“I would have to say, per capita, it’s the biggest in the nation for that size. Without a doubt,” said Miami native Tony Holden, who despite claims that he’s retired, continues to help bring top-notch boxing to the area.
“You get a lot of cities, even the size of Tulsa, that go out and solicit nationally televised events because it is good for the community when it’s seen live, coast to coast, for a couple hours. There are cities that beat the pavement to get these events. We are fortunate.”
Miami was in the spotlight again last month when Dierry Jean beat Mookie Pendarvis in an IBF junior welterweight eliminator fight that was part of the “ShoBox: The New Generation” series.
Holden, a 20-year veteran of the fight promotion business, knows what the networks are looking for.
“A lot of times, they go into casinos who just don’t know what their needs are,” Holden said. “It ends up being a nightmare for them. When they come here, it’s all set up. I have done it for 20 years. No only that, but that room we use looks like a studio. They like the enthusiasm of the crowd.
We always have a full crowd, and they are noisy.”
ShoBox Executive Producer Gordon Hall agrees: “We always look forward to going to Buffalo Run because of the intimate venue and the great crowds.”
Last month’s show marked the seventh time Showtime has
originated a telecast from Buffalo Run.
Holden’s first-ever show from Miami was a doozy: on April 2, 2002, he promoted a card that was televised by ESPN2 from downtown Miami with the Coleman Theatre serving as the backdrop.
One of those on the undercard in that show, Paul Malignaggi, battled Adrien Broner last month at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the WBA World welterweight title.
He promoted a June 5, 2004, show televised by Showtime at the Leggett & Platt Center in Joplin, Mo., then Holden staged a card on Nov. 27, 2004, from the then-new Buffalo Run Casino and as they say, the rest is history.
“I always look forward to working our ShoBox cards in Miami, Oklahoma, for a couple of reasons,” ShoBox analyst Steve Farhood said. “Firstly, we’ve been coming to Miami virtually for the length of the series, and it’s become a sort of home-away-from-home for us. Also, we’ve developed quite a few friends in Miami, such as the refereeing Ritter brothers (Gary and Gerald Ritter), the Boxing Commissioner, Joe Miller, and Tony Holden.
“It’s always a pleasure to bring ShoBox to Miami.”
Holden said he doesn’t want to overdo a good thing with the way he schedules the cards.
“We have to turn down shows every now and then because we don’t want to over-saturate the market,” he said. “My goal is to have three or four a year that are nationally televised. I usually balance them out with Showtime and ESPN.
“We do get some offers for HBO, but when you go to HBO, that is a whole different ballgame. HBO shows are usually made for larger arenas. I about would have to take it outside to handle the production, the lights and all that stuff.”
Holden said he’s hoping to have one or two more shows before the end of the year.
“When the networks put the shows together, they don’t give them to the promoter until about two months before the fight,” Holden said. “You can’t pick a fight too far out, because they might have a fight before that. I have never had more than a six-week window when I know I am going to have one.”