Opportunity knocks loudly for dealmaker Rick Mirigian
It has been a big 2019 for boxing entrepreneur Rick Mirigian. The California native has worked diligently for several of his clients, including star man and WBC/WBO junior welterweight titlist Jose Ramirez (25-0, 17 knockouts), who has also enjoyed a banner year.
Mirigian is known in the boxing business for his expert skills and tireless approach, working alongside Top Rank on a host of events. The past year has been no different.
In February, Mirigian was instrumental in promoting Ramirez’s WBC title defense against Jose Zepeda at the Save Mart Arena, Fresno, California.
“I put on and marketed Jose’s fight with Jose Zepeda on a Sunday at 4 p.m. on ESPN and had 14,100 people attend,” Mirigian proudly told The Ring. “While delivering a PR campaign second to none with cancer on the fight, for my fighter, as the centerpiece with over 14,000 people holding up a sign of Ramirez on ESPN that said ‘Let’s KO Cancer.’
“We raised a ton of money, did a lot in the community. A local billionaire saw an email for what I was doing with the cancer portion and my fighter and he ended up donating 10 million dollars shortly after that fight to the University. Ramirez made seven figures in that fight. We also had 14 sponsors support the event.”
Not one to rest on his laurels, Mirigian was key in helping put on another big event, this time in Stockton, California, last May. The show featured two world title fights. Artur Beterbiev successfully defended his IBF light heavyweight title against Radivoje Kalajdzic and Jerwin Ancajas retained his IBF junior bantamweight belt.
However Gabe Flores Jr. (16-0, 6 KOs) co-headlined the event. Mirigian largely built the show around the local teenage ticket seller.
“We sold out with 10,100 people,” he said. “[Flores] made six figures that night and Joe Tessitore said live on ESPN, ‘I have never seen an arena this loud with this much energy and support for a guy, not even at MSG.’ This was the first fight I did there for him. I also did 10 sponsorship deals for him on that event alone.”
Mirigian spent a lot of time in the early summer brokering a deal for Ramirez to face then-WBO counterpart Maurice Hooker. The unification ultimately happened in Arlington, Texas, in July.
“I went out and got the fight off the ground that Jose asked me to target and bring to Top Rank,” he explained. “We turned down several opponents prior and I fought hard for this. It would be career-defining to this point.
“Originally I was told no but I stayed with it getting it and got to a ballpark figure with [Matchroom Boxing Group Managing Director] Eddie Hearn, then got the deal to a point of consideration with Top Rank to make it happen. Ramirez made a record purse and the highest at 140 to date [this year] and one of the highest this year in the sport.”
Ramirez was hugely impressive winning on the road, stopping Hooker in six rounds.
For the past several months, Mirigian has worked to secure the 2012 Olympian a hugely lucrative contract extension that will be completed and officially announced next month.
Then Ramirez will head to China to face mandatory challenger Viktor Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) on February 1. The date is one of the biggest ESPN TV dates of the year because it’s on primetime the night before the Super Bowl.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright.
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