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Staples Center: 10 years of boxing and counting

Fighters Network

Shane Mosley-Sergio Mora will be the 19th major boxing card to take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo / Gene Blevins-Hoganphotos-Golden Boy Promotions

LOS ANGELES – Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley officially christened Staples Center as a boxing venue 10 years ago.

Since then, the downtown L.A. arena – home of the NBA’s Lakers and NHL’s Kings – has played host to about an average of two major fight cards every year. The Mosley-Sergio Mora card on Saturday night is the 19th major boxing show at Staples. (See chart below.)

“There are a lot of famous boxing venues in the United States,” said Dan Beckerman, Executive Vice President & CFO of AEG. “Madison Square Garden and obviously Las Vegas, the Grand Garden Arena [at the MGM], are good examples. I know we’re not going to get every major fight. Some certainly belong in Las Vegas and certain East Coast fights probably belong at Madison Square Garden.

“We like to be seen as a major fight destination, too. A lot of great fights belong at Staples Center, like the one on Saturday. That really belongs in L.A.”

AEG and promoters have had their greatest success when they’ve showcased established fighters who have large fan bases in the region.

De La Hoya and Mosley, both stars from the Los Angeles area, fit the mold perfectly. The innaugural card drew 18,894 fans, the second-biggest boxing crowd at the arena. Another example was Mosley-Antonio Margarito, which pitted a well-known commodity against a hot fighter with a huge fan base in the area’s large Latino community. That fight drew 20,820, the largest crowd for any event in the building’s history.

And, of course, Mosley-Mora also follows the formula. Mora isn’t a marquee fighter but is from East Los Angeles, not far from where De La Hoya grew up.

“Mosley-Margarito was the perfect Los Angeles fight and it sold the building out,” Beckerman said. “It was the biggest crowd in Staples Center history, not just for a boxing event but for the Lakers or anybody. It was an unbelievable night for a lot of different reasons and spectacular fight.”

AEG, which owns and operates Staples Center, also hosts fight cards at two other venues on its L.A. LIVE campus – Nokia Theater and Club Nokia. The theater has hosted occasional fights while Golden Boy Promotions stages its monthly Fight Night Club series at the smaller nightclub.

Thus, downtown L.A. has become a hub for the sport.

“We want the variety,” Beckerman said. “Whatever the fight is – for upcoming, emerging fighters to the superstars of the sport – we can have 2,000 seats up to 20,000 seats and everything in between. We’re always going to be passionate about boxing.”

Chronological order, including attendance

ÔÇó June 17, 2000 – Oscar De La Hoya vs. Shane Mosley, 18,894
ÔÇó July 28, 2001 – Roy Jones Jr. vs. Julio Gonzalez, 17,481
ÔÇó July 21, 2003 – Lennox Lewis vs. Vitali Klitschko, 15,853
ÔÇó Oct. 4, 2003 – Erik Morales vs. Guty Espadas, 11,991
ÔÇó April 24, 2004 – Vitali Klitschko vs. Corrie Sanders, 17,9
ÔÇó July 21, 2003 – Lennox Lewis vs. Vitali Klitschko, 15,853
ÔÇó Oct. 4, 2003 – Erik Morales vs. Guty Espadas, 11,991
ÔÇó April 24, 2004 – Vitali Klitschko vs. Corrie Sanders, 17,933
ÔÇó Dec. 18, 2004 – Antonio Tarver vs. Glen Johnson, 11,839
ÔÇó Feb. 19, 2005 – Bernard Hopkins vs. Howard Eastman, 13,064
ÔÇó May 28, 2005 – Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Ivan Robinson, 16,702
ÔÇó Sept. 10, 2005 – Manny Pacquiao vs. Hector Velazquez, 11,832
ÔÇó Oct. 15, 2005 – “The Contender,” season I, 12,788
ÔÇó May 20, 2006 – Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Rocky Juarez, 9,951
ÔÇó Sept. 2, 2006 – James Toney vs. Sam Peter, 7,452
ÔÇó Sept. 26, 2006 — “The Contender,” season II, 11,026
ÔÇó Nov. 23, 2007 – Fernando Vargas vs. Ricardo Mayorga, 10,369
ÔÇó Jan. 24, 2009 – Antonio Margarito vs. Shane Mosley, 20,820
ÔÇó June 27, 2009 – Victor Ortiz vs. Marcos Maidana, 6,330
ÔÇó Sept. 26, 2009 – Vitali Klitschko vs. Chris Arreola, 13,549
ÔÇó May 22, 2010 – Israel Vazquez vs. Rafael Marquez, 8,920
ÔÇó Sept. 18, 2010 – Shame Mosley vs. Sergio Mora