L-R: Miguel Cotto - Sergio Martinez
Photo © Chris Farina / Top RankArticle by Steve Kim
On Wednesday morning, tickets went on sale for the middleweight championship bout between Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto taking place at the famed Madison Square Garden on June 7th. By that afternoon’s press conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Top Rank Co-Vice President Dena duBoef announced that 87 percent of all available tickets had been sold.
“We knew it was a hot ticket but when you get the reaction we did this morning from the Garden and the pre-sale. It’s clearly the hottest boxing event of the year, ticket-wise,” said Carl Moretti, VP of Boxing Operations for Top Rank.
No, the overall numbers aren’t nearly as monstrous as the brisk sales for the rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves (who reportedly sold 60,000 in one hour for their event taking place at Wembley Stadium in the U.K. on May 31st) but it’s clear this fight in New York has as much heat as any promotion in the United States.
The tickets were priced at $750, $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50 and by Wednesday evening, less than 2,000 tickets remained. It was a veritable breath of fresh air and judging by the reaction on Twitter, the general public actually got to buy the seats it wanted. Many times, the tickets go directly into the hands of the brokers who immediately mark them up several times above face value. That certainly seems to be the case at fights held at casinos.
“All of us want to make tickets available to the public rather than holding them for a later date and hope people call your office and ask to buy tickets. Especially with the Garden’s help, it was almost a demand that we allow the public to have a great choice of tickets as well, especially in New York City and that’s exactly what happened and they responded,” said Moretti, who says the newly-refurbished venue will be scaled for just under 20,000 seats.
Once again, Cotto cemented his status as the greatest ticket selling boxer in the history of this venerable arena. He has faced the likes of Muhammad Abdullaev, Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito and Austin Trout to consistently huge throngs throughout his storied career. This truly is “Miguel’s Square Garden.”
“The only other venue that we thought about was Giants Stadium,” said Moretti, “but when you think of the costs and Miguel’s history at MSG and everything leading into everything into New York City on Puerto Rican Day weekend, the only other consideration was Giants Stadium but the Garden was obviously the right choice at the end of the day.”
Floyd Mayweather may or may not be in some hot water based on this story:
Floyd Jr Allegedly Involved in Kidnapping & Beating TMZ
Regardless, I think it’s long overdue that he invests in a safety deposit box.
HBO announced it’s going dark on April 26th (originally the next appearance of WBA middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin, who decided to pull out of the fight after the untimely death of his father). This means that from March 8th to May 17th, the network has one live boxing broadcast planned during this span, a card on March 29th, featuring Sergey Kovalev against Cedric Agnew and Thomas Dulorme facing Karim Mayfield.
To HBO’s credit, it’s going all-in on boxing on May 31st with a live broadcast of Froch-Groves II, a card on HBO2 from Macao, China featuring Nonito Donaire and a HBO Latino show from Las Vegas’ Tropicana which includes middleweight contender Sergio Mora.
Dan Rafael is reporting that the heavyweight bout between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne will be televised on the “Worldwide Leader” ESPN on May 10th: http://espn.go.com/blog/Dan-Rafael/post/_/id/7962/stiverne-arreola-ii-lands-on-espn
And this will be the start of several major cards the network hopes to do this year. The big news is, unlike its “Friday Night Fights” franchise, ESPN will fork out a significantly higher license fee. There’s no doubt this fight will now play on a much larger platform than provided by HBO or Showtime (which have around 20-to-30 million subscribers, depending on who you believe) while ESPN is in over 120 million homes.
WARM SOCAL FLURRIES
Various outlets are reporting that a bout between IBF welterweight titlist Shawn Porter and Paulie Malignaggi is finalized for April 19th at the D.C. Armory...Anthony Peterson faces Marcos Jimenez on March 21st on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights”...The Denver Broncos are going all-in; aren’t they?...Revis Island is now in New England. That’s interesting…
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