Mancuso: Nassau Coliseum Back in Boxing Game

Promoter Lou DiBella knows something about the boxing game in New York and if there is anyone in the sport with knowledge to stir a revival his longtime passion will do it. There is that history of keeping the fight game going with a successful Broadway Boxing promotion and at other venues.

DiBella  is a staple of boxing and the fighters under his promotion will always say, “Lou knows boxing and how it works.”  

Tuesday afternoon, DiBella was at it again and he does that well. At the renovated and new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the promoter held court and announced another venture with the PBC as boxing after a long absence returns to the venue. The concept is simple as boxing made a revival in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment that is a part of Barclays joined the revival.

It makes a perfect marriage and DiBella does know how to do business.  Undefeated light heavyweight contenders Marcus Browne and Seanie Monaghan will highlight the main event of a televised PBC Fox and Fox Deportes card of boxing from the Coliseum Saturday evening July 15th.

The last live boxing card at the old venue was in 1986, and having former world champions Omar Figueroa and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero makes the revival that much better.

And with that, boxing shows, which have been on the Island at smaller venues is returning to the main arena. This isn’t Barclays Center or the Mecca known as Madison Square Garden, but a new and improved venue and the sport gets another boost in the New York Tri-State area.

“When we envisioned recreating the Coliseum, the goal was to fuel it with world class programming and I think we’ve done that,” said Brett Yormark CEO of Brooklyn Sports $ Entertainment.  “We’ve had world class artists, the end of a great run of the circus and in the month of July we will host Brooklyn Boxing on Long Island.”

And with the exception of Brooklyn and Manhattan, the sport has not had a revival in other areas that can cater to the boxing fan.. There was an attempt by other promoters over the years to revive boxing in the Bronx and bring back nostalgia of sorts ,but that was not a success.

At one time there was a constant card of boxing at the old Bronx Coliseum and those cards had the lure of the smoked filled arena on Friday night.

There was also the rise of a champion in the Bronx and Hall of Famers such as Rocky Graziano and Jake LaMotta were those constant fixtures at the Bronx Coliseum which is now a New York City MTA bus depot.

“We’ve had the opportunity to host incredible boxing events in Brooklyn and now we can do it in Long Island. It’s about being able to be somewhat aspirational,” Yormark said. “The fight community can grow up dreaming of fighting here in the Coliseum.” 

“I’m thrilled we can do that for Seanie and the other fighters on the undercard.  It’s been 31 years since we last had a fight here at the Coliseum and it’s a thrill to bring it back with some great people.  The building is for the community and this will be the first of many boxing events that we host here.”

DiBella has devoted his career to the sport. The one-time head of boxing at HBO Sports, native and resident of Long Island, will not sit still with maintaining good fights and keeping them in New York. He was the primary advocate and voice of reason earlier this year in making sure the sport returned to New York venues when a New York State Athletic Commission bond issue of insurance was instituted for promoters that dealt with safety of the fighter.

That was fought as hard as the punches in a ring and DiBella, along with other promoters joined forces and scored their knockout. Now boxing is more constant in New York again, though not as much as the good old days and returning to a major venue in Long Island.

“It’s thrilling to me to be able to promote the first show at Nassau Coliseum in 31 years,” said DiBella. “The last event featured Mike Tyson and we have a terrific card on July 15 that represents the best fighters from Long Island, plus three fights that can stand on their own featuring fighters that deserve to be there.”

And leave it to Lou DIBella to pull this off. He keeps the fighters busy and knows where the exposure is, and now boxing comes to another venue in New York.

Of course it is about the fighters and Monahan with a win has that opportunity to be a part of the light heavyweight title picture and looks toward Adonis Stevenson who successfully defended his part of the titles this past weekend on a PBC event that was televised on Showtime Boxing.

“I definitely want Adonis Stevenson if I can get by Marcus,” he said. “That’s the fight everybody wants. I want to be a world champion and I will be a world champion one day.  This is a dream come true to fight at this venue. This is going to be the biggest night of my life. It’s do-or-die for me.”

And for the Nassau Coliseum it will be a bigger night. Of course it will, and  because Lou DiBella knows how to revive something that has been long overdue.

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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