The new-look Nassau Coliseum is scheduled to open with a Billy Joel concert April 5, but it will not be long after that when the renovated arena hosts its first major boxing card.
Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, said before Wednesday night’s Heat-Nets game at Barclays Center that the first fight card probably will be held on April 29.
Who will be on it?
Yormark said a deal is not yet complete but is getting close. He also hinted that the main event just might be the reported light heavyweight matchup between Shirley’s Joe Smith Jr. and Adonis Stevenson.
“All I can tell you is that it makes sense to launch with a Long Island fighter, no question about it, against maybe someone who has national significance, and bring a great match to Long Island,” Yormark said.
“Nothing yet has been determined, but I can tell you it’s going to have some Long Island flavor, for sure.”
Smith upset Andrzej Fonfara and Bernard Hopkins in his past two fights and holds the WBC international light-heavyweight title.
Yormark said his goal is to hold two or three major cards per year at the Coliseum.
“That doesn’t mean we’re not going to have smaller fights, which could be in our theater configuration,” he said. “But Brooklyn Boxing truly is the biggest and the best the sport has to offer, and in that respect I’m thinking three major championship fights a year.”
Brooklyn Boxing is Barclays’ brand, and Yormark said it is “very portable.”
“It’s fights of local significance that obviously fans will rally around,” he said, “but it’s also bringing the best world championship fights right here to the borough or for that matter Long Island. So we’re going to take our Brooklyn Boxing franchise over to Long Island. It’ll be Brooklyn Boxing on Long Island.”