There are many venues in boxing that have become historic, legendary. Obviously Madison Square Garden in New York City is considered the mecca of boxing but every boxing town has their stories about the hallowed ground where the fights take place. On the west coast, many a tales of have been told about the LA Coliseum but now a new venue has captured the imagination of boxing fans in California and that is the Stub Hub Center, formerly known as the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, a small town in southern California just outside of Los Angeles.
The outdoor venue is mainly a tennis stadium with a capacity of around eight thousand patrons for boxing. Surrounded by soccer fields, the much bigger stadium next door is home of the Los Angeles Galaxy, a Major League Soccer franchise. None of that matters to the boxing fan that is familiar with the history the venue has put together in the little over a decade it has been used as a boxing destination.
For all intents and purposes, the first fight staged at the AEG controlled building was the 12th round knockout of Paulie Ayala by Marco Antonio Barrera. From then on the flood gates opened on great fights on paper than turn into great fights in the ring and many boxing pundits attribute something in the air of the southern California venue.
The next great fight was the first war between super bantamweight Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez with Vazquez calling it quits after a broken nose made it very hard for him to breathe in 2007. Paul Williams earned a unanimous decision over Antonio Margarito four months later in a fight that set the record for a welterweight contest with the most punches thrown so it was all-action. After waging their rematch in Texas, which Marquez won, Vazquez earned a split decision over Rafael in March of 2008 in the third installment of their war. Later they had fourth fight at the Staples Center but it was just too much and Marquez stopped Vazquez in four in what was basically a money grab by both.
The only time the tennis stadium has not been used inside the complex for a boxing match was in May of 2008 when Oscar De La Hoya battled Steve Forbes in a welterweight fight shown live on regular HBO. That fight was held on the grass of the home of the LA Galaxy next door with over twenty thousand boxing fans on hand to watch De La Hoya earn a hard fought unanimous decision.
In October of 2012 Brandon Rios stopped Mike Alvardo in seven in an all-out war and then Timothy Bradley survived the locomotive named Ruslan Provodnikov in March of 2013 in what turned out to be the fight of that year. Later that year Marcos Maidana stopped Josesito Lopez in six rounds in a fight in which both tasted the canvas while on the same card Erislandy Lara tasted the canvas twice only to stop Alfredo Angulo in ten.
Later this week we will review the great fights that have transpired on the grounds since it changed it name to the StubHub Center.