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Photo: PhilBoxing.com / Dr. Ed de la Vega

So many times you see a fight between two good fighters (Amir Khan – Danny Garcia, for example) taking place in a venue it has no business being in. Whether it’s the size of the venue, the city it’s held in, or both.

As a result of this, again using Khan-Garcia as a prime example, you have a fighter from England (Khan) taking on a fighter from Philadelphia (Garcia) at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

No local connection whatsoever, no large crowds breaking down the doors for a chance to see a talent rich Amir Khan taking on a fighter that the laymen couldn’t pick out of a lineup (Garcia).

Common sense leads you to believe that this particular fight should have been held in Atlantic City, the Theatre at Madison Square Garden, or in England. Those venues would have yielded far better sales.

The Khan-Garcia fight at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas sold 3,147 tickets
for a gate $426,150. The problem with those numbers is that in addition to the tickets sold, 737 were left unsold, 3,364 were comped (free) and the gate for the event was less than the purse for either fighter (Khan made $950,000, Garcia $520,000).

Doesn’t seem like good business sense, does it? To actually give away, for free, more tickets than you sold for the event just strikes me as, well…stupid.

Placing a fight in Las Vegas should almost strictly be for big time, big money fights. Everything else is basically a let down.

Amir Khan’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions (GBP), showed extremely poor foresight when planning out the city/venue for this fight to take place.

I’m not jumping on GBP alone. Many other promotional companies hold fights between fighters with little build up and place the fight in Vegas or some other location with bright lights and avoid placing the fight where it should be because they are blinded by shiny things.

Main Events has Tomasz Adamek as one of their main event fighters (no pun intended). Adamek is from Poland and lives in New Jersey. When Adamek is in the main event of one of their events they place the card at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, a city with a large Polish population.

Adamek draws large crowds in New Jersey, so that’s where they put him to fight. It makes sense.

Top Rank puts Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (a Mexican) in Mexico and Texas. It makes sense.

Maybe Golden Boy overestimated Khan’s star power? Maybe they thought the British throngs would fly over to see one of their own, as they are known to do?

Whatever the reason, it was not well thought out.

If a fight is placed in the right city/venue/section of the country (and at a semi-reasonable price) people will come to watch.

Hell, you might not get a sell-out, but you won’t be giving away more tickets than you sold for the fight, that I promise you.


Amir Khan vs. Lamont Peterson for Khan’s WBA & IBF junior welterweight titles

Wow.

In one word that would be how I would describe the fight between Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson.

Simply a fantastic fight. After a rough first round for Peterson, where he had a slip and was knocked down, he had a solid second round. After the second round though it was “on”. Peterson began to masterfully work Khan to the body. Khan didn’t pay nearly as much attention to Peterson’s body, but work upstairs with awesome hand speed that Peterson had trouble with the entire fight.

The fight had numerous ebbs and flows as Peterson would take control and back Khan against the ropes with hard shots to the body and once against the ropes he would gash Khan with vicious uppercuts. Khan would respond to this by pushing Peterson off of him, repeatedly. Eventually Khan would be penalized a point in round 7 (justified, in my opinion) and against in round 12 (slightly less justified). Khan would turn the tables and use his superior hand speed and quickness to throw multiple punch combinations and jump out of reach before Peterson would mount any counter attack.

Throughout the exchanges it appeared that Khan clearly had the faster hands and Peterson was demonstrably better on the inside.

The point deductions unfortunately had an impact on an otherwise action packed and exciting fight. Read the rest of this entry »


The punch that turned out the lights on Paul Williams.

With news that Ken Hershman was scooped up by HBO (and away from Showtime) to be the new president of HBO Sports, it makes me feel hopeful that the debacle at HBO Sports and their problems with reaching their budget and forcing some non-PPV worthy fights onto PPV is over.

This hopefulness has me thinking of some fights that I would love to see. Not that any of these fights will or will not be made, just my current wish list.

I want to see two men* in the trenches, pouring their heart and soul into every punch. Refusing to give into the will of their opponent and fight as if it was their last chance in the ring.

*Or women, I don’t discriminate I mean I have watched women fight locally in Sarah Kuhn and Jaci Trivilino in fantastic, hard nosed battles that were extremely enjoyable*

5. Sergio Martinez vs. Miguel Cotto

I realize Cotto has a fight on HBO PPV coming up (I see a Cotto KO victory over Margarito, btw), but I don’t care. The styles that both men have would end in nothing less than fireworks. I understand and appreciate a fighter that is over skilled defensively and from time to time it’s a joy to watch someone so skilled in that craft do their work in the ring, but what I really enjoy in a fight above all else is a fight. I think these two have the potential to have a 5-star fight. I have almost no doubt Maravilla would win, but I am also sure that Cotto would give him everything he could handle.

4. Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Gary Russell, Jr.

Russell, Jr. is realistically about three fights away from being ready for someone of Gamboa’s quality. It’s just that to see Russell in the ring now you would think he’s a 10+ year veteran. He looks extremely polished with the whole package at his disposal. The 23-year-old has speed, power, defense and controls the ring like a grizzled veteran.

Gamboa is no slouch though. While I am high on Russell, I think Gamboa is the cream of the featherweight division. He, too, has almost unmatched speed and throws deadly accurate combinations. His major flaw is his ability to disappear for a minute or so in some rounds. He can get away with that against most because he is so superior in talent and quickness, but another grade A fighter would be quick to exploit that weakness. Read the rest of this entry »


Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz

I’ll be honest from the start. I had strangely conflicting opinions and there was probably no way both of them were going to live up to what I thought of each fighter.

Before this fight I thought of Andre Berto as overrated. I thought he fought a lot of cupcakes and had various other reasons to not want to fight any real competition. I thought he was ripe to be exposed, but he needed to fight an elite level talent because he was good enough to slide by on his own talent against mid-level opponents.

Before this fight I thought of Victor Ortiz as soft and with an equally soft chin. Oh, and no heart. I thought the first time he stepped into the ring with a true champion he would be destroyed and end up no better than Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. You know, fighting C-level talent and just skating by on talent, never fighting any true danger to his record.

I was wrong. Both times actually. Read the rest of this entry »


It was a decent night of boxing on HBO.

First up was the Victor Ortiz-Lamont Peterson fight.

This fight started slowly, very, very slowly.

Ortiz won three of the first four rounds on my card, but they were very hard to score. Little action with the exception of the 3rd which Ortiz knocked Peterson down twice and had an easy 10-7 round.

After the 3rd and a 10-7 round and a, seemingly, insurmountable lead on the scorecards Ortiz became comfortable. Too comfortable.

Peterson began gaining confidence starting in the last 30 seconds to a minute of the 4th, a round in which he lost, but showed vast improvement.

It showed in the fact that I had Peterson win the next five straight rounds.

Some think that if you are the aggressor, consistently coming forward and throwing power punches that you are winning the round. I am not one of these people.

Ortiz showed he was the aggressor, but he wasn’t coming forward effectively. Peterson was regularly dodging and ducking with fantastic head movement and danced around the ring beautifully.

When it was all said and done I had thought Peterson did enough to work a draw from the jaws of defeat.

Turns out I was right.

My score: 94-94
Judges scores: 95-93 Peterson, 94-94 twice

The main event of Marcos Maidana-Amir Khan was a great fight. One of the best of the year. Read the rest of this entry »

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