The Met reintroduces boxing to historic North Philly venue
At a conference Jan. 16, Live Nation Philadelphia and Hard Hitting Promotions announced the creation of a new boxing series inside The Met Philadelphia.
Boxing is making a triumphant return to North Broad Street and The Met in Philadelphia next month.
It was announced earlier this week that a partnership between Live Nation Philadelphia and Hard Hitting Promotions made the return of boxing at The Met possible.
“This platform that they have granted us with is going to bring boxing back to the mainstream as it once was in its hey-day,” Manny Rivera, the head promoter of Hard Hitting Promotions, said at the conference.
The Met, which was originally built in 1908 by Oscar Hammerstein, had long been a showplace for events, such as concerts, basketball games, and even the circus.
Beginning in 1939, the venue regularly held boxing events for 15 years. On Nov. 11, 1954, the final boxing event took place at the venue. Now, after more than 64 years, the venue at North Broad Street will hold a boxing event once again.
“Bringing boxing back to North Broad is really part of the offerings we’d like to bring, as far as entertainment and sports, coming back to this area,” Regional President of Live Nation Philadelphia, Geoff Gordon, said.
“[We're] excited to bring The Met back into its full glory, and part of that full glory... is having boxing part of it.”
The new "Bouts on Broad" boxing series at The Met will feature nine bouts, with the main event featuring two undefeated Philadelphia fighters. Steven Ortiz (9-0, with 3 KOs) will face Jeremy Cuevas (11-0, with 8 KOs). Both fighters are nominees for Prospects of the Year.
Ortiz, whose fought 5 of his 9 fights in Philly, in addition to fights in Brooklyn and Puerto Rico, said fighting in Philly is always special.
“It’s my hometown,” he said. “The crowd alone is going to bring me that drive, they’re going to give me that extra hunger.”
His opponent, Cuevas, has been a key part of Hard Hitting Promotions from the beginning, and is excited about the newest venture between Hard Hitting and Live Nation.
“Fighting at The Met is a beautiful opportunity, something I dreamed about since I was a kid,” Cuevas said.
Rivera praised both fighters for taking on the challenge put before them.
"These are two young, hungry prospects in the peak of their career and they’re willing to put it all on the line for The Met, for Philadelphia, for the history that is about to happen,” he said.
Malik Hawkins (13-0, with 9 KOs) will also be competing. Other fights on the card include Samuel Teah (15-2, with 7 KOs) vs. Tre'Sean Wiggins (10-3, with 6 KOs); and Branden Pizarro (13-1, with 6 KOs) vs. Travis Castellon (16-3, with 12 KOs).
The card will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7pm at The Met Philadelphia.