Humans have loved watching other humans match strength and skills since before the era of gladiators, whether MMA or boxing. Marquee boxing matches, in particular, are quite popular. So popular, in fact, that the professional boxers have consistently been among the highest earning athletes in the world.
There are lots of conditions that have to be fulfilled for a high profile boxing event to occur. You need good fighters, as well as an audience. You also need a good location. In fact, various aspects of the location, such as the fans and the fans can make or break a boxing event. In this article, we shall list the best boxing cities.
1. Las Vegas
Las Vegas is by far the most famous boxing city in the world. It has hosted hundreds of marquee boxing events and has a rich and varied history with boxing. One of the things that makes this place stand out is the sheer array of venues the city has for boxing events. There are the small ones, like Hard Rock Casino and Hotel, the medium sized ones, like the Thomas & Mack Center, and the very large ones, such as Mandalay Bay and the MGM Grand.
Nearly every great boxer has had a match here, including Oscar De La Hoya, James J. Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Mike Tyson, and Floyd Mayweather. Most high profile fights in the present day are also held.
There’s a good reason why Las Vegas is so popular for hosting large boxing events. It’s not just about the event. The right city can imbue a feeling of surrealism, glitz, and glamor. Las Vegas, A.K.A Sin City offers just that. From the lights on the Strip, to the exciting history of the city, You can’t think of a more exciting place to host a boxing match than Las Vegas.
2. New York City
While Las Vegas might be the world’s most famous boxing city, Madison Square Garden remains the world’s most famous arena. This arena has seen lots of boxing events, and has a tradition and history with the sport, making its host city, New York, a very important boxing city.
New York is the media and social capital of the world, and Madison Square Garden sits right in the middle of it. It’s not the only place in the city where high profile boxing events have been held, though. The new arena, the Barclays Center, is also proving to be a popular venue for large events.
While the Barclays Center in Brooklyn has only been open for a few months, it has hosted boxing legends like Bernard Hopkins, as well as young but promising boxers like Danny Garcia.
That said, when people think of boxing events in New York, it is Madison Square Garden that first comes to mind. This is, after all, where the 1971 match between “Smokin” Joe Frazier and boxing god Muhammad Ali took place.
3. Atlantic City
Atlantic City is yet another famous boxing city, thanks to Boardwalk Hall. This is a small venue located at the eponymous Atlantic City Boardwalk. It might be a small venue compared to the others mentioned above, but it has hosted its fair share of high profile events.
While Atlantic City is better known as a gambling resort, it also has a fantastic atmosphere for boxing lovers. Something connects the gambling phenomena, like rolling dice and slot machines, to the adrenaline of watching boxing champions duke it out in the rink.
This little city on Jersey Shore has been home to many great boxers over the years, and both the city and the reputations of those boxers have benefited. One of the greatest boxers of the 20th century, Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, fought in Atlantic City 23 times. Mike Tyson also fought in Atlantic City many times as he worked his way up to being a heavyweight champion. He always remembers the city fondly.
Across the Pacific, the Brits love boxing matches just as much as the Americans. If you’re in London to watch a marquee boxing event, you might be surprised at how large and crazy the crowds get as they fervently support their favorite fighters. The atmosphere is also quite festive, and boxing events here feel more like carnivals than boxing events.
London has the O2 Arena, one of the largest and most modern venues in the world. There have been lots of big fights here, and many more will come. One of the most popular ones was the 2013 match between Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch. It brought in large crowds and was a huge success.
Not far from London is Manchester, another popular sports city. Manchester is best known for soccer (known as football in England), but it also has an excellent atmosphere for boxing. Boxing events get raucous, festive, and filled with chanting fanatics. It’s always loads of fun to watch a boxing match here.
Of particular importance is the Manchester Arena, formerly known as M.E.N. This is the main arena for boxing matches, and was for the longest time the main arena for matches involving British boxers, such as Ricky Hatton, a Manchester native.
6. Los Angeles
Los Angeles isn’t just known for Hollywood. In fact, not far from the famous Hollywood sign is the Staples Center, which has been hosting large boxing events since the turn of the millennium. Every great boxer has fought here, from Lennox Lewis to Oscar De La Hoya to Manny Pacquiao. The venue borrows some of its charm from the City of Angels, zapping fans and athletes alike with excitement.
The boxing fan base in LA is actually pretty large, and growing. The city has lots of Latin Americans living in it, and is close to Mexico, another famous boxing city.
The list goes on and on, but the above remain the most famous boxing cities in the world. If you’re a fan, you should add visiting these cities for events to your bucket list. You certainly won’t be disappointed!
Photographer: Roger Kisby/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Thomas Jackson is a professional writer and a member of several writing clubs in New York where you can buy an essay. He has also been writing his own songs since he was a child.
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