Moments after Bob Arum wrapped up a post fight press conference with Oscar Valdez in July 2016, a fight in which the (now) 26-year-old, two-time Mexican olympian had defeated Matias Rueda to earn the WBO featherweight world title, the Top Rank CEO expressed his desire to have Valdez defend that title in Tucson.
That night Valdez, newly acquired belt hoisted over his shoulder and looking every bit the part of a world champion, had fielded questions from the media. The microphones were still on and they picked up Arum saying, “Hopefully the next one will be in Tucson,” as he leaned into Valdez to hug and congratulate him. What seemed to be meant as a private word Arum was sharing with the newly crowned champion, Tucson’s more avid fight fans were able to hear music to their ears.
Promo video shot by Top Rank leading up to Valdez’s April 22nd, 2017 fight against Miguel Marriaga.
Since that July night over a year ago, Top Rank along with local boxing promoters, venue representatives and even Tucson political figures worked to get the Nogales born world champion, Valdez, to fight in the Old Pueblo. Top Rank has expressed a great desire to make Tucson a true destination for boxing and nurture its resurgence as the boxing hotbed many passionate boxing enthusiast feel it once was.
They, along with Golden Boy Promotions, Roy Jones Jr Promotions, James Toney Promotions, Raging Babe Promotions and others have shared many times with local media how educated and fight savvy they feel Tucson fans are. Coupled with Tucson’s proximity to Mexico, it also being a main corridor for tourism from south of the border with a huge potential to attract Mexican fighters to take part in events here have been cited as well.
Top Rank has promoted events in Tucson recently and now, with one of its brightest young stars having been born in Nogales and raised in Tucson, currently in possession of a world title belt, they have finally pulled off what they have stated they have wanted to accomplish for over a year.
A title defense event in the Old Pueblo.
With regard to what is on the line and the significance of the fights being held on September 22nd at the Tucson Convention Center, it is no doubt the largest boxing event Tucson has ever seen. Whatever happens that night, it will have a ripple effect throughout the boxing world. The challenge for Peltz Boxing Promotions and Top Rank will be to help some of the casual fans in Tucson realize magnitude of the event in the boxing world and that it is most definitely worth their hard-earned dollars to attend and be a part of.
Bob Arum: One day would like an event of 30-40,000 people in Tucson for Oscar.
In the weeks and days leading up to this historic event for the Old Pueblo, AllSportsTucson.com will begin breaking down each matchup, analyze the fighters and pick favorites for each bout.
Jose Roman Jr: I have had fight fans from all over the world contact me regarding ticket information and hotel recommendations, etc. In regard to the ticket information and other details pertaining to this event, media outlets were originally given a press conference date for last Tuesday, August 15th, as the day that we were going to be given all the information we needed to pass along to our readers. Promoters had planned for us to interview fighters and trainers as well. We received word the night before the presser that due to scheduling and traveling complications with members of some of the camps that would be on hand, that the entire press conference would be postponed until today.
TICKETS: Go on sale today (Aug 24th) at 2pm Tucson time through Ticketmaster.com. Prices $100 for ring side and $25 for general admission. To purchase tickets and check availability CLICK HERE
PARKING: For an interactive map on parking all around the Tucson Convention Center and the rest of downtown Tucson CLICK HERE
HOTELS: To view all hotels and accommodations near the TCC and in the Tucson Metro Area CLICK HERE
AIRPORT INFO: Need to rent a vehicle? Car rental services and other Tucson International Airport accommodations CLICK HERE
Convention Center, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Commission: Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission
Promoter: Hector Zapari (Zapari Boxing Promotions), Bob Arum (Top Rank), J Russell Peltz (Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc.)
Television: USA – ESPN, Panama RPC Channel 4
WBO World Super Middleweight Title (12 rounds)
Gilberto Ramirez (35 0 0) vs Jesse Hart (22 0 0)
WBO World Featherweight Title (12 rounds)
Oscar Valdez (22 0 0) vs Genesis Servania (29 0 0)
Welterweight bouts (10 rounds)
Alex Saucedo (25 0 0) vs Gustavo David Vittori (19 2 1)
Leonardo Zappavigna (35 3 0) vs Fidel Monterrosa Munoz (38 13 1)
Lightweight (10 Rounds)
Felix Verdejo (23 0 0) vs Antonio Lozada Jr (37 2 0)
Super Bantamweight (6 rounds)
Michael Conlan (3 0 0) vs TBA