At current difficult economic times when most boxing promoters have to rely on television network fees, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum is staging a pugilistic event this Saturday at the New Yankee stadium in New York City that will undoubtedly become a part of boxing history. Over fifty thousand fans are expected to attend “Stadium Slugfest”, a night headlined by unbeaten Yuri Foreman defending his WBA super welterweight title against former three time world champion, Puerto Rican super star, Miguel Cotto. Televised by HBO Championship Boxing, Bob Arum could have taken an easy way by staging the event in Atlantic City or even in Las Vegas where the casinos would take care of all the promotion. But observing Klitschko brothers performing at soccer stadiums in Germany on a regular basis, Arum decided to revive a part of boxing history and bring the sweet science back to Yankee Stadium. The last time Yankee Stadium hosted a fight was in 1976 when Muhammad Ali took on Ken Norton for the third time.
After a crushing defeat at the fists of pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao, the career of Miguel Cotto is in need of revival. The Fighting Rabbi Foreman, even though undefeated, does not yet command a stadium for his appearances. So why are these two were chosen for a Yankee stadium?
” Miguel Cotto, over the last ten years, has sold more boxing tickets than any other pugilist in New York. He is the New York attraction” said Bob Arum:” He proves it year after year. Yuri Foreman, his whole history, he has lived in Brooklyn for a long while and is part of the very large Jewish ethnic population in the city, he is an observant religious Jew who is going to become a rabbi – he fits in New York City better than he fits in Tel Aviv.”
Yuri Foreman is the first Jewish champion in over forty years. Instead of conventional rivalry such as Mexicans versus Puerto Ricans, Bob Arum is banking on creating a whole new rivalry between Jews and Puerto Ricans and the city is buzzing.
“It is unquestionable that Miguel Cotto is the most popular fighter in New York, “continued Arum:” He has demonstrated that year after year with tremendous crowds at Madison Square Garden and now he has the honor and privilege of fighting at the Home of Champions. Everybody in New York is talking about his fight with Yuri Foreman. The publicity, in the newspapers and the full-page article in The Wall Street Journal, has been enormous. Miguel’s opponent Yuri Foreman is the first Israeli champion. People all over New York are talking, who don’t normally talk about boxing, are talking about this fight. This is a tribute to Miguel Cotto and all he has put into boxing and how he has endeared himself to his fans in the city of New York.”
Arum staged a prelude to a “Stadium Slugfest” this spring in Dallas Cowboys new stadium. It turned out to be such a tremendous event that no one complained about the fight, a one sided beating Pacquiao administered to Joshua Clottey.
“In March when we did the fight in Cowboys Stadium with their tremendous electronics, with that big screen, everybody wrote up that boxing was coming to Cowboys Stadium, “said Arum:” Of course, Cowboys Stadium did not have that history connected with boxing that this fabulous Yankee Stadium does. The greatest fights in history became great events in history. The Louis-Schmeling fight is a major, major event in the history of the world and that took place in Yankee Stadium. Anyone writing about the Second World War and the events leading up to the Second World War always mention the symbolic nature of the Louis-Schmeling fight. Now something new starts in this fabulous new Yankee Stadium with Miguel Cotto and Yuri Foreman. Anybody who has any kind of appreciation for history and tradition is taken in by the fact that this event is happening in Yankee Stadium.”
With this much history behind it and a new twist “ Stadium Slugfest “ is a can’t miss event and with a Hall of Fame promoter pulling the strings behind the scenes boxing fans should be the beneficiaries of a special night. Tickets priced at $400, $300, $200, $100, $75 and $50, can be purchased at the Yankee Stadium box office, all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone, 800-982-2787. For more information on Cotto vs. Foreman, go to www.TopRank.com.
“It should be a great fight on Saturday, June 5,” concluded Arum :”And certainly a wonderful night for boxing and don’t overlook the semi-final, two undefeated junior middleweights Vanes Martirosyan faces Joe Greene which should be a terrific fight – one of them is going to lose his 0, and it should be a great night of boxing.”