Sacramento’s Only Remaining Boxing Promoter has Big Hopes for City

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ROSEVILLE -- Nasser Niavaroni is Sacramento's one and only boxing promoter.

"The one and only after legendary Don Chargin passed away recently," Niavaroni told FOX40.

He has been promoting fights in Sacramento since the mid-'90s, putting on his share of big events too.

"Selling out the Memorial Auditorium in 1998 and they were out of beer by the third fight," Niavaroni said. "We want to get back to that. That is the plan."

The days of a sold-out Memorial Auditorium or even Arco Arena back in the '80s, when Tony "The Tiger" Lopez fought, may seem like a distant memory now.

But Niavaroni and others, including Lopez, are planning on having four fights this year at a local hotel. Their goal is to bring boxing fans back in and, eventually, move to bigger venues around town.

"There are fighters he's developing now that are going to be pretty good fighters," Lopez said. "If Sacramento just supports what he does, I'm telling you it's going to happen again."

"Because of a lack of big events, big promotions going on, they're going with bigger promoters. But that is going to change. I plan on putting on bigger events, going to bigger venues and taking our shows maybe to Memorial Auditorium or Golden 1 Center, hopefully someday, and putting on bigger shows."

Local fighters, like the up-and-coming David Melgoza, certainly like the sound of that.

"I hope so. That's what we're shooting for. Hopefully here in the near future we can pack that place out and do it again," Melgoza said.

"Sacramento fans are die-hard fight fans. Whether it's MMA, boxing, karate, they're fight fans. And you know, they're devoted fight fans and they'll come," Lopez said.

The first step in that process happens Friday, March 1 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Sacramento at 7:30 p.m. Seven pro fights and an amateur bout are all on the same card.

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