New York, New York
There was a time when New York City was the center of the boxing world. It may or may not be true anymore but, for the next several weeks and months, the Big Apple and its five boroughs will feature a plethora of prizefighting.
A look ahead…
Erislandy Lara faces Terrell Gausha in defense of his WBA belt; WBC beltholder Jermell Charlo takes on the young and talented Erickson Lubin and IBF titlist Jarrett Hurd defends against veteran and former WBA titleholder Austin Trout.
– November 4 (Barclays Center – Showtime): A major buzzkill here as WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was originally scheduled to fight Luis Ortiz, who was then kiboshed as he tested positive for banned substances by VADA. So now instead of getting this anticipated match-up, we get a rematch against Bermane Stiverne that is akin to “Gigli 2.” And now ticket prices have been “adjusted” to reflect this change.
Also on this card is a welterweight match-up between Shawn Porter and Adrian Granados and Sergey Lipinets vs. Akihiko Kondo for the vacant IBF 140-pound title.
– November 11 (Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island – HBO): This card marks the debut of Matchroom Boxing in the United States and its first fight promoting Danny Jacobs, who is paired with Luis Arias. It will be interesting how this card fares, given there is a show on this same night on ESPN, as well as a stacked college football schedule. Matchroom Group Managing Director Eddie Hearn, who regularly packs arenas and stadiums in the U.K., might find that the American market one is a bit more difficult to master.
– November 25 (The Theater of Madison Square Garden – HBO): Some might call this boxing’s version of Thanksgiving leftovers, given this date, featuring the return of Sergey Kovalev, who faces Vyacaheslav “Slava” Shabranskyy. It will be interesting to see just where Kovalev is mentally after getting stopped in controversial fashion by Andre Ward in their June rematch. Kovalev no longer has that fabled cloak of invincibility. This kicks off an unusually busy stretch of boxing at MSG.
– December 2 (Madison Square Garden – HBO): Miguel Cotto makes his farewell to boxing in a building he helped revitalized as a boxing venue. The only problem is this fight with Sadam Ali is not being well-received by the public or press. Many were called for this assignment but unfortunately they were either unwilling or unavailable.
Cotto has traditionally been a huge draw in the Big Apple and it will be interesting to see how this fight does at the gate.
– December 9 (The Theater of Madison Square Garden – ESPN): This card features a battle of two-time Olympic gold medalists in WBO 130-pound titlist Vasyl Lomachenko against Cuban stylist and WBA 122-pound beltholder Guillermo Rigondeaux. If there is a fight on this upcoming New York schedule that is selling well, it’s this one. According to “Mr. KO Tickets” Jim Boone, this is, by far, the hottest ticket and, earlier this week, Top Rank announced that this is now a complete sell-out.
OK, while these aforementioned cards are already on the books, according to the New York State Athletic Commission website, DiBella Entertainment has a hold on the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for December 16 and there have been various names/fights that have been mentioned for this card, such as Errol Spence Jr.-Lamont Peterson and Mikey Garcia-Robert Easter Jr.
Yes, I’m in South Florida now and it’s warm, humid and, at times, rainy…Lotsa boxing on Saturday (which I’ll be DVR’ing, since I’ll be at the Canes-Georgia Tech game) on FOX and then Showtime. Check your local listings…OK, that’s it for me; I’m off to enjoy the city of Miami…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.