The next fight Bob Arum’s company promotes in Las Vegas will be attended by a lot more people than the shows Top Rank Inc. has staged there over the past nine months.
Arum informed BoxingScene.com that Top Rank has narrowed down the possible site for the Jose Ramirez-Josh Taylor fight to two Las Vegas venues. Their 12-round, 140-pound title unification fight will be held May 22 either at Mandalay Bay Events Center or MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Top Rank held 26 cards at MGM Grand’s Conference Center from June 9 to February 20. Tickets were not sold to the public for any of those shows, however, due to COVID-19 restrictions in the state of Nevada.
Top Rank is working with local officials to allow either of the two aforementioned venues to open up at 50-percent capacity for the Ramirez-Taylor card.
“We’re working with the governor [Steve Sisolak] to do it in Las Vegas in either Mandalay Bay or MGM Grand, with 50-percent capacity,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “What you have to do now in Vegas is you have to send a seating plan to [Clark County] and they’ll give us its approval. So, we’ll be able to sell tickets as early as the next couple weeks. And whether it’s 6,000 or it’s 7,000, it depends. But at least it’s something.”
Removing ticket sales as a revenue stream has hurt Top Rank and other promoters throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing announced Friday that the Canelo Alvarez-Billy Joe Saunders card will be held May 8 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The Dallas Cowboys’ home stadium will be configured for between 60,000 and 70,000 fans for that event, though 100 percent of the venue is available for use because Texas governor Greg Abbott lifted all capacity limits for public places in that state earlier this month. AT&T Stadium could accommodate approximately 100,000 fans for boxing if necessary.
Mandalay Bay Events Center holds about 12,000 fans for boxing under normal circumstances, roughly 4,500 fewer than MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs), of Avenal, California, and Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs), of Prestopans, Scotland, will fight for Ramirez’s WBC and WBO championships and Taylor’s IBF and WBA belts. ESPN and ESPN Deportes will televise their main event.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.