Celebrating the Decades: Boxing dominated the sports scene in the ’80s

Vegas NYE

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — There was quite a lot going on in the sports scene in Vegas in the eighties including the building of Thomas and Mack and Cashman field both in ’83, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar setting the NBA scoring record in 1984 in the Mack and Randall Cunningham leading the rebels to an 11-2 record and a bowl win in 1984.

But maybe nothing was more impactful than boxing and the driving force behind it was Bob Arum.

The eighties saw the rise of boxing and it was all centered here in the “Fight Capital of the World.” Back then, boxing wasn’t just one of the events happening on the strip on a Saturday night it was the event.

“Everybody in the world knew Ceasars Palace. Nevada. Las Vegas and boxing,” said Bob Arum. “Everybody covered it. The whole country the whole world there were journalists and media outlets from just about every country covered those fights.”

And they all went down at the same venue.

Some of the greatest fights ever went down in Ceasars Palace. But through the countless fights, Arum promoted and witnessed, there is still one that sticks out above the rest — Hagler versus Herns.

“That fight started they went after each other and it didn’t stop until Marvin in the third round knocked Tommy out,” Arum said. “For some reason, they had put the comedian Joan Rivers next to me. She said, ‘are they all like this?’ and I said ‘no, Joan you are seeing something special.”

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