Orleans brightens dark times for Vegas boxing

August 27, 2002 5:58 AM
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Boxing has had a bad season overall in Las Vegas, but the decline has created an opening The Orleans is successfully filling.

"The sport has taken a few black eyes, but we have been taking advantage of this by scheduling monthly fight cards," said Tony Burrell, who is in his third year of promoting attractive boxing cards at The Orleans.

Burrell learned his trade from his father, who was one of the first athletic commissioners in Nevada.

"Boxing here gives us a chance to show the city we have local fighters who are capable of going for larger belts," Burrell said. "This will be an even greater venue once the new arena is ready."

The Orleans has extremely reasonable prices for its cards, many of which are good enough to make the Friday Night Boxing package on ESPN2. Ringside sells for just $45 and general admission is $20."

"Our fan base is coming back after a couple of slow months," Burrell said. "There had been an over-saturation of bouts, which I think was the cause for the dropout. Now things are looking much better."

The next card is scheduled for Sept. 20.

UFC booked for MGM

The Ultimate Fighting Championships return to Las Vegas in a live pay-per-view card Nov. 22 at MGM Grand Garden Arena featuring legend Ken Shamrock facing light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz.

Tickets for the eight-fight card are priced from $300 down to $30.

Shamrock (8-4-2) has been idle since beating Brian Johnston with a forearm choke submission in 1996. Ortiz (10-2) has fully recovered from a torn ACL sustained in February.

On board —105 bus

Add Aladdin to the list of places setting aside a —105 night (5 percent vig) for pro football season.

Aladdin is having Half Price Mondays with —105 betting on all college and pro football games. The sports book also plans to use 14-to-5 odds for two-team parlays (both side and total) for the Monday night game only. The betting starts each Monday at noon and lasts until game time.

CLOSER: My selection of Arkansas State at +37 against Virginia Tech this past Sunday was for the quarter, not the game.