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Kovalev vs Shabranskyy: Kathy Duva on ticket sales

Promoter Kathy Duva discusses the expected crowd tonight in New York.

Ward-Kovalev 2: 'The Rematch' - Los Angeles Press Conference Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

Boxing is a niche sport, that isn’t too much debatable, but the same can be said, I think, of just about every realm of entertainment.

Options are so widespread, on so many platforms and devices, physical and digital and from the world over, that splintering occurs. This isn’t news to someone looking to get people to show up to a boxing card they are promoting; Brit Eddie Hearn had his first show in America November 11 at Nassau Coliseum, and the attendance was almost 7,000, announced. He said he was fine with the number, noting that Brooklyn, Long Island and Manhattan had a glut of product available from October to the second week of December.

Kathy Duva can attest; her Main Events is tasked with luring fight fans to the Madison Square Garden Theater this weekend, when they can sit at home, in guaranteed warmth, and sleep off the tryptophan hang-over watching the tangos on HBO.

I put it to Duva, who’ll celebrate 40 years in the biz in May, how has the response been, are tickets selling fast or slow, or what?

“We know the Eastern European crowd tends to be a walkup crowd,” Duva told me, referring to the rooters who want to see their 30-2-1 “Krusher” Kovalev get back onto the mauling track, and leave tire track marks on Vyacheslav Shabranskyy.

“All indications are, so far, so good. Look, I went into this show before we knew about all the other fights. (Locals saw, from Oct. 14, an event at Barclays Center featuring 154 aces; Nov. 4 in Brooklyn featuring Deontay Wilders’ Godzilla stomp of the Haitian (un)Sensation; Nov. 11 Jacobs-Arias).

“We knew there might be a Lomachenko fight, we knew there’d be a Wilder fight, we didn’t know about the others. We went into this knowing we would not be selling out a major arena, or even anything close.

“This weekend is a great TV weekend, it’s a great weekend to get a TV rating, not so much for people to buy tickets. We based our budgets on those assumptions, so at this point I have to say I’m past what I needed, so it’s all good!”

Listen to Woods' podcast, "Talkbox," if you like

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