First Class Boxing Venues Return to the Coachella Valley

Jed Poole

La Prensa Hispana

The advent of the Timothy Bradley championship boxing match at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort in Rancho Mirage was more than just boxing highlighting a local boxer with a league of fans. Agua Caliente has picked up the baton and is choosing to once again demonstrate there is a big demand for the sport of boxing in the Coachella Valley.

In the mid 90’s Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, noticed the many local boxing fans and attempted to merge boxing it into their entertainment schedule. Fantasy lacked a sufficiently large inside space and held the boxing matches outside on casino property. They rented the ring at an unbelievable $5,000 per day plus the cost of many lighting configurations, rigs and extras. Their attempts to hold a match inside were confounded by the ring space requirements and the space they had to set aside for the television cameras. These requirements eliminated needed seat revenues. Holding the match outside resulted in no casino revenues since attendees would simply leave without ever entering into the casino gaming areas. The boxing idea had to be placed on hold for a lack of facilities.

Spotlight 29 Casino, Coachella picked up the torch with Carmen Zazueta the only woman boxing promoter in California and an administrator for the tribe, Spotlight 29 brought boxing to the Coachella Valley again. After numerous attempts to make the investment profitable, Spotlight backed off of offering a consistent boxing schedule and the enterprise was placed on hold, Carmen retired and their local attempts at promoting took a back seat to other forms of popular entertainment.

Now, the Agua Caliente Casino Resort seems to have come up with a winning combination. The resort has the space needed inside, they have a first class hotel to accommodate those who come early and stay late. They have dinning at its’ best, gaming, other entertainment and a hospitable beautiful environment close to the airport and freeway. Attendees must enter through the casino creating the possibility to entice visitors and it also leaves a place for the significant others to sit in air-conditioned comfort surrounded by luxury while the finest of boxing is on display.

The Timothy Bradley fight only lasted three rounds since the bout was stopped as a TKO but boxing enthusiasts also got to see other fine matches. Nathan Campbell the challenger was unable to see after a blow to his left eye. Campbell insists it was due to a head butt but the referee saw it from a different angle and ruled it had been a punch that caused the damage. The approximately 2,000 fans present had differing opinions but the vast majority were rooting for Bradley, their home town favorite. There are no talks about a rematch at this time. Bradley is looking for a bigger paycheck and it is the purse that will ultimately decide who gets a chance to fight for the championship belt held by Bradley.

The Agua Caliente Resort and Spa has set a high classy standard for boxing locally which will be difficult to match by others. There is no place better suited for local boxing enthusiasts to spend an evening and enjoy their sport live alongside other great entertainment consistently scheduled at the Show on the same property in Rancho Mirage.