The Minneapolis Armory and Premier Boxing Champions will announce a series of cards to be held in 2019 in the remodeled venue in a Thursday press conference. There were two PBC cards in 2018 that brought back professional boxing to the Armory for the first time since 1979 -- and those went well enough for Minneapolis to become a regular host this year.
Here is the release sent out by publicist Robb Leer in advance of the press conference:
THE SPOTLIGHT ON MINNESOTA boxing will be brighter than ever in 2019 as the Minneapolis Armory hosts four nationally televised bouts featuring top national and local talent.
Former IBF Super Middleweight champion Caleb Truax, of Osseo, and rising welterweight contender Jamal James of Minneapolis will be on hand for the announcement. Both fighters will see action at the Armory in the coming year.
Steeped in boxing tradition, the Armory has hosted fights featuring all-time greats that include Sugar Ray Robinson, Henry Armstrong, Fritzie Zivic and local legends such as Glen Flanagan and Jack Gibbons.
“Minneapolis and St. Paul were big boxing towns back in the day and it kind of dwindled for a while. Jamal and I have been trying to make a name for ourselves and bring boxing back to everyday sports conversations in Minnesota,” Truax said.
Professional boxing returned to the Minneapolis Armory in 2018 for the first time since 1973. Feeding off the energy in the building, both James and Truax scored victories at the Amory in two separate events during the past year.
Jeff Flanagan, president of the Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame, said the 2019 boxing series at the Armory is attractive because it brings consistency and competitive matchups to the local fight scene. In the past, boxing events were held sporadically and the matches weren’t always competitive, said Flanagan, son of World Boxing Hall of Famer Glen Flanagan.
“They are doing it the right way. And the Armory is such a nice venue,” Flanagan said.
In November, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and Fox Sports announced plans to hold four major boxing events at the Armory. The nationally televised cards will feature some of the sport’s biggest and brightest starts.
The Armory joins Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, as venues selected to host world-class boxing.
James, who is ranked No. 3 in the world at welterweight by the World Boxing Association, kicks off the series. He returns to the Armory on Saturday, Feb. 23, against an opponent to be named. The main event pits Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1) against once-beaten Avni Yildirim (21-1) for the WBC World Super Middleweight title.
In a clash of former world champions, Truax will face Peter Quillin of Brooklyn New York at the Armory on Saturday, April 13. The winner will be back in the picture for world title contention.
Two more boxing events will be coming to the Armory in 2019 in addition to the cards in February and April. The fights will be televised nationally by Premier Boxing Champions on multiple platforms with broadcast partners FS1 and FOX Deportes.