By Jake Donovan
Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao once again did huge business at the box office last weekend, but not all events in town during fight week were blessed with the same Midas touch.
The HBO PPV attraction at the MGM Grand marked the last of three consecutive nights of boxing in Las Vegas. The first card of the boxing weekend took place on December 6 – two nights earlier – at the Mirage Hotel & Casino, with the televised portion of the evening airing live on ESPN2 in a special edition to its normal Friday Night series which runs from January to late August.
In the main event, Raymundo Beltran scored a well-earned 10-round decision over Ji-Hoon Kim. Both fighters were dropped in the opening round, but Beltran dominated the rest of the bout to cap a terrific bounce back year in a career largely spent as a gatekeeper.
The bout captivated viewers at home but underwhelmed at the ticket booth. The show generated $17,965 from 414 tickets sold. Another 854 patrons were granted entrance through means of complimentary tickets (comps) for a total of 1,268 in attendance, while 126 tickets went unsold.
Final gate receipts from the carried mirrored that of a similar Vegas fight week format offered by Top Rank in September.
Two nights before Sergio Martinez fended off a 12th round rally from Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on HBO PPV, a special edition of ESPN2 boxing was staged at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Jessie Vargas defeated Aaron Martinez in the evening’s headliner, with the show producing a live gate of $16,513 from 424 tickets sold on the night, along with another 535 comps issued.
Vargas returned to the ring last weekend, outpointing Vito Gasparyan over 10 rounds in a bout which aired live on Azteca America (in select markets) from Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas. Final attendance and gate figures have yet to be officially released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox