These club shows, like the Broadway Boxing Lou Dibella is putting on in New York City, at the Edison Ballroom in Times Square, have diminished in quantity in the last ten plus years. That mostly has to do with the high costs of doing business on a certain level, and so we see fewer of these sorts of events than we used to. It's a shame, because I find myself enjoying them differently than I did before. On these sorts of shows, you aren't seeing and hearing the silliness that is part and parcel of “big time prizefighting” in this age. None of the people on this card have made it big, hit that big time, so the egos aren't bloated, and money hasn't warped their behavior or feelings toward the sport. When I call fights on Fightnight Live, I am more focused on the basic tenets of why people get into the sport, apart from looking to hit that lottery ticket fight.
“As we approach the 20th anniversary of Broadway Boxing, I am thrilled to offer this stacked card,” said newly installed International Boxing Hall of Fame promoter Lou DiBella. “What started out as a local club show for the New York metropolitan area has grown into an international brand. Branching outside of the United States, we’ve broadcast events from locales such as Germany, Monte Carlo, Canada, and Costa Rica. While those in attendance will be enjoying gourmet food and drinks, fans watching at home will get a world class production with entertaining fights, featuring Broadway Boxing staples, who have developed on the series, and celebrity guest commentators calling the action.”
He gave more reasons why hitting the show tonight is a good idea. “Tickets include dinner, there are still a few ringside seats, it's a really, really strong show, a tv level club show, in a VIP environment, 400 or so capacity max,” DiBella said. “It's rare you get this good a show in such an intimate environment. It's the return of Broadway Boxing to Broadway, too. We haven't found a permanent home but through a deal with our friends the Wartski brothers, we're able to be in the wonderful Edison Ballroom.”
Mykquan Williams (18-0-1, 8 KOs), from East Hartford, CT, will face Clarence Booth (21-5, 13 KOs), of Saint Petersburg, FL, in the 10-round main event. Williams, a former WBC USNBC titlist, is a Broadway Boxing veteran, having made 13 appearances on the series thus far. Booth has won six of his last seven bouts, with five by knockout. Williams needs to win to continue a climb up those all important rankings lists, so he can get to those sorts of bouts which have a payoff which makes taking up the sweet and savage science worth it. Booth (below) is the underdog on this Broadway Boxing card, and one to root for when you know his backstory.
Booth is fortunate to be fighting, and to be alive. It was in St. Petersburg, Florida the week before Keith Thurman, a Florida fixture, was to fight Manny Pacquiao (July 20, 2019). “I got shot, wrong place, wrong time, I was shot three times. I was coming from the gym, dropping my nephew off to my cousin’s, I got outside of the car to talk to him, because my kids were in the car. A car rolled past, they started shooting, they thought we were other guys. It was mis identity. The car slowed down, the first shot went off, I believe it hit me through my right leg. I turned around, another hit me in the leg, and I flipped on my face. Another bullet hit my right elbow, but the way it happened, all grace to God. I could have easily been killed! They never caught the guys, there were like three or four people shooting.”
The elbow was the worst injury, he went to physical therapy for a year. He knew he wanted to come back, though. “The doctor told me, ‘Change your career, you’re not gonna box.’ I said, ‘You’re talking to the wrong guy.”
And now, he says, he’s all good. “I got power in both hands,” he says, to ensure everyone knows that elbow is fully healed.
I asked Booth if he is indeed a “late bloomer.” Yes, he said, that’s exactly right. “I believe I am a late bloomer, I came in to the sport (at age 18) with only street fighting experience. I had 28 amateur fights, turned pro, after (about 10-11) fights I signed with Top Rank.” That union broke, Booth lost to Alex Saucedo (a Top Rank boxer) and the fighter says he asked to part ways with TR. No, he says, he doesn’t regret that, he sees lessons in such situations, not reasons for regret.
Boxing probably saved another soul when it got into Booth's blood. “I’m from the streets, but I put that stuff behind me,” he insists. Giving him the benefit of the doubt…”I came from that lifestyle, and I could have been big,” he said. “I realized the cycle, I was able to recognize this shit. I was watching my home boys die, catch 15-20 years at 15 years old, no truth, honor, loyalty (on the streets). I’d rather something more positive to the world! I remember looking at some kids who thought they were impressing me, the things they were saying and doing, and it was breaking my heart.”
Clarence has five kids, so he fights to feed them, basically, and a win on Broadway Boxing will help his quest.
Stephan “Big Shot” Shaw (17-0, 13 KOs; age 30), co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Top Rank, will be featured in the Broadway Boxing co-main event against Rydell Booker (26-6-1, 13 KOs; age 41). Booker is an underdog, and should lose, but will look to strike smartly, catch Shaw with something, and steal some buzz of the undefeated hitter. Shaw if he wins will likely get matched against prospect Guido Vianello, in the start of the year. “Shaw is in the top 5 of American prospects, and I think if more people knew him, it's him and Jared Anderson,” DiBella continues. “Plus, Juan Carlos Carrillo against Matthew Tinker, Tinker is a really effin' tough guy. The lady fighting Mikiah Kreps is a really, really tough foe, too. And, it's going to be a party atmosphere!”
There are maybe 50 tickets left, as of 3:30 PM, so you will be in luck if you walk up, DiBella said.
Edison Ballroom is located at 240 West 47th Street, New York, NY 10036. Doors will open on the night of the event at 6:00pm ET, with the first bout scheduled for 7:00pm ET.