SMO — Ringside seats have been upgraded to ringside suites for the upcoming boxing match Wednesday, Oct. 1 at Barker Hangar.
The fight will be the first to feature a lounge area around the ring with couches, chairs and table service – much like a sophisticated, nightclub atmosphere said Michael King, CEO and founder of boxing promotional business King Sports. King Sports brought bouts in April to the Barker, and this will be the company’s first televised event, airing live on ESPN2.
“Some events have sleazy girls with a thong and that’s it,” King said. “This is going to be friendly and inviting.”
The fight card includes the International Boxing Federation Middleweight eliminator matchup between Hassan N’Dam and Curtis Stevens. The winner earns a shot at the IBF Middleweight title, currently held by Sam Soliman.
“Even if there were no fights, it would be fun,” King said. “But the fight card is phenomenal. It’s such an exhilarating feeling, more like a great party.”
King said Santa Monica is one of his favorite cities in the world, and he is excited to be back again. The “Epic Fight Night” also includes four other matches. King said the N’Dam and Stevens pairing is unlike any in recent boxing history, since they are two of the top-ranked fighters in this weight class.
“The climb back up is a long, hard road,” he said. “But the winner goes on one of the most exciting journeys possible. This is the epitome of putting everything on the line.”
For King, the sophisticated evening is part of his mission to help change the boxing brand. An Epic Fight Night, for instance, will feature models working as the wait staff, dressed in elegant evening gowns.
“You will go into the most unique setup in boxing history,” he said. “It’s the feeling of an exciting, exclusive nightclub, glamorous, with celebrities and great food and great drinks.”
Boxing hasn’t changed much in more than half a century, King said, so he hopes his company can help bring the sport into the modern era.
“The outfits are even the same, it’s produced the same,” he said. “I want to see a new look, a 21st century update. This sport has been around since the beginning of the Olympics; it’s a great sport. We just want to give it a different, more exciting approach.”
If You Go
An Epic Fight Night
6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1
Barker Hangar, Santa Monica
Tickets $50 to $300 at ticketmaster.com