The changing of the landscape in this boxing world of ours has been something to behold in recent months. Really, the shifts have been seismic, and tremors are still being felt, really. Local to NYC fight fans got a taste when they learned that the Wladimir Klitschko-Bryant Jennings scrap that was headed to Brooklyn, at Barclays, got shifted over the MSG (April 25; total card yet to be announced), and instead, they will be able to check out arguably a deeper card in BK on April 11.
That event is topped by a Danny Garcia-Lamont Peterson showdown, and will be stacked with a bunch of locals, including Brooklyners Danny Jacobs (28-1, set to defend his 160 belt against 25-1-2 Caleb Truax) and 23-1 Gabriel Bracero (who’ll be tested by TBD).
A short time ago, I checked in with Nets and Barclays boss Brett Yormark, the dealmaker who saw the lay of the land shifting under his feet, and decided to jettison a Klitschko event, and instead make a commitment to this April fare, put together by Haymon Boxing and promoter Lou DiBella. Yormark was enthused that the long awaited Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquaio square-off came to fruition, and folded that development into a digestible narrative. “That is huge for us, because the whole sport drafts behind it,” he said. “And what Al has done with NBC, and CBS and SPIKE, bringing exposure to the sport, and you lay on top of that the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, which arguably is the biggest fight of my lifetime, you got all eyes on the sport now.”
Indeed; we’ve asked for it, now we get it…
“It’s up to us to bring some heightened awareness and most importantly, bring some new fans. Our goal from day one has been how to cultivate the Brooklyn fighter. Jacobs, Heather Hardy (who fights TBD on April 11), Gabe, Marcus Browne (who fights Aaron Pryor Jr.), we have wanted to create the identity for the local fighter, grow their careers, also bring in some of boxing’s best. I think we’ve done that with this card…then put it on national TV, prime time, NBC, their coverage will be magnificent. This has a chance to really be a big night. And Al and I are talking about additional big fights, as part of his Premier Boxing Championship schedule. We anticipate this be the first of many.”
He said that a continuing relationship makes sense, rather than having maybe a one and done Klitschko event. He said a paperwork deadline he requested on Klitschko-Jennings was missed and that made it easier to go with the Haymon/NBC/primetime TV decision. “I spoke to Al and Lou and they came to me with an incredible offer to not just have a big night April 11, but how do you build on that, have some continuity? Our goal is to have a big event every quarter, and from a strategic sense, that is a better fit for us.”
So another card could come when, sir? “I would look for the next one some time in June,” he said.More product, more events, on more platforms…#BoxingIsBack is my story, and I stick to it…now we need the matches to be strong, and for the athletes to deliver…We have momentum, let’s keep it up, shall we?
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