29.04.04 – From top to bottom, last Saturday’s fight card at STAPLES Center headlined by Vitali Klitschko against Corrie Sanders for the WBC heavyweight championship was a knockout of classic proportions. Klitschko proved he is the world’s No. 1 heavyweight by stopping Sanders in the eighth round before 17,320 excited fans at the card presented by K2 Promotions. he event marked just the second time in 45 years that Los Angeles has hosted a heavyweight world championship fight.
“With this victory, Vitali has clearly established himself as the best heavyweight in the world,” said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions. “I would like to thank STAPLES Center and the fans of Los Angeles for their support,” Klitschko said. “It was my dream to win the heavyweight world championship I am proud to be the heavyweight world champion.”
“We were delighted to be able to present the heavyweight championship of the world in our first promotional venture,” said Loeffler. “We could not have had such a successful event without the support of Tim Leiweke and his staff at STAPLES Center.”
Although there was resistance from rival promoters, K2 Promotions proved it is more than capable of staging a successful event by selling more tickets than were sold for last year’s heavyweight title fight between Klitschko and then-undisputed champion Lennox Lewis. Vitali also is endearing himself to HBO viewers by matching the ratings of the highest-rated boxing show this year. Vitali had the top-rated boxing event during the past five years on the cable network with his historic battle with Lewis.
“Last Saturday’s fight again demonstrated that heavyweight boxing produces a lot of action and fan interest,” said Kery Davis, Senior Vice President of Programming at HBO Sports. “With 2.3 million homes and 3.3 million viewers tuning in for the fight on HBO, Klitschko has become a solid rating performer for the network, and we hope to showcase him soon in another compelling match-up.”
“From a commission standpoint, it was an amazingly well-run show with very few problems, and topped with an incredible main event,” said Dean Lohuis, chief inspector of the California State Athletic Commission. “Everything went very well, and we are very pleased.’’