On Saturday, undefeated and top-15 world ranked Jr. Welterweight Jose “El Chon” Zepeda (26-1-1, 21 KOs) will be featured in the main event in Glendale’s Fight Night at the Civic Auditorium.
The event is presented by Art of Boxing, Bash Boxing and Top Rank, and will be televised on Unimas as part of the Solo Boxeo Tecate series. The co-main event will feature Ivan “Bam Bam” Najera (13-0, 8 KOs) vs. Stan “The Man” Martyniouk (13-1, 2 KOs).
The first fight is at 6 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. It is the fifth boxing event to be held at the auditorium, all by Steve Bash’s company, Bash Boxing.
“We’re not only familiar with the Glendale Civic Auditorium, we’re the only ones that have ever done a show there,” said Bash, who is also an attorney who represents fighters such as Ronda Rousey.
That’s because Glendale had a law since 1948 that previously prohibited boxing matches from being held within the city. Bash and one of his partners, Glendale native Kahren Harutyunyan, went to Glendale City Council with great persistence to get that law changed. They were able to get a one-year provisional license. That meant the city still had control over things like what the ring girls could wear and how many police officers would be in the building.
Bash Boxing held its first show at the auditorium five years ago. Three years ago, its event was shown on ESPN.
“We make the venue look like it’s never looked before,” Bash said. “When we come in there with our lighting and the ring and everything else, on TV it looks fabulous and inside the venue there’s not a bad seat in the house.”
Bash said the place holds about 1,000 fans. “There are some limitations. It doesn’t have your traditional locker rooms and things like that, so we’ve gone creative over the years and figured it out. But it’s a fun place to do a show,” he said.
The size of the audience has been steadily increasing, Bash said. The ESPN show was basically sold out, and by the start of the first bout on Saturday, he said he expects this one to be nearly sold out as well. It helps that many of the fighters on the card are from Southern California, so it’s guaranteed that their friends and family will buy up a percentage of the tickets.
“[The city of Glendale] works with us to try and bring it back at least once a year … for us, it’s not so much about success or not,” he said. “This is what we do. This is a hobby, a passion of ours. It’s not the biggest money-maker in the world but, to me, it’s the best professional live sports entertainment in the city of Glendale.”
Bash said boxing fans can expect more of the fighters on Saturday to become household names in the near future.
“One of the things about this show … I think it’s our best show top to bottom in terms of competition,” he said. “It’s not a show where you’ve got a 15-0 guy fighting a guy with an upside down record. All these fights on paper look very competitive.”
Tickets can be purchased online at www.bashboxing.com or by calling (626) 388-8888. Tickets start at $30 for general admission and $45 for reserved open seating. A limited number of VIP bottle service tables are also available.