Boxing Makes Triumphant Return to North Broad Street in Philadelphia

NINE-BOUT CARD BRINGS BOXING BACK TO THE MET PHILADELPHIA FOR FIRST TIME IN 65 YEARS

Professional live boxing is returning to North Broad Street in Philadelphia as Live Nation Philadelphia today announced the first in a series of boxing matches for The Met Philadelphia, the newly restored Metropolitan Opera House at the corner of Broad Street and Poplar Street, on Saturday, February 23, beginning at 7 p.m.

Live Nation, in association with Hard Hitting Promotions of Philadelphia, is presenting the first boxing matches at The Met Philadelphia since the venue reopened on December 3, 2018. The nine-bout card features a light heavyweight bout, two lightweight bouts, two super featherweight bouts, a bantamweight bout, two super lightweight bouts, and a welterweight bout, and features seven Philadelphia-area fighters.

The Metropolitan Opera House held regularly scheduled boxing events from 1939 until 1954. Now, newly restored, The Met Philadelphia will again hold live boxing events, in addition, to live musical performances and weekly church services. The first recorded fights at The Met were held on October 31, 1939, and the final card was held on November 11, 1954.

“Philadelphia has a rich history of boxing, particularly here on North Broad Street,” said Geoff Gordon, Regional President, Live Nation Philadelphia. “At the onset of the restoration of The Met, it has always been our intention to bring live professional boxing back to North Broad. We are fortunate to partner with Manny Rivera of Hard Hitting Promotions on our first in a series of live boxing extravaganzas for The Met.”

“We are extremely excited to partner with Live Nation and bring boxing back to North Broad Street,” said Rivera. “This series will be a fantastic opportunity to introduce many of the top fighters in our city and help them achieve their ultimate goal of winning a world title. The Met Philadelphia is exactly what Boxing has been yearning for in Philadelphia, and Live Nation is opening the doors to make it happen.”

Confirmed fights include Jeremy Cuevas, of Philadelphia, (11-0 with 8 K.O.s) facing Steven Ortiz, of Philadelphia (9-0 3 with K.O.s) in a lightweight match; Samuel Teach, of Philadelphia (15-2, with 7 K.O.s) meeting Tresean Wiggins, of Philadelphia (13-6, with 6 K.O.s) in a super lightweight bout; Malik Hawkins, of Baltimore, MD (13-0, with 9 K.O.s) facing a yet-to-be-determined opponent in a welterweight bout; Branden Pizarro, of Philadelphia (13-1 with 6 K.O.s) meeting Travis Castellon, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL (16-3 with 12 K.O.s) in a super lightweight bout; Gadwin Rosa, of Ocala, FL (9-0 with 7 K.O.s) meeting Frank Trader, of Philadelphia, (11-2 with 3 K.O.s) in a super featherweight bout; Christian Tapia, of Camden, NJ (7-0 6 K.O.s) facing a yet-to-be-determined opponent in a lightweight bout; Emanuel Rodriguez, of Newark, NJ (3-0) meeting Jose Lopez, of New York, NY (0-0 with 1 Decision) in a bantamweight bout; Benjamin Sinikin, of Philadelphia (2-0 with 1 K.O.) facing a yet-to-be-determined opponent in a light heavyweight bout; and Tamar Israeli, of Tel Aviv, Israel (2-0, with 2 K.O.s) fighting a soon-to-be-determined in a super featherweight bout.

“The Cuevas-Ortiz fight is going to be the fight of the year,” said Rivera. “They are two of the toughest fighters to come out of Philadelphia in quite a while, and both are finalists for the 2018 Briscoe Awards. To see these fighters do battle in their hometown at The Met will be a thrill for the fighters and their fans.”

Boxing has been missing on North Broad Street since the Blue Horizon held its final fight on June 4, 2010.

Intricate detail to The Met’s restoration included changing the venue’s previous sloped orchestra pit to a flat floor to accommodate a boxing ring where all seats in the venue have a clear view of the fight. Additional seats will be added to The Met’s stage to face the ring.

“The Met’s intimate boxing set up will enable every spectator to capture and feel the energy of the fight,” added Gordon. “With vivid memories of some of those spectacular fights at the Blue Horizon, boxing at The Met will be as authentic as possible for the fighters and the spectators.”

Tickets as low as $25 are on sale now at TheMetPhilly.com. Tickets are also available at the Fillmore box office and the TLA box office Monday through Saturday from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. and at the Live Nation Philadelphia offices (1 Presidential Blvd, Bala Cynwyd, PA) Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. VIP and ring-side ticket packages and sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting info@TheMetPhilly.com.

Originally built in 1908 by opera impresario Oscar Hammerstein, the iconic venue recently completed a massive $56 million restoration that combines spectacular live entertainment with remarkable food and drink options to create an unparalleled guest experience. The venue’s transformation is the crown jewel of North Broad Street’s renaissance.

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