The June 12 Top Rank date is firm, but bouts involving Shakur Stevenson and probably Edgar Berlanga will not be unfolding at Madison Square Garden, as had been hoped.
Top Rank bossman Bob Arum told Bad Left Hook that the June 12 card will be “outside of New York.”
“That date is firm,” Arum said. “But it will not be in Madison Square Garden, because we can’t get any assurance that we could fill up the place. The problem with a big venue like that, even if a smaller number of people were let in, (between the) union contract, costs of building, forget rent — it’s prohibitive. They agreed to waive the rent, that doesn’t help. Another place will be announced shortly.”
There will boxing in New York soon, but not in a big building. On April 22, Ring City USA is to run a card at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, with heavyweights Jermaine Franklin and Stephan Shaw facing off.
One interesting side note on that card, which is first boxing show in New York since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020: There will be five professional fights on the slate and also four amateur bouts featuring West Point cadets. That is being made possible by the rules change enacted by the New York State Athletic Commission on March 29, allowing for “pro-am” events.
The commission is adhering to guidelines supplied by the New York State Department of Health, so they are not in a driver’s seat in terms of what’s being booked when, so you know.
“Yeah, that April 22 at West Point, there will be a minimum number of spectators, and the costs are not as great as in New York City and the Garden,” Arum said. “Because ESPN’s production is so elaborate, we get killed. We’re hoping to get back to normal or near normal in the fall, and we’re targeting Joe Smith at Madison Square Garden.”