When it comes to televising a sporting event, atmosphere sometimes counts as much as talent. Boxing promoter Joe DeGuardia believes he doesn't have to leave Long Island to deliver both on a regular basis. He has a growing stable of local fighters and his venue of choice is the Paramount Theatre in Huntington.
For the second time in 30 days, the Paramount will host a national cable audience when Huntington's Chris Algieri fights Jose Peralta in the opening TV bout Saturday night on NBC Sports Network. The main event is a heavyweight matchup pitting unbeaten contenders Vyacheslav Glazkov (14-0) and Malik Scott (35-0) in a 10-rounder.
"I am thrilled to be back at the Paramount. It's a phenomenal place," DeGuardia said. "I love doing boxing matches there. It's one of the best places to see an event live. These events are great for Huntington. We are bringing a lot of business to the area. It's a great fit.''
This is the seventh time that DeGuardia's Star Boxing has promoted boxing at the 1,500-seat concert hall. Last month, Showtime televised from the venue and DeGuardia's first card was televised by Azteca America. Saturday's event is being co-promoted with Main Events, which has the deal with NBC.
"The basis of our NBC series was that we wanted fight venues with passionate fans," said Main Events chief executive Kathy Duva. "We wanted that local flavor to come through. Casinos are great for fights, but the crowd isn't always the same. The Paramount is a beautiful venue and we know everyone is coming out to see Chris Algieri and the other Long Island fighters. That's the atmosphere we want to capture."
DeGuardia showcases several Long Island fighters and their fans are the ones who help generate the excitement. Algieri (15-0) is one of the area's top ticket sellers and is on the verge of cracking the top 10 in the junior welterweight division. In addition, three more undefeated Long Island fighters will compete Saturday night: Shirley's Cletus Seldin (10-0), Huntington's Alan Gotay (3-0) and Hicksville's Anthony Karperis (3-0).
"This is a great event for Long Island boxing," Algieri said. "There's nice buzz leading up to this fight. I've fought in a lot places and the Paramount is as exciting a place to fight in as there is."
There are seven bouts, with the first one starting at 7:30 p.m. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets priced at $200, $150, $125, $100 and $50 can be purchased through Star Boxing (718-823-2000), the Paramount Box office or ticket master.
Duva is coming back on April 20 with a card at Madison Square Garden's Theater. This one features former cruiserweight champ Steven Cunningham against Tyson Fury. That card will be broadcast on NBC (the actual network, not NBC's cable network).