The StubHub Center remains an open shop
On June 27, an HBO card headlined by Tim Bradley-Jessie Vargas for the vacant WBO welterweight title will be staged at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. This will be the first non-Premier Boxing Champions card at this venue since Gennady Golovkin’s Southern California debut last October.
Earlier in the year, there seemed to be factions who were squatting on this venue as the organizers of the highly-anticipated bout between Lucas Matthysse and Ruslan Provodnikov hit one roadblock after another in putting that fight in this war room and other buildings around Los Angeles.
On the night of April 18, Matthysse-Provodnikov played to an enthusiastic and sold-out crowd at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, while the bout between Andrzej Fonfara and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. played to a papered house at the StubHub Center. But President and CEO of AEG (which owns and operates the StubHub Center, Staples Center and a multitude of other venues around the world) Dan Beckerman – a staunch backer of the sport – swore all their facilities would never be exclusive to one entity.
Like FedEx, Beckerman delivered.
“We want to open our doors to every promoter that wants to bring us fights,” he told UCNLive.com on Monday afternoon at the Conga Room at LA Live, where Top Rank Promotions held a press conference for this event. “We just want the best fights and we want to have the greatest match-ups and work with every promoter that’s out there.”
According to Bob Arum, the head of Top Rank, there were no problems in booking this venue, “Absolutely not, we have a great relationship with Dan Beckerman, with the Staples Center and the AEG people and Beckerman, having been burnt by these guys, is going to be much more vigilant. Somebody comes in and gets a date and puts up the money – that’s fine; no problem. But they’re not just going to let you reserve based on your word.”
Arum says that, in 2015, unlike some other promoters, they haven’t had problems in booking venues or run into any squatters but states, “I’ve read about it; I’m not naive and I think, to some extent, it’s been going on but really it hasn’t affected us at all.”
On June 6, the StubHub will host a PBC event featuring Robert Guerrero, who faces Aaron Martinez. In the past, venues have balked at having boxing events so close together but Beckerman says, “I think it’s hard to come up with a hard and fast rule about how big the window should be. I think a lot of it comes down to the promoters; a lot of it comes down to the type of fights that you’re having, whether one conflicts with the other.
“But I think that, in this case, going on June 6th, going on June 27th, I think is more than enough time and we’ve shown in the market – you’ve seen – we’ve had a lot of fights in Los Angeles in the last few months here and, when interest is at an all-time high, the ability to have multiple events – we had one this past weekend with ‘Triple G’ [Gennady Golovkin]; we had ‘Triple G’ [in October] – so, with great content, there’s going to be demand.”
But this much is clear: With the current landscape of the boxing business, venues like the StubHub Center are fielding more offers than ever to hold events.
“I will tell you that there has been unprecedented interest and promoters holding dates. We have multiple holds on every Saturday, starting in May, June, July, August, September, October, even going into November,” Beckerman points out. “So there is a lot of great boxing content out there which is great for us, great for the sport and I’m glad we’ve been able to establish the venue as a destination.”
I asked Beckerman what the impact of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao bout on the boxing business was moving forward (regardless of the quality of the actual fight). His reply:
“I think what it did was bring a lot of attention to the sport and I think that the rising tide is going to lift all ships and having more people talking about boxing, more people interested in boxing and having more boxing available on TV. I think it’s great for the sport. Whether or not there’s a rematch, that I don’t know. Other people will figure that out but, for me – the more interest the better.”
This past weekend’s telecast on HBO featuring Gennady Golovkin’s 20th consecutive knockout victory over Willie Monroe delivered 1.3 million viewers (peaking at 1.47 million), continuing a strong run for the network.
Here’s ticket info for the Bradley-Vargas card (and, according to Arum, the HBO co-feature is still being worked on), which went on sale Tuesday:
Priced at $150, $75, $50 and $25, (plus applicable taxes and fees), tickets can be purchased online at http://www.axs.com, by telephone at (888) 929-7849 or at the StubHub Center box office, Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Suites are available by calling (877) 604-8777. For information on group discounts, please call (877) 234-8425.
3 KNOCKDOWN RULE
Mario Lopez and I are back with another edition of “The 3 Knockdown Rule” podcast (with our usual discussion of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”). It can be downloaded at iTunes.
Word is K2 Promotions and Teiken Promotions are working on a regular working relationship regarding Roman Gonzalez in the States. I believe the plan would be to pair him often with Golovkin…According to Arum, there have been no talks of Mayweather-Pacquiao II…While Bradley-Vargas is for the vacant WBO title, the winner must then face Sadam Ali…Agree or disagree with the NFL’s new point-after rule?…The Lakers have the No. 2 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. I’ll take that all day and night…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.