Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Chavez-Martinez sets arena record
By Dan Rafael
Middleweight titlist Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has one-upped his Hall-of-Fame dad by selling more tickets than his father did for his biggest fight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32 KOs) faces lineal champion Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KOs) on Saturday night (HBO PPV, 9 ET, $49.95) at the arena, which sold out on Tuesday.
The fight will become the highest-attended boxing event in the history of the arena, with 19,186, topping the record set by the heavyweight championship rematch between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, which drew 19,151 in 1999.
More people will attend Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.'s next bout at the Thomas & Mack Center than any in the venue's history, including more his father's biggest fight there 20 years earlier.
According to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, the last ticket sold at 1:58 p.m. PT.
"Viva Chavez and Martinez," said Arum, adding that the gate for the much-anticipated fight on Mexican Independence Day weekend would be more than $3 million.
The sellout came on the eve of the 20th anniversary of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.'s junior welterweight title-retaining decision win against Hector Camacho, which drew 17,972, the fourth-biggest crowd for a fight in Thomas & Mack Center history.
"How appropriate that on the eve of the 20th anniversary, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. [surpassed] his father's record in an epic fight of his own," Arum said. "Father and son will be forever linked as two of the highest-attended paid boxing events in the building's history."
Added Lou DiBella, Martinez's promoter, "This is a celebration about everything that is great about boxing. This is obviously a fight that everyone wanted to see and thanks to Sergio and Julio everyone will have the opportunity."
With the sellout anticipated for weeks, Wynn Las Vegas, the host casino, opened closed circuit viewing for $70 per ticket at the Encore Theater and $50 for general admission in the Lafite Ballroom at Wynn.