By Nick Tylwalk
Yes, Las Vegas is still the fght capital of the world (and one of my favorite places, to boot), and many big boxing matches should find their way there. But as a young man born and raised on the East Coast of the United States, it's nice to see some prominent bouts land on this side of the country.
First and foremost is the much anticipated rematch between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito, which just needs the i's dotted and t's crossed before it is set for December 3. ESPN's Dan Rafael reported yesterday that the fight will take place at Madison Square Garden instead of the MGM Grand in Vegas, which hosted their first meeting.
Cotto is a huge draw in the New York area with a long history of getting fans to come out and see him headline cards at MSG and even Yankee Stadium. Margarito's fan base is based primarily on the West Coast, but he'll certainly have at least a portion of the support on hand at the Garden. Regardless, the setting only adds to the storyline here: Either Cotto avenges a loss that has haunted him for years in front of what are essentially his home fans, or Margarito gets a win that helps vindicate some of the doubts about him despite a hostile crowd. It just works.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the final of the Super Six World Boxing Classic between Andre Ward and Carl Froch. That bout will take place on October 29 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, a place where neither man (since Ward is from California and Froch hails from England) is a proven ticket seller.
Yet one of the themes of the Super Six, at least early on, was the perception that fighters were having a hard time getting a fair shake from the judges when fighting in someone else's backyard. So from that perspective, it makes perfect sense to have the final in A.C., even though it may be an uphill battle to fill Boardwalk Hall with paying customers.
Add in the fact that middleweight king Sergio Martinez has seen A.C. become his go-to home base when he fights - as it will be again on October 1 when he faces Darren Barker - and you've got a nice little run coming up this fall for boxing on the East Coast. Thanks for letting us get a chunk of the action Sin City.