“Friday Night Fights” Comes To Tulsa Casino

Friday, July 13th 2007, 8:40 pm
By: News On 6

When you think of professional boxing, Las Vegas and its grand casinos probably come to mind. But lately Oklahoma casinos have been seeing their fair share of the sport. News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren reports, in fact, there's a nationally televised fight going on Friday night in Tulsa, and folks in the boxing biz say there are a lot more to come.

Putting on a nationally televised boxing bout is a heavyweight production. Friday night the headlining fighter is super middle weight, and Tulsa native, Allen “Sweetness” Green. He's coming off his first loss as a pro and chose the Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino in Tulsa for his comeback.

"We are so excited about bringing another nationally televised event,” said Byron Bighorse with the Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino. “It kind of puts Tulsa on the map."

The match sold out more than two hours before the doors opened. Tickets sold for $28 a piece except for the ones at the ringside tables. Seats there sold for $250 each. Those seats are usually reserved for the casino's high rollers; after all, boxing and gambling go hand in hand.

"And we'll ask them, ‘What brings you here?’ and they say ‘Well you're having a boxing match, nationally televised,’" said Bighorse.

TV crews, like ESPN 2, usually start getting set up the day before the fight. On Friday they were tuning up for their weekly production of “Friday Night Fights.” Producers say they've covered boxing in Oklahoma casinos at least five times since January.

Boxing promoter Tony Holden is the man who brings them here. He's promoted fights in Nevada and New York. But he calls Tulsa home and says Oklahoma casinos are keeping him busy.

"So it’s coming to Oklahoma. Other promoters are trying to get in down here, and you're seeing major fights," Tony Holden of Holden Productions said.

And as tribes continue to build more casinos and event centers in Oklahoma, more boxers will be lining up to fight here.

"So, as far as the sport, I think it’s just beginning in Oklahoma," said Holden.

Holden says last year Oklahoma was the third most active state in the U.S. for boxing activity.

Watch the video: Local Casino Welcomes Friday Night Fights