Not even this guy is going to help this show in Tucson. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Today it was announced that Diego Magdaleno was going to take on Miguel Bertran Jr for the NABF super featherweight title. The fight will take place in Tucson in the Casino del Sol and will be airing on Showtime. If shows in Tucson sound familiar then consider yourself a ridiculous boxing fan. Another venue in the Tucson area used to be used for a bimonthly boxing show at the Desert Diamond ran by Golden Boy from 2004 to 2009. Before that Sugar Ray Leonard ran shows at this casino.
The shows used to be fairly popular, drawing 5,000 fans to see Fernando Vargas knockout Tony Marshall. More recently in 2010, a promotion attracted a much smaller crowd of 1,200 fans, losing thousands of dollars. Of course, the recent political climate in Arizona has not been helping the situation. After Arizona passed state bill 1070, one of the largest anti-immigration bills in US history, the WBC effectively banned Mexican fighters from taking bouts in Arizona. This decision led to Top Rank moving a fight out of the state. Now it seems that the political climate has cooled slightly and promoters are looking toward southern Arizona to promote smaller fights involving Mexican fighters.
I really hope that this fight does relatively well, but I fear that they will lose a good amount of money. Even though this card has the backing of stars like Antonio Margarito (his brother-in-law is fighting on the undercard), I just don't think that they can stir up enough interest to have more than a half-filled ballroom, as Steve Kim would say.