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Another Golden Night at the Staples Center

Staples Center
Staples Center

On Tuesday afternoon at the ESPN Zone at L.A. Live, Golden Boy Promotions held a press conference to officially announce their November 10th card which will be staged across the street at the Staples Center. This venue is best known as the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and Kings but since it opened its doors more than a decade ago, it’s become a regular destination for boxing. And the man who presided over the festivities, Oscar De la Hoya, christened this arena (as it relates to big fights) back on the night of June 17th, 2000, versus Shane Mosley, in front of a jam-packed house.
What’s ironic is that while he lost that hard-fought 12-rounder to Mosley, there is still a statue of him standing outside the arena (perhaps it’s more an ode to Golden Boy’s partnership with AEG than the result of that bout). But despite the loss, De la Hoya says he has fond memories of that evening.

“I actually have tremendous memories of the Staples Center. It was a terrific fight, historical fight. I think people remember it by it not only being a good fight but by all of Hollywood being there,” recalled the “Golden Boy,” who always seemed to bring out the A-listers to his events. “It was a special moment. Yes, I came out on the short end but I was glad we could inaugurate the Staples Center with their first boxing event when I fought ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley.”
And from that point on, the Staples Center - and other AEG-owned properties such as the Home Depot Center in Carson - have ensured that boxing fans in Southern California don’t always have to make the four-hour trek on the 15 to Las Vegas to see world-class prizefighting. It’s hard to imagine Los Angeles having a regular rotation of fights without the Staples Center and AEG.
The next offering sees a fight fan’s delight as WBC 122-pound champion Abner Mares takes on the slick and dangerous Anselmo Moreno who, like Mares, was a distinguished bantamweight beltholder. Also on this Showtime telecast (which will be a quadruple-header) is IBF 118-pound titlist Leo Santa Cruz and the return of Alfredo “Perro” Angulo, along with another bout that will soon be announced by Golden Boy.
Moreno is very reminiscent of a boxer De la Hoya faced back in 1997, Pernell Whitaker. When told of that comparison, Oscar opined, “I think Anselmo Moreno is more confident with his punching power. He’s willing to exchange; he’s willing to come forward more but he’s very slick. He’s an excellent, excellent boxer. It’s not an easy fight.”
Indeed, many boxing insiders are tabbing the Panamanian stylist to outbox Mares, who has more promotional upside (being a Mexican-American from the Los Angeles region). So why did Golden Boy make this fight?’ “I think the only thought we had was to make the best fight possible,” explained De la Hoya.
“I think when you put two champions inside that ring, you’re going to get a terrific fight. That’s what the fans want; that’s what we want - a terrific fight.”
OK, here’s how you can purchase tickets for this card (from a Golden Boy press release):
Tickets priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges and taxes, are on sale now and available for purchase at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at, by phone at (800) 745-3000 or at the STAPLES Center Box Office.
I was told at the press conference that Golden Boy would absolutely love to match Santa Cruz with Vic Darchinyan early next year (provided it’s their network date and it’s a main event) and then pair the winner of that fight against the victor of Mares vs. Moreno.
Most boxing fans would anticipate this scenario - especially if it culminates in a Mares-Santa Cruz match-up - but again, what about one of these guys eventually facing Nonito Donaire? Again, we are seeing a series of intramural fights from a particular company (in this case, Golden Boy) and not necessarily the best fights possible. Right now, this and the winner of Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado possibly facing “The Machine” Lucas Matthysse are non-starters.
But De la Hoya told Maxboxing on Tuesday, “We’re always willing to work with anybody. So as far as we’re concerned, we want the best for our fighters and the door’s always open for anybody who wants to  work with us. We’re willing to work with anybody at any given time. So the door is open.”
Seeing is believing.
Lou DiBella made the rounds yesterday calling various media outlets (including this one) to explain that he has cut a deal with Andre Berto and Al Haymon and will step aside to allow Berto to participate in a Golden Boy promotion in his next outing (DiBella and Berto will work together again in the future). Last week, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer made it clear that he obtained the services of Berto (which was news to DiBella on Friday) because, well...he did. Schaefer stated that he was holding a November 24th date on HBO for Berto to face IBF junior middleweight beltholder Cornelius Bundrage.
Basically what happened here is DiBella was told to get out of the way and take a few bucks for his trouble.
It seems rotten but again, those who decide to “promote” Haymon clients should understand just what they are getting into.
According to Gary Gittelsohn, who manages Brian Viloria, the fight against Hernan “Tyson” Marquez looks like it will land at the L.A. Sports Arena (yeah, the L.A. Sports Arena) on November 17th, with Univision and WealthTV televising this card in the States. Gittelsohn also added that WBA light flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez will be on the card.
Again, all this could change very soon. But that’s the latest on this never-ending saga....
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