Bob Arum’s promotional company will bring its first Las Vegas boxing card since the COVID-19 pandemic began to a venue other than MGM Grand Conference Center.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will be the venue for the Jose Ramirez-Josh Taylor 140-pound title unification match May 22. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas refurbished the property formerly known as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and opened for business late in March.
The Theater at Virgin Hotels was once known as The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Numerous boxing cards were held at The Joint before the change in ownership early in 2020.
Before Virgin Hotels Las Vegas offered a significant site fee to host the Ramirez-Taylor fight, Arum’s decision-makers at Top Rank Inc. considered MGM Grand Garden Arena and Michelob ULTRA Arena as their two options for Ramirez-Taylor. Michelob ULTRA Arena was long known as Mandalay Bay Events Center, until Mandalay Bay entered a naming-rights agreement with Michelob early this year.
Depending on which of the aforementioned arenas was chosen, Arum had hoped to sell between 6,000 and 8,000 tickets for the Ramirez-Taylor card. Between 1,200 and 1,300 tickets will go on sale for Ramirez-Taylor because The Theater at Virgin Hotels is considerably smaller than those two arenas.
The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger was the first to report that Top Rank struck a deal with Virgin Hotels Las Vegas to host the Ramirez-Taylor bout.
An official announcement on the Ramirez-Taylor venue is expected sometime this week. Tickets for the card, which will take place four weeks from Saturday night, will go on sale soon thereafter.
Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs), of Avenal, California, and Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs), of Prestonpans, Scotland, will fight for Ramirez’s WBC and WBO 140-pound championships and Taylor’s IBF and WBA belts in a main event ESPN will televise.
Though Top Rank will use a smaller venue than anticipated, the Ramirez-Taylor show will be the first Las Vegas event to which Arum’s company can sell tickets to the public since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. The 26 cards Top Rank staged at MGM Grand Conference Center from June 9 to February 20 all were held behind closed doors.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.