LAS VEGAS, NV (May 2, 2005) – Fifty years ago today, Las Vegas hosted its very first big-name fight. Light heavyweight champion Archie Moore moved up to heavyweight to fight Cuba’s Nino Valdes, May 2, 1955 at Cashman Field. It was promoted by Jack “Doc” Kearns. Moore won a disputed decision and earned the right to challenge Rocky Marciano for the heavyweight title.
Since then, as chronicled in Tim Dahlberg’s critically-acclaimed book, “Fight Town: Las Vegas – The Boxing Capital of the World”, now in its second printing, Las Vegas has indeed become the boxing capital of the world, the city where Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion ever and George Foreman became the oldest.
To mark that anniversary, the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) will be holding its 80th annual awards dinner this Friday, May 6, at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.
In recognition of both, The Honorable Kenny C. Guinn, Governor of the State of Nevada, has proclaimed the week of May 1-8 in their honor.
The 80th Annual BWAA Awards Dinner promises to be it most star-studded, featuring world champions from yesterday, today and tomorrow, and some of boxing’s biggest celebrities. Expected to attend include:
* Sugar Ray Leonard * Oscar De La Hoya * Glen Johnson * Bernard
Hopkins * Winky Wright * James Toney *Jeff Lacy * Chris Byrd * Floyd
Mayweather, Jr. * Zab Judah * Marco Antonio Barrera * Erik Morales * Julio Cesar
Chavez * Juan Manuel Marquez * Jose Luis Castillo * Hasim Rahman * Dan
Birmingham * Steve Albert * Seymour Zivick *Al Bernstein * Marc Ratner * Richard
The event is open to the public and tickets are still available, priced at $150, which includes cocktails, dinner, awards ceremony and silent auction. Tickets can be purchased in advance with Visa or Mastercard by calling the BWAA Hotline at (212) 969-0401 or at the door the evening of the event.