Since then, the brawling at the Garden has been confined to the ring. The arena's successful title-fight promotions have included Prince Naseem Hamed's rousing KO of Kevin Kelley in December 1997, the first Lewis- Evander Holyfield match, in March '99—never mind the dubious judging that gave Holyfield a draw—and Felix Trinidad's win last year over Pernell Whitaker.
New York boxing received a boost last October when the state legislature lowered the tax on gate proceeds and broadcast-rights sales for fights. "It helped even the playing field with Vegas," says Madison Square Garden vice president Kevin Wynne, the guiding force behind the arena's pugilistic revival. "We are aggressively recruiting all the major fights."
—Luis Fernando Llosa
Hamed May Face Morales Next
Prince Naseem Hamed extended his reign with flair on March 11 when he floored South African Vuyani Bungu with a hard left in the fourth round of his WBO featherweight title defense. Next up? HBO is steering the cocky Brit toward a career-defining bout in the fall with WBC super bantamweight champ Erik Morales....
Undisputed light heavyweight champ Roy Jones Jr. reportedly will face the WBA's No. 1-ranked contender, Richard Hall, on May 13 in Indianapolis.