Will El Paso Attract More Big Boxing Shows?
Last Saturday night, an announced crowd of 5,087 fans watched Victor Ortiz and Devon Alexander fight to a draw in their Premier Boxing Champions main event. Although there were closer to 6,500 fans in attendance at the Don Haskins Center counting comps and sponsor tickets, the show was viewed as a success for El Paso. Jennifer Han defended her title with a unanimous decision over Lizbeth Crespo in the final fight of the night. Han and Austin Trout were two local bouts that enhanced the attractiveness of the boxing card. However, the promoters made a mistake by not placing Trout and Han's bouts immediately after the main event. Instead, Trout fought at 5 p.m. in front of a small crowd and Han was the last fight of the night around 9 p.m. when many people had already left the arena.
The boxing show was a big success, grossing more than $250,000 dollars. Will El Paso be able to ride the momentum from last Saturday and attract more major shows? Longtime boxing promoter Lester Bedford is hoping that Ortiz and Alexander will have their rematch in El Paso later this year. June will be the 20th anniversary of Oscar De La Hoya's victory at the Sun Bowl. Bedford would like to hold a show this summer at Southwest University Park with either Ortiz-Alexander or Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions and he hopes to have it televised by HBO. Regardless, El Paso did a terrific job of reestablishing itself as a major player in Texas for professional boxing.