By Steve Kim
There is a palpable buzz this weekend surrounding the light heavyweight showdown between Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. It's been awhile since there has been a fight that has generated this much interest in this region. There was a time when it was a prime market for boxing but since the final ring days of Arturo Gatti and then the premature descent of Kelly Pavlik, it's been rather sluggish, to say the least.
According to the head of Main Events, Kathy Duva, which promotes Kovalev - "we will be close to sold out, if not completely sold out."
She mentions that anyone that walks up to the box-office tomorrow prior to the event will be accommodated as they will resort to 'standing room only' if need be.
Duva says that the house was configured to hold around 10,000 patrons.
Tickets for this card which is co-promoted by Main Events and Golden Boy and features a co-feature between welterweights Sadam Ali and Luis Abregu were priced at $300, $200, 150, $100 and $50. HBO will be televising this doubleheader.
There was a time when Atlantic City rivaled Las Vegas as a consistent destination for the biggest events in boxing but in recent years as more casino's opened up in the northeast and venues such as the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn showed an interest in the sport, this region has had fewer and few major promotions. The Revel Casino Hotel - which hosted a few fight cards - is just one property that has closed down recently in this city. And fights in recent years such as 'the Super Six' final between Andre Ward and Carl Froch, and those involving the likes of Adrien Broner, Lucas Matthysse and Lamont Peterson have played to rather mediocre crowds.
Hopkins-Kovalev is a remnant to when Atlantic City was truly a robust boxing city. Could this fight be the last 'big' boxing event they ever host?
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.