« Did Nevada bureaucrats sandbag the job security of athletic commission boss finalists? Update: Aaron Davis of NJ backs out | Home | More likely to happen first: Shogun/Henderson UFC III or double retirement? »
By Zach Arnold | March 22, 2014
The late Dr. Jerry Buss would be very happy to see the old Inglewood Forum active as a home for boxing fights once again. In the 1990s, Dr. Buss helped promote many fight cards at the former home of the Los Angeles Lakers. Combined with fight cards at the Anaheim Pond, it was pretty good to be a boxing fan in Southern California.
So, with the news that Top Rank is going to promote two legitimate fights at The Forum in May and July, how will the two events draw? MSG now manages the building.
Interesting to note that by running Inglewood, they avoid the 5% Los Angeles city entertainment tax that’s added to the 5% gate cut that the California State Athletic Commission gets with the TV tax money and the double-digit state income tax rate. The 5% LA city tax has been a bone of contention for Top Rank in attracting financial backers for past fights.
The two fights booked are intriguing to say the least. The May 17th show features Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Mike Alvarado. The July 12th HBO PPV show features Gennady Golovkin vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. JCC has a lot to prove in regards to whether or not he’s still a big ticket seller in Southern California. The first fight with Bryan Vera drew a little over 5,000. JCC can draw a million eyeballs on HBO but this time he’s on PPV.
It’s going to be a real compressed time frame to promote the Marquez fight on the ground and get tickets sold but Bob Arum always has based his big initial media flurries for fights (regardless of location) in LA because of his press contacts. It should pay off at the box office. Boxing back at The Forum will certainly bring back good memories for the veteran fans who used to go to those shows and the younger crowd as well.
The California scene needed a shot in the arm and this is a very good opportunity to build some momentum. And, yes, I didn’t forget the ESPN May 10th fight between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne at USC’s Galen Center.
Given all the recent turmoil in Sacramento with the Athletic Commission, success here would be a much-needed morale booster. The well has been dry for a while now and Andre Ward isn’t much of a draw outside of Oakland.