Philadelphia boxing is in a slump. There has been just one card this year within the city limits—barely–at Harrah’s Philadelphia. The next Philadelphia boxing card is set for April 26 at the National Guard Armory on Roosevelt Boulevard.
As a promoter, I can continue to complain about not having a decent venue, but that is not the only problem holding things up. Times have changed! Fighters no longer are just fighters; they must be able to pay their way with tickets to land a spot on a local card, especially those cards without television.
Expenses appear to be in the same ball park whether the fight is televised or not. Though every card should be held to the same standards, expenses are not on the same level when there is no television income. It is extremely difficult for a promoter to make money on a non-televised show.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of fighters in Philadelphia. Fighters are willing to fight and everyone is looking for a new place to run a show. But if we continue at the current rate, we will finish 2013 with eight cards. Ugh! That is not fair to the fans, not fair to the fighters, not fair to the sport.
Thankfully we have Marshall Kauffman running shows in Allentown/Reading area to keep fighters active, but the urge to have a fight in North Philly or South Philly is running through the fans’ blood.
After the hit that was made at Temple University in December (Bryant Jennings), Philly fight fans and sports fans in general remembered what it was like to be at a fight that was made not only by exciting bouts but also by the energy in the crowd.
If everything happens for a reason then I can assume when everything falls into place we will have the opportunity to give the fans that type of show again.
I am looking forward to what this means for Philadelphia fighters. With fewer opportunities to be on the fighting stage, these boxers will be put in situations when offered a fight that may have them up against another Philadelphia fighter, or a friend, or the fighter’s team may be put in a situation where they need to make it appealing for the matchmakers to use them on local fight cards. This is when we as fans will see who truly wants this, who is ready on short notice and who is willing to do whatever it takes to get under those lights.
This Saturday night there will be some action in Allentown, PA. There are a couple Philadelphia fighters in four-round bouts under the main event which features junior middle weight Keenan Collins, of York, PA, and George Rivera, of Charlottesville, VA. The two fighters fought to a draw in their last bout so the rematch should be entertaining. On the undercard are two Philadelphia guys both from Fastlane boxing that will compete in four-round bouts: Heavyweight Mark Rideout and lightweight Charles Mack. Good luck, guys!