‘L.A. Fight Club’ returns in 2018
On Wednesday, Golden Boy Promotions announced that its “L.A. Fight Club” series, from the Belasco Theater, in downtown Los Angeles, will return in 2018 with a full schedule of cards that will kick off on March 16.
It has been asked if this series, which began in 2015, would return. But according to GBP President Eric Gomez, there was never a question.
“It was something we were committed to and we wanted to keep it going. It was very successful. We were able to build a lot of our young prospects, give them activity, keep them busy and, in the process, we built a couple of guys that developed a nice following with tickets and it really helped us with some of the bigger shows, like at the Forum or at StubHub (Center),” Gomez told UCNLive.
He added, “We have a handful of kids that are selling a lot of tickets. So it’s something that we were committed to and we were just re-adjusting a bit.”
Additional dates on April 6, June 1, July 6, August 10 and October 12 were announced but Gomez points out, “That’s just a minimum (number of cards) we’re going to have those shows and there’s a possibility of little bit bigger shows, where we would go somewhere else. I can’t really talk about it right now.”
These cards will be televised by Spanish network Estrella TV and also streamed on RingTV.com, according to Gomez.
“So we’ll elaborate on it a little bit later on that,” continued Gomez, regarding the possibility of added dates. Currently Golden Boy has a series on ESPN that is designed to test its young prospects, like Ryan Garcia and Vergil Ortiz (both who are scheduled for that platform in the first quarter of the year). The L.A. Fight Club is designed to launch careers and build local fan-bases. “The good news is that it’s back. We start in March and we’re going to keep it going. It’s been very successful, especially for the local market here in Los Angeles.”
Golden Boy Promotions will have a no dearth of shows in 2018.
“It’ll be very similar to last year; we did something like 35,” stated Gomez. “So it’s going to be something very similar. We’re going to have different level shows, starting with these Belasco shows, L.A. Fight Club – which is local here in the L.A. market – which is probably the biggest market for boxing out here on the West Coast.
“And then we have the ESPN series, which has been great, a very successful series there and then you graduate to the HBOs and then the pay-per-views.”
Gomez met with Tom Loeffler of GGG Promotions, on Thursday, to discuss the venue for the rematch between unified middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Most likely this bout will return to Las Vegas. There have been rumblings that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will return in some sort of fight – maybe even in a UFC Octagon – around that same period of time. (Hey, he can’t help himself.)
Will that have any bearing on their decisions?
”We’re just concentrating on our show,” answered Gomez. “We’re going to concentrate on our show. We’re going to market our show and make it the best show possible. I think there’s a lot of real excitement. The first fight speaks for itself and it wasn’t lopsided. It was a very close fight; there was a lot of action and I think the second fight’s going to be even better.”
Last time out, Mayweather faced Conor McGregor three weeks before GGG-Canelo. It’s not clear what type of effect it had on their business – which still ended up being robust.
“We’re concentrating on our show,” reiterated Gomez. “Floyd is retired; he can do whatever he wants. We’re not really worried. We’re just concentrating on our show.”
By the time Golovkin faces Canelo again, he’ll be 36 years old. That said, does Abel Sanchez change anything, in terms of how he prepares GGG at the Summit in Big Bear?
“I have changed things in the last three or four fights. It’s not the youngster that we used to have. Now it’s a guy we have to take care of and make sure that his regiment is not as physical as it used to be. But he still works. He’s one of those guys that’s not going to slow down,” said Sanchez, who expects Golovkin back in camp in early March.
“He’s going to give you everything he has and, if you put it in front of him, he’s going to master it. So it’s just a matter of making sure that we monitor it and we talk to him and make sure that he understands that we preserve it, so we can be the best we can be on fight night.”
With Jerwin Ancajas’ 10th round stoppage victory over Israel Gonzalez, last weekend, the defending IBF 115-pound champion now must make his mandatory defense versus fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan, in a very rare all-Filipino title match-up.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum told UCNLive.com that, if the fight is agreed upon, it will take place “in the United States on one our cards. We’re in a period now where we have two fight shows a month and Ancajas isn’t at the level where he can fight in the main event but is at the level, like on Saturday night. He’ll fight in the semi-main and that’s where we’ll keep him.”
Last weekend at the Bank of America Center in Corpus Christi ,Texas, Ancajas was the opening bout on ESPN before WBO super middleweight beltholder Gilberto Ramirez defended his title against Habib Ahmed. It’s a supporting role he’ll play, for the time being.
“He can be on a card with any of our other champions,” said Arum.
Speaking of the “Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN” series, it was announced that, on March 24, Jose Martinez will square off against Alejandro Santiago, in the main event. This card will take place from (Viva) Puerto Rico, with Joshua “The Professor” Franco, Zachary Ochoa and Rashidi Ellis…beIN Sports has boxing cards on tonight and Saturday. (Check your local listings.) The card tomorrow night from Cancun (Nick Van Exel’s favorite spot) features Miguel Berchelt and Jaime Munguia…Well, the Lakers certainly made an eye-opening move on Thursday; didn’t they? They’re not playing around…Did you read the Quincy Jones interview? Whooooaaa!…Is the city of Philadelphia still standing?…I can be reached at email@example.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.