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MIAMI — For the fourth time this year, a nationally televised professional boxing card will originate from Miami.
Several things set the Friday, Aug. 25 one apart from the rest:
It will originate from downtown Miami with the Coleman Theatre as the backdrop.
Fox Sports 1 will televise it live.
Best of all, it will be free.
“This is our gift, the Peoria Tribe and myself, to Miami,” promoter Tony Holden said during a press conference Thursday, Aug. 3, at the Coleman.
“You can bring kids. You can bring busloads of people. We don’t care,” Holden said. “Downtown can fill up with a ton of people.”
Fifteen years ago, Holden staged a fight card that was part of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” series that was held in downtown Miami.
“I just like bringing the show home,” Holden said.
He said there will be a handful of VIP ringside seats for sale, but it will be festival seating, meaning there will be no bleachers and standing room only.
Adding to the fun will be a free post-fight concert by former Miamian Keith Anderson at the Buffalo Run Showplace.
Pulling off the whole event took a team effort between the City of Miami, the Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Miami Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma.
“This fight wouldn’t be possible without the City of Miami,” Holden said. “I barely got into the phone call with Dean (Miami city manager Dean Kruithof) and he said ‘yep, we’re in.’”
“This is a chamber of commerce dream come true,” said Steve Gilbert, president/CEO of the Miami Regional Chamber of Commerce. “It’s fantastic that we have people who so committed to their hometown and are such civic leaders who have done well in business and want to give back and pay it forward.”
This isn’t the first time Davis and the CVB have partnered with Holden on a project.
He helped with bringing the rodeo back to town and played a big role in the Miami 125th anniversary celebration.
“Here we are again today,” Davis said. “What a great opportunity. What a great event that we will have here: showcase the Coleman. Anywhere you Google the Coleman Theatre, it’s going to tell you that it’s the crown jewel of Route 66.
“We are very, very proud of this theater and what better event than a boxing match and a concert coming to town to be able to tie in and be able to showcase our theater.”
Holden said Fox Sport is touting that this is going to be the highest rated broadcast in the history of their network.
The show will have a big, built in audience since it will follow the weigh-in for the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight, which will be held the following night in Paradise, Nevada.
Mayweather is an undefeated 11-time world champion while McGregor is the current UFC lightweight champ.
“They will go to the weigh-in, do a package on McGregor and Mayweather, then go live to Miami, Oklahoma,” Holden said.
The main event of the show here pits Tureano Johnson (20-1) against Sergiy Derevyanchenko (10-0) in an IBF middleweight eliminator.
The winner faces either Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin either later this year or in early 2018.
Those two square off Sept. 16, where Golovkin will defend his IBF, WBC and WBA titles and Alvarez will attempt to defend his Ring Magazine title.
Also on the show will be middleweights Immanuwel Aleem (17-0-1) vs. Hugo Centano Jr. (25-1).
Charles Conwell and Kenzie Morrison will represent the Four State Franchise on the card. Conwell, a former Olympian and the newest member of the 4SF, will be in a swing fight, meaning he could make his national TV debut if the two televised fights end early.
Holden said the start time for the boxing card will be announced once FS1 firms up its Mayweather-McGregor coverage plans.
In the event there is rain in the forecast, the show will be moved to the Buffalo Showplace at the casino.
“The day before the fight — this is my agreement with the network — if it looks like there is any chance of rain, I am going to have to move it to the Peoria Showplace at Buffalo Run,” Holden said. “That is something that the tribe doesn’t even want to do. They want it here, but the show goes on.”
Pairings for the other fights on the card will be announced at a later date.
Jim Ellis is sports editor of the Miami News-Record. He can be reached by phone at 918-542-5508 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mnrsportsguy.