After exploring other Las Vegas venues, promoter Bob Arum has decided to bring his next two ESPN shows back to MGM Grand.
BoxingScene.com has been informed that Top Rank’s cards scheduled for February 13 and February 20 will be broadcast from MGM Grand Conference Center. ESPN has either televised or streamed all of Top Rank’s cards from that venue since Arum’s company brought boxing back to television in the United States on June 9.
Top Rank seriously considered taking the February 13 and February 20 cards to Park Theater at Park MGM, which is located across Las Vegas Boulevard from MGM Grand. Fans still won’t be permitted to attend either show due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The February 13 card will feature light heavyweights Joe Smith Jr. and Maxim Vlasov in the 12-round main event. Smith (26-3, 21 KOs), of Mastic, New York, and Vlasov (45-3, 26 KOs), of Samara, Russia, will fight for the vacant WBO 175-pound title.
In the co-feature February 13, Richard Commey (29-3, 26 KOs), a former IBF lightweight champ from Ghana, is set to meet Dominican contender Jackson Marinez (19-1, 7 KOs) in a 10-rounder.
A week later, the February 20 show will feature Mexican rivals Miguel Berchelt and Oscar Valdez in the main event. Berchelt (38-1, 34 KOs) will defend his WBC super featherweight title versus Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) in what figures to be a fantastic fight.
In the co-feature February 20, 130-pound prospect Gabriel Flores Jr. (19-0, 6 KOs), of Stockton, California, and Puerto Rican veteran Jayson Velez (29-7-1, 21 KOs) will square off in a 10-rounder.
Top Rank won’t schedule shows for the month of March in the United States. Venues for the company’s shows in April and beyond will depend upon when COVID-19 restrictions will at least allow a limited number of fans to attend fights.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.