The new Joint sold out its 4,000 seats for the Chad Dawson-Antonio Tarver light heavyweight rematch as the Hard Rock became a player in Las Vegas boxing.
"The result worked out pretty well for us," said Rick Reinhart, race and sports book supervisor at the Hard Rock. "We won $20,000 with the Dawson victory. Most of the money came in on Tarver. When people see plus money, especially with a fighter that has won multiple titles, they take a shot."
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Dawson won a unanimous decision, which closed at -400 to those with tickets on a full 12-round bout. The fight was telecast live on HBO with some tickets selling for a very reasonable $35. The judges scored the fight 116-112, 117-111 and 117-111 for Dawson, now 28-0. Tarver, who at age 40 was spotting 15 years to Dawson, fell to 27-6.
"We benefitted from the sellout with an overflow crowd in the book," Reinhart said. "We have the MMA fights coming next weekend so boxing is very popular here. It really helps that the size of the Joint has increased from 2,900 to 4,000 seats."
What also worked well for the first bout at the new Joint was that Tarver lost. Had Tarver won, according to Reinhart, the book would have lost $50,000." Hard Rock entertainment director Paul Davis told GamingToday last week that the resort was hoping to book fights that would attract HBO, Showtime and VS networks.
"We’re looking to showcase the newer and bigger version of the Joint," Davis said. "Boxing is certainly one way to do it."
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Mark Mayer