Top Rank has found a new home for its fights in Las Vegas, at least temporarily.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Bob Arum’s company will promote cards at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on three straight Saturday nights in June. As previously reported, Top Rank will stage its first show at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on May 22, when 140-pound champions Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor will square off in a full title unification fight at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas was known as The Joint before Virgin Hotels Las Vegas purchased and refurbished its property from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Three weeks after Ramirez-Taylor, Top Rank will start its three-week run at the same venue June 12 with a show headlined by former WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson. The unbeaten Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs), a 2016 Olympic silver medalist from Newark, New Jersey, is scheduled to battle Namibia’s Jeremiah Nakathila (21-1, 17 KOs) in a 12-round WBO junior lightweight elimination match.
The following Saturday, June 19, Japanese star Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17 KOs) will make a mandatory defense of his IBF bantamweight title against the Philippines’ Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20 KOs) in another main event at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
A week after the card headlined by Inoue and Dasmarinas, three-division champion Vasiliy Lomachenko will face Japan’s Masayoshi Nakatani in a 12-round lightweight fight at that venue. Ukraine’s Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) will fight for the first time since his 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) on October 17 when he encounters Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs).
ESPN will televise each of the four cards headlined by Ramirez-Taylor, Stevenson-Nakathila, Inoue-Dasmarinas and Lomachenko-Nakatani.
The Ramirez-Taylor and Lomachenko-Nakatani telecasts have been announced. The Stevenson-Nakathila and Inoue-Dasmarinas shows are expected to be announced sometime this week.
A limited number of fans will be allowed to attend Top Rank’s four shows at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas in May and June.
Each of the 26 shows Top Rank promoted at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas from June 9 to February 20 were held behind closed doors. Tickets were not sold to the public for any of those events.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.