Barclays Center Is Becoming A Boxing Hotspot
By: Sean Crose
Danny Garcia fights there regularly. So does Chris Algieri. Deontay Wilder laid out Artur Szpilka there in frightening fashion last winter and then Tyson Fury got in the ring and made a scene. Madison Square Garden may indeed be the Mecca of Boxing, but Brooklyn’s Barclays Center is becoming a boxing hot spot of its own. Although the relatively new – it just opened in 2012 – arena hasn’t hosted the kind of major bouts that constitute superfights, it’s proven to be a fan friendly, and affordable, outlet. Sure enough, this weekend’s Keith Thurman – Shawn Porter throwdown is perfectly suited for the Center.
A major, relevant matchup that’s not quite big enough for pay per view yet exciting enough on paper to warrant some real attention, Thurman-Porter truly has the makings of a fight that’s “for the fans.” You don’t have to be well connected to get in to see this one live, either. While it may not be cheap to get to any professional sporting event, Thurman-Porter at the Barclays Center is still relatively affordable. Expect a good sized crowd this Saturday when the fight airs live on CBS – the first fight to do so in primetime since the Ali era. Again, this is a high quality matchup (hopefully the fight will live up to its potential).
When one steps back and observes things objectively, however, the Barclays Center is a perfect outlet for boxing in the northeast. The sweet science may not be what it was in the stretch between New Jersey and New Hampshire, but Brooklyn, where the Barclays is located, is perfectly suited to draw in local fans. For the greater New York area is home to large numbers of African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Eastern Europeans, Russians and Irish. And each of those demographics have fight friendly populations within their ranks. There’s a reason to have fights take place in Brooklyn, after all, rather than a few miles up the road on the Connecticut “Gold Coast.”
The main reason the Barclays may be becoming a boxing hot bed, however, is the fact that the people who run it want it to be. If one wants to host fights, one simply has to show a willingness to. And the Barclays has been willing to host fight card after fight card since its opening several years ago. Naturally, fight fans and promoters have returned the favor. Something must be working, otherwise both the Barclays and the boxing world would cease working together. Business is business, after all.
Here’s hoping business keeps rolling along in Brooklyn.