Rumors ripped through Barclays Center last night, right as the second to last fight of the night was to unfold. Before Texas middleweight Jermall Charlo hit the ring to be tested by California fighter Hugo Centeno, a fellow fight writer told me he was stuck in lock down, in the basement of the building, because, he said, there was a report of shots fired.
I messaged him. Shots? Inside the building? Yes, he told me. He couldn’t come out to watch the bout because authorities and security personnel were in assessment mode, and wanted to make sure the vicinity was clear of danger.
As Charlo beat down Centeno, and then Adrien Broner and Jessie Vargas battled to a draw, some in the building heard stories of some sort of altercation. In a club in the arena, maybe..or in that basement, the lowest level of the arena. Maybe a beef between rival rap crews, I was told. Another patron told me ushers told him that a man was taken out of the building, and that man had a firearm on him.
Too many rumors, too little clarity.
So on Sunday afternoon I put in a request to NYPD:
“Can I get info on any gunfire inside and/or outside Barclays Center Saturday night? Also, was someone detained in the arena, who was in possession of a firearm? Any details, to help me clarify and clean up rumors, is appreciated.”
The reply arrived after 5 PM ET on Sunday:
“On Saturday, inside of 620 Atlantic Avenue at 2108 hours there is a report of Reckless Endangerment. An unknown suspect did discharge a firearm in a hallway at the location causing property damage. There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.”
Security was out in force before, during and after the event, and luckily, no one was hurt.
But there will be talk moving forward of the need for some of these fighters to dial back on the tough talk, and the stirring up of heated beefs, because clearly, the altercations should be reserved for inside the squared circle, between consenting adults using only their fists as weapons.
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