Hopkins vs. Dawson to L.A.

By Robert Ecksel on July 29, 2011
Hopkins vs. Dawson to L.A.
The Staples Center is owned by AEG, Golden Boy’s second largest shareholder

Because both fighters have ties and deep roots on the East Coast, many thought the fight between light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson at the Prudential Center in Newark was a done deal. Well, think again.

The Oct. 15 Hopkins-Dawson pay-per-view fight has been moved out of New Jersey to the sunny climes of L.A., specifically to the Staples Center.

“It does look like it will be at the Staples Center,” Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN. “It’s probably 95 percent it will be there. I am just working with them to finalize our deal.

“I think Los Angeles boxing fans, Los Angeles sports fans, the celebrities—I think they like these kind of meaningful events.”

We hate the idea that Hopkins vs. Dawson was moved from Newark to L.A. to satisfy celebrities, but stranger things have happened, and stranger things will happen still.

The deal with the Prudential Center bit the dust when officials at the arena wanted New Jersey-based Main Events to get it on the action, even though they represented neither fighter.

According to the Star-Ledger, Schaefer was “speechless.”

“This is unheard of, unheard of,” he said. “Honestly I’m speechless. This is really very shortsighted; it’s unfortunate that you have people like [Kathy Duva] in the sport taking that kind of position. This is really ridiculous.”

In her defense, Duva said Main Events has an ongoing relationship with the Prudential Center and “We have to protect the market that we built. We were more than happy to let them have the fight there and we would encourage any fighter that wants to bring a fight to the Prudential Center to do so.

“Our goal from the start was to build a home for boxing, for all kinds of fights.”

Schaefer may have been “speechless,” which is why he failed to point out that the Staples Center is owned by AEG, Golden Boy’s second largest shareholder.

But of equal importance, which celebrities would be ringside in Newark?

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