Boxing apparently won’t have a brief fling with the BB&T Center after Friday night’s show, which will feature South Florida’s only world title fight of the year.
Golden Boy Promotions, one of the sport’s dominant promotional players, reached an agreement last week with officials at BB&T Center to present a minimum of four cards at the Sunrise arena and home of the NHL’s Panthers. The cards are planned for 2013.
The deal was announced last week through a statement confirmed by Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya and Michael Yormark, president of Sunrise Sports and Entertainment, which oversees the BB&T Center.
Golden Boy Promotions mainly presents shows on the Southwest and West coast. But the company has expanded to showcase boxing with a fight series at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and now South Florida.
“At Golden Boy Promotions we are committed to bringing boxing to fight fans across the country and this new partnership is further proof of this,” De La Hoya said. “South Florida has traditionally been a hotbed for boxing and we are excited to have a new home with Michael Yormark and the BB&T Center.”
With the Florida Panthers, the arena’s primary tenant, idle because of the NHL lockout, BB&T Center seeks to fill voids on its suddenly-open events calendar.
“We are thrilled and honored to partner with an incredible and entrepreneur such as Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions,” Yormark said. “We believe that together we can take live professional boxing to the next level in South Florida.”
BB&T Center, formerly Bank Atlantic Center, has had a limited boxing history. In 2009, the arena was the site of Joseph Agbeko’s successful defense of his bantamweight world title against Vic Darchinyan. The following year, Andre Berto retained his welterweight belt with an eighth-round technical knockout win over Carlos Quintana.
On Friday night, Deerfield Beach-based Acquinity Sports will present a combined seven-fight show followed by a rap concert at BB&T Center. The fight card is headlined by the vacant World Boxing Association super-lightweight title bout between two-division champion Joan Guzman of the Dominican Republic and Russia’s Khabib Allakhverdiev. Hollywood resident and rising welterweight contender Ed Paredes will fight on the undercard. Paredes will face Javier Castro in a scheduled 10-round bout.
• Hector “Macho” Camacho was no stranger to South Florida fight fans. Camacho, who died Saturday, fought locally six times in a career that spanned 30 years and 88 bouts.
In 1986, Camacho made his only South Florida ring appearance as world champion, when he successfully defended his lightweight belt with a convincing decision over Cornelius Boza Edwards at Abel Holtz Tennis Stadium in Miami Beach.
Later in his career, Camacho fought at War Memorial Auditorium, Miccosukee Resort and Gaming and Seminole Hard Rock Casino. Eleven years ago, Camacho and his son, Hector Jr., and brother, Felix, fought in a show at Club Level on South Beach.
An Orlando resident for most of the past 20 years, Camacho died in his native Puerto Rico, three days after being shot while sitting inside a friend’s car. Camacho was declared brain dead Wednesday and his family agreed to remove him from life support Saturday morning. Camacho was 50.
Camacho, a three-division world champion, was lauded for his boxing skills and finished his career with a record of 79-6-3 and 38 knockouts. But Camacho also was known for his flamboyance, especially entering the ring in colorful costumes.
“He was a promoter’s dream — a very promotable guy,” said Don King, who promoted Camacho in the 1980s. “His inimitable style won him fans all over the world. Away from the ring, he was a really nice and amiable guy.”
Late Saturday, Robert Guerrero won a unanimous decision against Miami native Berto in Ontario, Calif. Guerrero (31-1-1) built an early lead with knockdowns in the first and second rounds and pressed Berto (28-2) to the ropes for most of the 12-round welterweight bout.
The knockdowns and Guerrero’s aggression helped Guerrero win the fight on all three judges’ scorecards, 116-110.