Vegas boxing: a brief history and venue review

Las Vegas is more famous for sportsbooks than sports, except when it comes to boxing.Vegas and boxing really go together. Sin City became famous for boxing in the 1960s. 7,000 people saw Sonny Liston knock out Floyd Patterson in 1963. Then In 1965, Muhammad Ali embarassed Patterson. So those famous fights and fighters started Vegas’ reputation for having the best boxing.

Do any of you remember Caesars Palace, 1987, Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs Sugar Ray Leonard? Leonard won on points and Hagler still argues the decision (as do some boxing afficionados).

If that’s going too far back, how about MGM, 1997, Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield? Holyfield had beaten Tyson a year earlier and for the rematch the fighters received $30,000,000 each. Tyson bit off some of Holyfield’s ear in the third round. The referee, Mills Lane, disqualified Tyson. Tyson was then suspended from boxing.

After that, Vegas toned down the fights and tried to become more family friendly, but the last few years have seen more and more big fights in Vegas since family friendly doesn’t really do as much for casino earnings as the high rollers who are attracted by big name boxing matchups.

Here are a few of the Las Vegas boxing venues and some tips for getting decent tickets:

Mandalay Bay (1-877-632-7800) will have many of Vegas’ bigger boxing matches. It’s big so you can get relatively cheap seats but do that and you’ll need binoculars. The seats with a decent view will run you $100 at the very least. I like Mandalay Bay boxing because there isn’t too much downtime between matchups.

MGM (1-877-880-0880) will have even bigger fights than Mandalay Bay. The cheap seats (like $50) are crazy far away from the action. You’ll need to spend real money for a view because even people who buy $100 tickets might end up watching the monitor.

Thomas and Mack (866-388-3267) is another big venue. Expensive to park, expensive to buy a beer, expensive to get a seat with a view.

Orleans (800-675-3267) is the place to go if you want to spend $50 and get seats where you can actually see some of the action. This is a solid choice for Vegas boxing.

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