Opening weekend in the NFL was outstanding and draped with wall to wall people. This weekend we also have the big fight.
“Money” Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez should bring the highest volume Saturday we have ever seen. Coupled with Alabama vs. Texas A&M and a full card, it will mean no break for ticket writers or anyone associated with a sports book.
I enjoy fights and have seen all of the marquee bouts from the mid-70’s to the mid-90’s. Nothing stays the same, but it was an era that will never be duplicated and is sadly missed. You guys over 50 will understand.
Does anyone besides me remember Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor fighting at the Hacienda or Joe Frazier and his band, The Knockouts, performing there? I saw a young brute, James “Lights Out” Toney as the walk out fight of the night at the Sands.
There were fights at the Silver Slipper and Showboat. And Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Duran was one week after we opened the Mirage. I opened Sugar Ray -160, got as high as -170, but closed it at 7/5.
Then there was April 15, 1985, and maybe the greatest three rounds in boxing history with Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler. Can’t explain the action, you just had to see it.
By the way, I lost $3k on the fight waiting for the fight to start. Bob Stupak gave me what I thought was top number with Hearns but me and Tommy got knocked out that night.
Then there was Fan Man flying into the ring on 11-6-93, round 7 of Riddick Bowe-Evander Holyfield, which was very close at the time.
This nutball circled the hotel and landed in the ring. He got hung up on the ropes and got beat up by Bowe’s corner headed by Rock Newman.
Then there was October 1980 and Larry Holmes asking the referee to stop the fight as a beaten Muhammad Ali was headed for the pasture.
That fight was in a makeshift arena behind Caesars, which was actually near I-15. I think 25,000 people were there.
And maybe 100 yards from that location was the Mancini-Kim fight two years later that ended in tragedy.
Boom Boom and Duk slugged it out for 14 rounds when Ray hit Kim with a devastating barrage that saw him fall into the ropes. Kim somehow got up but staggered. The fight was over. Everyone knew something was wrong. He passed away four days later.
We can’t go back, but can always remember. Hope we have a good one Saturday. Take care, Jimmy V.
Jimmy Vaccaro, an icon and pioneer in Las Vegas oddsmaking, is the vice president of sports marketing for South Point Hotel/Casino. Contact Jimmy at [email protected].