By Robert Brizel, Head RCM Boxing Correspondent
In a Real Combat Media exclusive, top boxing promoter Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment briefly spoke ringside with a sense of history during the final boxing card he promoted at historic Roseland Ballroom. DiBella reminisced about his indelible memories of the place, what had happened at the venue which made it historically noteworthy, talked about the future possibility of a Gabriel Tito Bracero versus Danny Garcia world title bout now under consideration, and addressed the big question of where the next major television venue would be for his DiBella Entertainment promotional group.
Lou DiBella is now an established leader among worldwide boxing promoters today, not just for the high quality of his boxing shows, but also for his outstanding ability to move his fighters successfully and give other prospects and would be contenders significant opportunities. Lou DiBella’s career as a boxing promoter began with his first card, a six bout card which featured light middleweight David Reid defending his World Boxing Council Continental Americas regional title versus James Coker in the 12 round main event at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on October 24, 1998.
Lou DiBella: “Joe Quiambo (the matchmaker) did a great job tonight! 50 rounds were matched and all nine bouts went the distance. Well done!”
Real Combat Media: “Your most memorable memories of Roseland?”
Lou DiBella: “This is a historic room. I remember being in here after September 11, 2001, when the Twin Towers went down. I was right here in this room at Roseland when (light heavyweight) James Butler sucker punched Richard Grant in the jaw inside the ring after the decision was announced and he lost the decision. The bout card that night was a charity event to benefit the surviving New York police officers and firemen and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center buildings in New York City. Butler did it in front of everyone, with the New York City Police Department inside the ballroom. Police Commissioner William Bratton was here, Deputy Commissioner Esposito, 50 armed police officers were here. Butler got arrested. It was surreal. The whole scene was surreal. Butler is in jail, he was later was found guilty in the death of Sam Kellerman, the guy he was staying with, the brother of HBO boxing analyst Max Kellerman. After that incident happened, we didn’t come back to do a boxing show at Roseland again for ten years.”
Reader’s Historical Note: Southpaw light middleweight Boyd Melson, who won the eight round main event of the final bout at Roseland Ballroom, was the opening bout when Lou DiBella returned to Roseland Ballroom in June 2011. Melson scored a third round stoppage of Kelvin Kibler.
Real Combat Media: “Why did you want to stage the last important sporting event at the Roseland Ballroom location?”
Lou DiBella: “This is a historical location. I’ve done 10 boxing shows at Roseland recently. For that sense of history, we wanted to come here tonight. We wanted to go out at Roseland Ballroom in style.”
Real Combat Media: “Why did you like doing shows at Roseland so much?”
Lou DiBella: “It’s a perfect room. You can fill the place and sell out the house. Club fighting is what local boxing is all about.”
Real Combat Media: “Roseland Ballroom is apparently going to be torn down next month. Is this boxing show it for boxing at this venue?”
Lou DiBella: “They’re going to build a skyscraper on this spot. It’s a shame they’re taking this building down-but-it’s with a sense of history we are doing the last show here.”
Real Combat Media: “What’s the story with Gabriel Tito Bracero versus Danny Garcia?”
Lou DiBella: “Tito’s going to fight Danny. We hope so. We are hopeful we can reach an agreement. We want to fight Danny in Brooklyn at Barclays Center in Brooklyn next. Danny Garcia has a fight coming up in Puerto Rico, a title defense he has to win next month against Mauricio Herrera (for his WBA and WBC Light World Welterweight titles). Tito’s next fight is scheduled for March (opponent not yet announced). Tito will sell out the house! We really want the Danny Garcia fight in Brooklyn. We would really like to stage the fight between Tito and Garcia in Brooklyn! People say Tito doesn’t have a knockout punch. Tito will give Danny hell. We want to fight Danny Garcia! He’s the best.”
Real Combat Media: “With Roseland Ballroom gone, where will be your next venue in New York City be which is large enough and high enough to do major television boxing shows comparable to the Roseland Ballroom setup? B.B. King Blues Club& Grill on 42nd Street in Manhattan, where you do still many of your local boxing club shows featuring the top rising area prospects, is too still too small for the television cameras to move around.”
Lou DiBella: “I’m in the process negotiating for our new venue right now. I can’t tell you where yet. When I know where it will be for sure, you’ll be the first to know.”