Big bouts, big cards unfolding with regularity in the buzziest arena in the country, Barclays Center, and the venerable arena known planet-wide, Madison Square Garden, that's an indicator of the well-being of the sport of boxing in NYC.
That's the mindset of the region's top promoter, Lou Dibella, who chatted with NYFIGHTS about the state of the boxing union, in the region and nationally.
“And those fights offer a superior atmosphere, usually, than you get in Las Vegas,” the deal maker told me. “New York is the biggest media market in the world, the signature city on the planet, so it's good for the big picture in boxing,” he continued, just nine days away from a marquee card to unfold at Barclays.
Dibella deserves props, as does a guy like Joe DeGuardia, for running the smaller shows. The cost of doing business in these parts is prohibitive but to build his brand, grow his stable, Dibella puts on “Broadway Boxing” club shows monthly. In fact, he has shows on the docket for Jan 27 and then Feb 17. “Also, a guy like Dmitriy Salita is running regularly…so I think that is good for boxing.”
Dibella is keen on his prospects roster, guys like Sergey Derevyanchenko, who have been getting “ShoBox” slots. “I think my guys and shows on ShoBox were among the best last year. It was a pretty good year for New York fights. DBE's best prospects includes middleweight Sergey Derevyanchenko (7-0), middleweight Ievgen Khytrov (12-0), Regis Prograis (16-0), light heavyweight Radivoje Kalajdzic (21-0), junior featherweight Luis Rosa (21-0) and junior lightweight Joel Diaz Jr (20-0). Other prospects we have on the rise are junior welterweight Jonathan Alonso (7-0), junior welterweight Ivan Baranchyk (9-0), and super middleweight Ramil Gadzhiev (1-0), whom we just signed.
In addition, we have have a bunch of quality contenders, such as junior lightweight Tevin Farmer (20-4-1), junior middleweight Alantez Fox (18-0-1), featherweight Patrick Hyland (31-1), super middleweight Lennox Allen (20-0-1) and middleweight Artur Akavov (15-1). We also have featherweight Yenifel Vicente (28-3-2), who recently scored what many hailed as the 2015 knockout of the year over the unbeaten Juan Dominguez on December 8.”
On his wish list for the New Year, Dibella told me he's not keen on the “factionalization” among boxing media. “Bloggers and trollers are elevated in status, more than their talent deserves.” For instance, he said, maybe his guy Jose Pedraza deserves more love from media which instead went to the quick with a grin Top Rank contender Felix Verdejo. “I think Verdejo is a legit prospect but Pedraza won a title this year,” he said, advocating for his kid as best of brand among Puerto Rican younger guns.
Some people might be working with pre-conceived biases, maybe against PBC, or with an inordinate fondness for another promotional outfit, and not trafficking in clear-eyed journalism, he said. To be sure, I concur; the side choosing and kowtowing is at times egregious and unprofessional and nobody is above reproach. Balancing maintaining access and sourcing while being candid is no small feat for all of us.
Dibella then shifted focus to his next promotion. Deontay Wilder tops the event, Jan 16 at Barclays, defending his WBC crown against Artur Szpilka, and Dibella sounded enthused about a more wide open heavyweight division.
Check back for part 3 of Dibella's state of the boxing union.
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