By Jake Donovan
It doesn’t take much motivation or marketing to get fans interested in the June 15 featherweight showdown between Miguel Angel ‘Mikey’ Garcia and Juan Manuel ‘JuanMa’ Lopez. The bout – which takes place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas and will air live on HBO – already has boxing fans buzzing about its potential as a Fight of the Year candidate.
That won’t allow the event’s handlers and leading sponsor to allow the promotion to run on auto-pilot. Quite the contrary, as Top Rank and Tecate have found a new way to promote the show while also enticing fans about another event down the road – and on the other side of the world.
“Tecate is a great, great sponsor of boxing,” acknowledged Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum of his long time promotional ally. “To tie in June 15 with an event we’re having in Macao on November 23 – Manny Pacquiao against Brandon Rios - Tecate is going to organize (a raffle).
“Anyone can sign up, and there will be a drawing on June 15. The winner will get a roundtrip (ticket) for two from Dallas to Hong Kong/Macao and two ringside tickets to the fight, plus a hotel stay at the beautiful Venetian Macao. No purchase will be necessary.”
Details will come in future promotional sweepstakes commercials.
The November event in Macao will mark Pacquiao’s first fight back since suffering a one-punch knockout in his epic fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez last December in Las Vegas. The Filipino legend has lost two straight after going more than seven years without a defeat.
Rios also comes in on the heels of a loss, dropping a decision to Mike Alvarado in a fever-pitched rematch this past March. He will also be moving up in weight for the fall showdown, his first fight outside of the United States.
The winner of the drawing will be announced on fight night prior to Garcia and Lopez stepping into the ring. Garcia makes the first defense of the featherweight belt he acquired from Orlando Salido earlier this year.
Salido won the belt from Lopez, knocking him out in eight rounds in 2011. He repeated the feat less than a year later, this time stopping the Puerto Rican southpaw in ten rounds.
Lopez served a suspension for accusations made towards the referee following the loss, but has since returned to the ring and is coming off of a tune-up win last month in Mexico.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox