Keith Idec reports that the October 15 HBO pay-per-view main event between Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson has moved from Newark's Prudential Center to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The move is happening because the company that owns the Prudential Center has a deal with Main Events, meaning that Main Events would have to be a promoter on the card. Since Golden Boy and Gary Shaw Productions have no interest in fitting Main Events into their plans, they've simply moved the fight to LA.
Here's what Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer said:
"They came and they said that Main Events needs to have the logo exposure, a banner above the ring and have the Main Events logo on all of the marketing materials and have a slot on the undercard. And we said, ‘You know, they have nothing to do with Chad Dawson and they have nothing to do with Bernard Hopkins.’ They said, ‘Well, if you guys are not going to agree to that, we’re not going to do the fight.'"
And this from Gary Shaw:
"As a New Jersey-based promoter I’m very disappointed. I thought for sure that we would be at the Prudential Center, put on a big fight and draw a ton of fans from Jersey. [Fans] would’ve come up from Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, and from Connecticut and New York. We thought it was a perfect fight for New Jersey."
While Shaw is kidding himself -- and probably knows it -- when talking about fans flocking from all around to see Hopkins vs Dawson (they wouldn't have), and Schaefer is right that the card has nothing to do with Main Events, I can't help but just think, "Well, that's how it is." It's not like Main Events gets many chances to strongarm rival promoters, and they have a deal with the Prudential Center. That's just how it is. Shaw does say that he won't be trying to put fights in the Prudential Center in the future, and assumes Golden Boy won't either. I assume they both will if it makes sense to do so.
Anyway, moving the fight to Los Angeles is probably no big deal. Sure, Hopkins is a Philly fighter and Dawson is a Connecticut fighter, but neither of them have drawn on the east coast in recent fights. Hopkins' fight in Philly with Enrique Ornelas was a dud, as was Dawson's rematch with Glen Johnson in Hartford. The fight and the event will go on.
This will be Hopkins' first fight in California since he beat Howard Eastman in 2005 (also at the Staples Center), and Dawson's first since beating Epifanio Mendoza in 2007 at Sacramento's Arco Arena.