Professional boxing returned to the Minneapolis Armory for the first time in 45 years April 13, 2018. There was another historic event on that night: The start of a three-day blizzard that dumped 15.8 inches of snow on the Twin Cities.
There will be a second boxing card at the remodeled Armory on Aug. 24, featuring both welterweight Jamal James, the event headliner in April, and Caleb Truax, holder of the IBF super middleweight title before losing a rematch with James DeGale in Las Vegas on April 7.
Truax (29-4-2) will be fighting Fabiano Pena (15-10-1) from Brazil.
“I just found out he was the opponent walking in here,’’ Truax said. “They call him ‘Pit Bull,’ so he must be tough.’’
The opponent for James (23-1) has not been announced. Premier Boxing has approval for opponents and James’ foe should be named soon. Premier gave him a tough veteran – Abel Ramos – in April and James came away with a majority decision: 96-94, 96-94 and 95-95.
“I was ecstatic fighting here in April, even with the snowstorm,’’ James said. “Now, it’s summer time; we don’t have to worry about a snowstorm.’’
That doesn’t mean there will be a lack of competition on that Friday night: As the Premier Boxing card is being contested and televised on FS1, the Vikings and the Seahawks will be playing an exhibition game 2½ blocks away at U.S. Bank Stadium.
There was a paid crowd of close to 3,000 in April, and Armory ownership made money on the event after paying Premier. The overhead for this card will be considerably higher.
Heavyweight Joey Abell is expected to be on the card, along with several young boxers who have developed a local following.
“We’re going to have the best ticket sellers in the Twin Cities on the card,’’ James said. “We’re going to pack this place. Fighters used to come to Minnesota to get a win. Now, they come in here and leave mad, after getting whupped.’’