Dan Beckerman believes in boxing

 

As the “SuperFly” card gets going this Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, Dan Beckerman will be in attendance, eagerly anticipating the action, just like any other fan. It can be argued that nobody in the venue is as influential as the President and CEO of AEG, which owns and operates this facility.

 

In fact, without his intervention, this highly anticipated card might have wound up in Las Vegas.

 

But as it stands, this show is part of an unusually busy boxing itinerary for AEG and its properties in the Southern California area.

 

Back on August 5, at the Microsoft Theater, in Los Angeles, WBO super featherweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko headlined a card broadcast on ESPN. Three weeks later, at the StubHub Center, newly-crowned WBO super welterweight titleholder Miguel Cotto faced Yoshihiro Kamegai on HBO and, in addition to the card this weekend, dual WBA featherweight beltholders Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares co-headline on October 14 at “The War Grounds” on a doubleheader telecast by Showtime.

 

Since opening up the Staples Center in 1999 and then hosting the first Oscar De La Hoya-Shane Mosley bout in June of 2000, AEG has made boxing a constant presence in Los Angeles. That commitment has only grown in recent years.

 

“This is huge for us. If you look, starting back in this venue that we’re standing in now, at the Microsoft Theater with the Lomachenko fight to what you saw on Saturday with the Cotto fight at Staples Center, with the (Floyd) Mayweather (Jr.) and (Conor) McGregor (bout) at the T-Mobile Arena, then at the StubHub Center with (Roman) ‘Chocolatito’ (Gonzalez) and then we go into (Saul) ‘Canelo’ (Alvarez)-(Gennady) ‘Triple G’ (Golovkin) – this is a great time for boxing and those are all at our venues,” said Beckerman, on August 28, as he dropped by the open workout held at L.A. Live for the big event on September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena (which is co-owned by AEG and the MGM Grand).

 

Beckerman makes it clear that boxing is a “huge priority for us.”

 

One thing is clear: While many other corporate entities have shied away from the sport, AEG has doubled down on it. There was a time in the 1990s, as Forum Boxing wound down its operation, that significant fight cards rarely landed in this region, as the sport became more and more reliant on casino settings.

 

“I’ve always personally been a believer in the sport and now you see, with the business that’s being done in boxing, now it’s coming back. And we have venues in Europe; you see the fights we do in Europe, also,” said Beckerman, citing his long-term relationship with Tom Loeffler and K2 Promotions, with whom they staged Wladimir Klitschko’s events at venues such as the O2 Arena. “I’ve always been a believer that this is a global sport and I think it’s stronger than ever.”

 

Beckerman is a boxing guy – and a suit…which isn’t such a bad thing for this business.

 

“I’m a fight fan and I love seeing big events,” he says, “but it goes beyond that. It’s great business for our venues; it’s great programming. We’re in the big event business.”

 

 

SELL OUT?

 

According to Loeffler, the card on Saturday is on pace to sell out. (The venue is configured for around 7,500.)

 

Again, a friendly reminder from the Kimster, no matter how warm it is during the day, always bring a sweater because, once that sun sets, it can get very cool out there.

 

 

 

AEG FLURRIES

 

David Benavidez faces Ronald Gavril for the vacant WBC super middleweight title on Showtime on Friday night…Here’s what Carson Jones had to say about his recent fight with Antonio Margarito…Doors open at the StubHub Center on Saturday at 4 p.m. PT; first bell is at 4:15 p.m. and the HBO broadcast starts at 7:15 p.m….You may kill me for this but I’ve enjoyed this season of “Insecure” more than “Game of Thrones” on HBO…What a first weekend of college football, huh?…I can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.

 

 

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