09/11/09 1:01 AM ET
Boxing a possibility at Yankee Stadium
Promoter Arum, Yanks hope to renew sport's NY heritage
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
On the day boxing champions Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao stood on the first-base line at Yankee Stadium to announce their Nov. 14 fight in Las Vegas, Arum and team officials talked about the possibility of holding major fights at the stadium, according to The Associated Press.
"We have a history of bringing big fights to the Yankee Stadium," said Arum. "It's something we'd like to do again."
Arum, who promoted the fight between Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton in 1976 at the stadium, approached the Yankees several times over the past 30 years about staging another event at the stadium, but was turned down by owner George Steinbrenner and the club because of concerns about erecting a ring and seating on the infield grass, the report said.
Arum is hopeful that the new leadership under Hal and Hank Steinbrenner, along with a better means of protecting the field, will help bring a fight to the ballpark next year.
"I think one of the reasons we had the press conference here is a precursor for a big, big event," Arum told The AP. "Certainly a big fight is going to happen next year, and it's going to happen at Yankee Stadium."
A fight between the winner of Pacquiao-Cotto against the winner of next weekend's bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez appealed to Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost.
"There'll be a winner of this fight and a winner of the Mayweather fight," Trost said. "Where better to hold that fight than Yankee Stadium?"
Trost declined to say whether there have been negotiations about holding a fight at the stadium, but the Yankees are eager to bring revenue-producing events beyond baseball to the stadium. Already, several college football games are scheduled for the next few years, including Notre Dame vs. Army in November 2010.
Arum told The AP that it's unlikely that the Mayweather-Marquez and Pacquiao-Cotto winners would face each other, but it's possible that Cotto could cede his traditional spot at Madison Square Garden to up-and-coming star Juan Manuel Lopez to headline a card at the ballpark.
"We're going to get one here at Yankee Stadium," said Melvina Lathan, the head of the New York State Athletic Commission. "We've got to come back and revisit Yankee Stadium."
The list of fighters that have boxed at Yankee Stadium includes Ray Robinson, Carmen Basilio, Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. Chicago's Comiskey Park, the Polo Grounds, Griffth Stadium, Ebbets Field and Fenway Park also have a history with boxing.
"Yankee Stadium had a great tradition of boxing," Arum said, "and hopefully with the new Yankee Stadium, we'll start a new tradition."
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.