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Will Boxing Be a Hit in Woodland Hills?

October 19, 1994|MIKE HISERMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

WOODLAND HILLS — Peter Broudy surveyed the Grand Ballroom at the Warner Center Marriott on Tuesday and decided he liked what he saw.

And why not? The place has chandeliers larger than many compact cars and room enough to hold a boxing ring plus a crowd of about 1,200 fans.

Nice, Broudy said. Almost as nice--but not quite--as the rest of the neighborhood.

"You have those big, tall business buildings," Broudy said, "with lots of businessmen."

Exactly how many of those white-collar types are boxing fans will determine the success of Broudy's Sweet Science experiment: Will boxing designed for the yuppie set be profitable in the San Fernando Valley?

He'll find out for sure Nov. 2.

Broudy, a Sherman Oaks native and boxing promoter, said tickets are going at a brisk pace for the first of what he hopes will be monthly shows at the Marriott.

Pat (Irish Pat) Lawlor, a former super-welterweight contender, faces P.J. Goossen, an undefeated local fighter, in the inaugural main event.

Broudy is anticipating a full house--and a well-dressed one at that. "We're expecting more of an upscale crowd," Broudy said after a mid-afternoon promotion at the hotel. "You're going to see a lot of people dressed up for a night out."

Professional boxing in the San Fernando Valley has roots dating to the early 1970s, when Don Fraser promoted shows at the old Valley Music Center on Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills.

Fraser, who lives in Toluca Lake, for seven years promoted boxing cards at a Marriott hotel in Irvine, starting in 1985. The following year, he opened negotiations with the management of the Warner Center Marriott about holding similar shows there.

"They didn't want it," Fraser said. "They thought the crowd would be too rowdy."

Not anymore. There is new hotel management and a new attitude. And Broudy is poised to capitalize.

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