A tough ticket in Oxon Hill
If you haven’t already purchased tickets for this weekend’s card at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, featuring Vasyl Lomachenko, well, don’t go to their box-office because they’ve been completely sold out for the past month or so.
“Well, they’re scalping the tickets, whoever has them. I mean, it sold out in two days,” said promoter Bob Arum, whose company Top Rank Promotions is hosting the inaugural boxing card in this recently opened facility. “He has a tremendous Ukrainian following. There’s a lot of Ukrainians in that area – they were in New York – so it doesn’t surprise me, “Arum said of the brisk ticket sales. The Theater holds approximately 3,000 patrons and Arum notes, “The venue is absolutely beautiful.”
According to the veteran promoter, Lomachenko (who will be defending his WBO 130-pound title versus Jason Sosa) will be performing in front of the Ukrainian ambassador on Saturday night. “It’s big, very high-profile in Washington D.C. because of what’s happening in Russia and the Ukraine and we not only have Lomachenko but two other prominent Ukraine fighters on the card.”
Rounding out this HBO card is WBO cruiserweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk (who will face Michael Hunter) and light heavyweight Oleksandr Gvozdyk (who is paired with Yunieski Gonzalez).
Should this card have been held in a bigger venue?”I don’t know; it’s hard to say,” stated Jim Boone of KO Tickets, a frequent guest of UCNLive’s “The Next Round,” who makes his living in the ticket business. “Part of the reason why it’s selling so good is that it’s a new theater and it’s smaller. It kind of adds that element of ‘Every seat is good.’ But, in this case, it’s two in a row with them with a smaller-size theater, the last at the Cosmopolitan and then, this one, at the new MGM, where everything is sold.”
Back on Thanksgiving weekend, Lomachenko faced Nicholas Waters in Las Vegas.
Boone continued, “He’s proving at a properly priced show at 2,000-to-3,000 seats, that he can fill it.”
Sometimes, sublime skills alone won’t resonate with the public. There have been plenty of skilled fighters, in the past, who simply have not resonated with the consumers. But it’s clear that Lomachenko is gaining traction with the boxing fans in the United States.
“Definitely, without a doubt, and certainly having the Ukrainian triplets, the three fights, like it is, certainly isn’t hurting anything. I think, with Lomachenko, people are starting to hear that name and it’s become one of the names in the sport, where it’s become a special thing,” said Boone, who believes Lomachenko’s pound-for-pound status has become a selling point. “There’s something special with him, for sure.”
So it’s clear that Lomachenko can sell out small theaters. Arum now has his sights on bigger buildings, as they plan on taking their southpaw virtuoso on a concert tour across the States.
”We’re going to look to feature him in Chicago, maybe his next fight,” stated Arum, who’s specialty is building attractions. “Out near that airport, the old (Rosemont) Horizon Arena, now the Allstate Arena. But it’s a beautiful arena and it’s right in the heart of the Ukrainian population in Chicago, so we’re looking to do about 12,000 people.”
But if you want to see Lomachenko live this weekend, well… it’s gonna be tough (and expensive).
“It has the potential to be literally be impossible to get in,” said Boone, who will be making the trip out east for this event. “I don’t think there’s any shadow inventory. I can’t get anything out of Top Rank. I can’t get anything out of the hotel and a couple of guys who have bought into it – including myself – I’m down to 10 seats. I started with a couple hundred. There’s just no seats and it’s getting to the point where a typical fight, you get that weekend rush – I don’t think there’s going to be anything unless people have already re-bought seats or the public decides to sell their tickets.
‘There not enough seats to go around.”
As Petr Petrov faces WBO lightweight titlist, Terry Flanagan in Manchester, England, boxing fans in the States can view their fight live as Banner Promotions announced, on Wednesday, that they would be streaming this fight on Twitter.
Rounding out this card in Maryland is Mike Reed, Jesse Hart, Patrick Harris and the “Mean Machine” Egis Kavaliauskas. I assume TopRank.tv will stream the undercard…Soooo, should I try the crab cakes while I’m out in Maryland?…OK, was Pepsi serious with that commercial? LULZ…Anyone going to Australia for Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn?…It was announced that both TV Azteca and Televisa will broadcast the Saul Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight on May 6…Speaking of which, has a deal been struck for a Stateside broadcast outlet for the Anthony Joshua-Wlad Klitschko fight on April 29?…Yes, another edition of “Between the Ropes” with Doug Fischer and Yours Truly has been filmed and is available on RingTV.com…The Padres blanking the Dodgers in the second game of the season might be their high point…You can reach Jim Boone (he’s an incredible source of information and good deals on tickets) on Twitter at @kotickets…So Marshawn Lynch is making a comeback?…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.