In less than three weeks, the UTA community will have an opportunity to witness live punishing body blows and destructive uppercuts with all the blood, sweat and tears that professional boxing has to offer.
On June 28, the College Park Center will host Fight No. 3 of the Bud Light Pro Fight Series from Standing 8 Promotions. This will be the first time the College Park Center will hold a boxing event since the appearance of ESPN Friday Night Fights in February 2012.
The promotional company is based out of Fort Worth and is owned by President Dustin Haney. Haney stated in a press release that Standing 8 Promotions is very pleased with their move to the College Park Center.
“The facility has all the bells and whistles to produce an entertaining fight night with live music, videos and giveaways, including a vacation package,” Haney said.
The event will showcase seven action-packed bouts, and director of marketing Jayne Wilks said there will be surprise appearances by celebrity professional athletes and giveaways, and Mark Elfenbein from radio station 105.3 “The Fan” will be the ring announcer.
June 28 will be just the first of four dates this year that professional boxing comes to UTA. Standing 8 has already scheduled Aug. 24, Oct. 26 and Dec. 6 for more action at the College Park Center.
Haney said Standing 8 Promotions chose the College Park Center because it is located between Fort Worth and Dallas, so it brings in fans from all over the Metroplex.
“Perfect venue for boxing,” Haney said. “I actually went to the Friday Night Fights show there and thought it was an awesome venue for boxing.”
The 218,000 square-foot events center, which opened in February 2012, is home to UTA basketball and volleyball and has held several other events in the last year. On June 1, well-known rock band Kansas played a concert at the venue.
A portion of the proceeds from the boxing event will go to Fort Worth Metro , a non-profit organization that helps inner-city youth around the Metroplex.
“With what we do with boxing, it saved a lot of people’s lives,” Haney said. “That’s exactly what Fort Worth Metro does. So if we can help some kids down the right path, it’s just a bonus to what we’re doing.”
Tony Lopez holds a 3-0 record and will face off against Rigoberto Moreno in one of the undercard fights.
Lopez said he is excited about fighting at the College Park Center.
“I love it,” Lopez said. “It’s great. It’s a nice, big facility. It’s going to draw a lot more boxing fans to that area. UTA gives us that spot to really showcase our talent.”
James DeHerrera is another boxer with Standing 8 with a 1-0 record and will also be fighting in the event, although his opponent has not been announced yet.
DeHerrera said even though College Park Center is a large venue, he isn’t affected by the crowd.
“Really, for me, I don’t care how many people are watching,” DeHerrera said. “I don’t get nervous before fights. I’m going to get in there and try to finish it quick and put on a good show for everybody.”
Ticket prices are $24, $36 and $52 for premium seating, and $68 for ringside rows 1-4. Group discounts are available and tickets may also be purchased at the door. Wilks said UTA students will have a special “buy one, get one free” opportunity for the $24 tickets.