by David P. Greisman
When it was first announced that both Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions would be staging competing major cards in Las Vegas on Sept. 15, the speculation wasn’t just about what problems there might be with potentially having two pay-per-views on at the same time, but also whether there would be any issues with two big events being in Las Vegas on the same night.
The concern about competing pay-per-views has since been made moot by Victor Ortiz losing to Josesito Lopez, leading Canelo Alvarez’s headline bout to air on Showtime instead.
And Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, told BoxingScene.com last week that there are no issues or concerns with having a pair of major shows in the same city on the same night.
BoxingScene.com: What kind of hang-ups, if any, do you foresee for the idea of competing major boxing cards in Las Vegas on the same night of Sept. 15?
Kizer: “There shouldn’t be any. Usually we have like a companion card on a Friday, and I’ve already told both promoters we can’t do anything there because we have two big weigh-ins that day. Top Rank got a little creative, which I’ve got to give them credit for — they’re going to do an ESPN show on Thursday. But that won’t be a problem; that card will be long over by the time we do the weigh-ins on Friday.
“But other than that, they both know that they have competition that night, and we have a small staff here, so they all need to get their medicals in early. Usually we allow changes to the card as late as noon the day of the weigh-in, but we’re going to have to move that back 24 hours. They’re going to have to get all their stuff in 24 hours earlier, so if somebody falls off the card the night before the weigh-in, we’ll have one less fight. They knew that going in, so I don’t think there will be any hang-ups whatsoever.”
BoxingScene.com: And the reason there are no hang-ups is that the commission has no issues or concerns with having two major cards on the same night?
Kizer: “Right. It’s a strange thing. I’m not sure if it makes sense from a business standpoint. But from a regulatory standpoint, it’s not an issue. In fact, we had two cards last Saturday [July 14]. We had Mundine and McKart at the Palms, and we had Khan-Garcia at the Mandalay Bay, and we had no issues whatsoever.”
BoxingScene.com: And there won’t be any companion cards on the Friday beforehand because it would spread the commission too thin?
Kizer: “Exactly. With two major weigh-ins, in Nevada, when there’s a big fight, the weigh-in is almost like a separate event. We’ve had events with thousands of people showing up at either the Mandalay Bay or the MGM, which wasn’t always the case. In the heyday of Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns and those guys, the weigh-ins would usually be at the ballroom, and there’d be a couple hundred people there, if that, and that was it.
“It really wasn’t until the Mike Tyson era that they got a little wiser and said, ‘Hey, let’s not just have this in a small ballroom with just invitation-only, let’s open this up to the whole public. And it’s worked out well. So we’ll have, really, four events on those two days. We’ll have a major weigh-in at the Wynn, we’ll have a major weigh-in at the MGM, and then the next day we’ll have a fight at the Thomas and Mack and a fight at the MGM.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected].