With the continuing proliferation of promoters, fighters, and boxing events in Minnesota, there are two ways the local boxing scene could go:
- The market could become saturated and tickets go unsold. In this scenario some promoters lose their shirts (and maybe their shorts) and give up on the game, or at least scale back their operations.
- The fans could respond by buying tickets, attending events, and supporting their favorite fighters with growing enthusiasm. The fanbase grows, and this justifies the growth of the promotions.
Here’s something for Minnesota boxing fans to feel good about: so far, we’ve taken the second path.
Last week I heard from someone connected with the November 13th show at Grand Casino Hinckley that fewer than 300 tickets remained unsold. “Is this news for public consumption?” I asked. “Oh no, we don’t want to have a run on the last few tickets before we figure out the seating configuration.” Only two days later came the news that the show was completely sold out. This is phenomenal, especially considering that this event is going to be televised.
Early indications are that the November 20th show at the St Paul Armory will be well-attended as well. Some interesting matchmaking and two IBA belts being in play have resulted in plenty of good publicity, and there’s even talk of fans coming over from Wales to support their man James Todd in his first title bid.
The next test of the Minnesota boxing fan’s appetite will be the December 4th boxing show at Target Center in Minneapolis, which features heavyweights Joey Abell (25-4 with 24 kayos) -vs- Raphael Butler (35-8 with 28 kayos). People associated with the show have talked boldly of their desire to exceed the attendance record (13,789) set by Duane Bobick and Scott LeDoux 1 back in 1976. A more down-to-earth goal would be to sell-out the arena’s reduced capacity for boxing (less than 5000 seats), and I think that given reasonable promotion, this will happen.
The Fistic Mystic says: The old cliche is that in business you’re either growing or dying. Right now, in Minnesota, the business of boxing is growing!