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With A Lack Of Stars, Boxing Promoters Take Another Route
Published August 1, 2002
Boxing promoters are trying to "fill the void of competitive sizzle" in the sport "with upscale cachet," according to Ron Dicker of the N.Y. TIMES. Officials yesterday announced the "return of black-tie boxing to the Cipriani 42nd Street restaurant" in N.Y. Spectators on August 30 will be able to have dinner and an open bar for $200 at tables surrounding the ring. The card will be broadcast on ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights." Promoter Lou DiBella said, "The sport is between big superstars and it needs to be invigorated in other ways. Making it sexier on a grass-roots level is important." Dicker notes that the "staging of bouts at offbeat sites has gained momentum" in N.Y. Last week, a nationally televised card was held at a melted public ice rink in New Rochelle, NY, and "some of the most successful cards are being staged at more intimate, luxurious sites," like the Cipriani 42nd Street restaurant. DiBella "hopes to mount six to eight formal-wear shows a year with his fighters" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/1).