC-TV News Center 4’s 5pm News to it first number one position in over ten years.

Vaughan followed his 10 year career at NBC with a season five stint, directing the sketch comedy series “In Living Color,” starring Jim Carey, Jamie Fox, Tommy Davidson and David Alan Grier. Vaughan then moved on to directing numerous music documentaries for MTV Networks, including music specials on Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Paula Abdul, Melissa Etheridge and Steve Winwood. He has directed music videos for ‘N Sync, featuring Justin Timberlake, Eric Benet, Master P, Mya, Raphael Saadiq, and SWV featuring Missy Elliot. Vaughan won two national EMMYS for his work on the “NBC Sports Barcelona Olympics” and “The World Track and Field Games” in Tokyo where the pool of talent included Elton John, Tina Turner, Will Smith, Anita Baker, Rod Stewart, En Vogue, Tevin Campbell, Keith Sweat, and many more.

Vaughan also was commissioned and wrote “Catch A Fire -The Bob Marley Story” for Island World based on the Timothy White book “Catch a Fire.” He has been nominated for 42 EMMY Awards during his career for which he has garnished 28. Vaughan currently serves as Director of Advance Creative Services Group out of the Office of The President at Virginia State University.


February 28
7:00 pm - 8:18 pm
Event Categories:
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Venue Name: Byrd Theatre
Address: 2908 W. Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23221 United States

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Event Info

Director: Jesse Vaughan
Cast: Tony Grant, Keith David, Karon Joseph Riley, RonReaco Lee, Siena Goines
Running Time: 78