SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — It’s been over a decade since there was a world title fight in San Francisco. It is considered a risk for a boxing promoter to bring a big fight to a city that is not typically known for hosting major events — in contrast to Las Vegas, Los Angeles or New York.
However, it seems that the decision to bring the WBC super lightweight world championship to The City will pay off.
Nearly 9,000 tickets have been sold for Devin Haney’s title fight against Regis Prograis at Chase Center on Dec. 9, event promoter Eddie Hearn told reporters in San Francisco earlier this week. Hearn added those numbers are from the first week since tickets went on sale.
Promoters, especially one like Hearn whose company Matchroom is based out of England, weren’t sure what kind of appetite fans in San Francisco would have for boxing.
With seven weeks until the fight, Hearn said he “would be surprised” if the event didn’t sell 14,000 tickets.
“I know how tickets sell and outside of the big (super fights), to do that number… I think that’s amazing, and I’d like to take some of that credit,” Hearn said with a smile. “I didn’t know if we would be sitting here with 3,000 (tickets sold) or 9,000, so I’m absolutely over the moon.
“(Chase Center) has done a brilliant job, and they’re invested in trying to make it work — Chase Center, the Warriors and everybody.”
Many of those who bought tickets do so to see the Bay Area native. Haney, who was born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland, will be fighting in his hometown for the first time since turning pro in 2015.
“It’s a blessing to be that guy to bring it back, bring big-time boxing back the Bay Area,” Haney said. “I’m happy that’s finally coming to fruition. I’m excited to put on a great performance and see the Bay Area come out and support.”
Haney-Prograis will be Chase Center’s first-ever boxing event since opening in 2019.