There was never a concern over whether Ryan Garcia could draw a crowd outside of his home region.
The question was always how many fans would be allowed to attend such an occasion given social distancing measures and health guidelines during a pandemic.
Garcia's off-the-canvas 7th round knockout win over England’s Luke Campbell topped a Jan. 2nd DAZN show, live from American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The event produced a live gate of $353,835 from 4,218 tickets sold according to the final tax invoice provided by Golden Boy Promotions to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), a copy of which has been obtained by BoxingScene.com.
Tickets were sold at just five available price points, ranging from $35-$200.
The event sold virtually every ticket made available for a venue which carries a maximum seating capacity of 18.256, which includes obstructed views. Social distancing only permitted Golden Boy Promotions to make 25% of the inventory available to the public, before securing a handful of “kill” seats to accommodate fight week demand.
In addition to the 4,218 tickets sold, another 534 complimentary tickets were issued or at least identified as such according to the manifest. More than half of that total were assigned to the broadcasters, production team, media and essential personnel on the promotion.
Garcia (21-0, 18KOs) has emerged as a sizeable draw in his home state, long before even hitting prospect status. The rising lightweight contender marketed his brand through social media, steadily translating into box office success for events he has headlined in California.
The win over Campbell marked the third time in five fights where Garcia fought outside of his home state, though the first such occasion where he headlined the show. It comes at a time where the lightweight division is loaded with young and hungry talent, all of whom are angling to prove themselves as the A-side at the negotiating table.
Joining Garcia on the rise are: lineal lightweight champion/unified WBA/IBF/WBO titlist Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12KOs); undefeated WBC lightweight titlist Devin Haney (25-0, 15KOs) and unbeaten two-division titlist and knockout artist Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (24-0, 23KOs). All are 26 or younger and are hitting their peak at roughly the same time.
Of the four, Davis has emerged as the most reliable box office attraction.
The 26-year old southpaw drew sizeable crowds to each of his last four main events, all taking place in separates. The most recent of the bunch came in a 6th round knockout of Leo Santa Cruz atop their Showtime Pay-Per-View event last Halloween at The Alamodome in San Antonio which marked the first major U.S. televised card to come with fans in attendance since the pandemic. The show generated a live gate of $1,466,475 from 7,891 tickets sold.
Garcia and Davis made the media rounds earlier this year, teasing the possibility of a head-on collision. Such a bout is believed to be among the biggest that can be made in the sport today.
The latest gate results from both boxers suggest that both at least remain on the right track, even during a global health crisis.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox