With the big WBC/WBO
Jr. Welterweight unification bout between Timothy
Bradley and Devon Alexander taking place in Pontiac,
Michigan one week from now the poor ticket sales have
overshadowed the first big fight of the year. The
Silverdome has reportedly been configured for seven
thousand and various reports have it has high as
fifteen thousand and the ticket sales somewhere
between five hundred and two thousand with the first
five rows ringside being used by promoters, media etc.
Publicity for the HBO event has been what you would
expect, yet the interest is not there for local fans.
Ticket prices range
from twenty five dollars up to four hundred dollars
ringside and in this day and age for a fight of this
magnitude it is a bargain. The first thing that comes
to mind is the choice of the venue as most fans prefer
an arena or casino as opposed to a dome stadium where
the atmosphere is not the same and even with premium
seats you are still pretty far from the action in the
ring. Promoters should release tickets at the earliest
possible date to ensure they have the option of moving
to another city if need be.
The UFC had to do that
for one of their events last year as sales were poor
and they moved it from Utah to Southern California. To
a certain extent the poor economy hurts everyone, not
just the sport and the smart logic would suggest that
you stay in cities where you know the market is strong
and to break out in a new areas start out in a casino
or a small arena and take it from there. You have to
give Don King and Gary Shaw credit for sticking with
it and not pulling the plug on the whole thing which
would be easier said than done. The line-up for next
Saturday is strong and I hope they will have a good
walk up crowd.
Boxing fans will always
be there through the good and bad and there is no
reason why you can't be somewhat optimistic about the
future. I am a die-hard fan and as I sit down and
write this I plan on watching the Evander Holyfield
vs. Sherman Williams PPV over the free UFC event on
Spike TV. Not thrilled it is a PPV but I am a fan of
many of the fighters and it will be the only chance I
get to see it and for thirty dollars it is a nice
alternative then going out on a night on the town and
spending a ton of money.
In closing I would like
the powers that be at Showtime and HBO to take Canada
into consideration when looking for a host city.
Montreal is a hotbed and almost every show regardless
of venue size sells out and in a smaller capacity
Vancouver and Edmonton draw fans very well. For
decades Canada has been a big supporter of the sweet
science and if given more of an opportunity we can
bring these hard working athletes here to apply their
craft with much love and appreciation!