Hey, have I told you that I think this year in boxing was mainly a transition year, and that I think allegiances and arrangements and relationships have been and are being clarified, and that the year in boxing 2015 figures to be a better one? Well, that's what I think.
And some other folks, bigger wigs than I, share my optimism. Like Brett Yormark, the man who runs boxing at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, the hottest arena in basically the world right now, which happily so happens to be a brisk walk from my residence.
So, when I spoke to Yormark, who also by the way is the CEO of the NBA Nets and the building itself, and asked about boxing-at-Barclays, I will admit, I was happy to hear the zest in his voice.
“We've had a great first two years of boxing at Barclays,” he told me. “We've built something which has immense local and regional appeal, and also world appeal. Fighting here has become aspirational for local boxers, guys like Danny Jacobs, Peter Quillin, Marcus Browne, guys like Luis Collazo, who had that stunning knockout over Victor Ortiz here. It's been tremendous.”
Boxing is back in the building, on Dec. 6, and it's an interesting card. Not as much from the popularity quotient and stratospheric talent level of those on the bill. Nah, as outside of the harder core fan, headliner David Lemieux (32-2) hasn't edged into the star zone. But, hear me out here, the card is interesting because it suggests more of what we've been seeing of late in the sport. And that's a loosening of some of the bonds that developed over the last couple years, some of the strict working agreements which had some persons only working within a small band of brothers, and eschewing opportunities to widen their scope, and do business outside their comfort zone. On Dec. 6, you have Lemieux, who is promoted by Canadian Yvon Michel, meeting fan-friendly, all action Philly hitter Gabriel Rosado (21-8) in the main event.
Golden Boy, the purveyor of just about all the boxing action Barclays has offered fans in the last two years, promotes the night of fights, but will be working in concert with Michel, and Rosado's promoter Russell Peltz. Golden Boy will put their guys on, but will let other promoters get a taste, and guess what…that helps make the possibility that the card could be solid from top to bottom. The Hugo Centeno-James De La Rose scrap, a battle of junior middles, should be a good tussle, and other bouts will be added. And about Lemiuex, Michel seems to think he's the bomb. “It will be the birth of a soon to be a mega boxing star,” he said. “He has everything a promoter is dreaming of.”
I pressed Yormark for specifics about next year, but he wasn't able to provide concretes now. He said he had a bunch of irons in the proverbial fire, big darn deals, and as I know his track record, and he knows what is and what isn't a big damned deal, I'm optimistic that I will be hitting some A grade main events at the Barc next year.
I will report from a presser next week on that Dec. 6 card, and try to poke for more deets on what we might see in NYC's buzziest borough when the calendar flips.
“I expect 2015 to be a mega, mega year for boxing in Brooklyn,” the CEO stated, in wrapping up. “We have a lot planned and are in final negotiations for some megafights!”