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Arum Likes the Take at Box Office


LAS VEGAS — Of the big fights at the Mandalay Bay Events Center since it opened for boxing in 1999--Tapia vs. Ayala, De La Hoya vs. Trinidad, Barrera vs. Morales, Trinidad vs. Vargas, Rahman vs. Lewis--promoter Bob Arum considered this one the most successful at the box office.

Tickets for a previous sellout, De La Hoya vs. Trinidad in 1999, never went on sale to the general public because several casinos, not just Mandalay Bay, bought all of them as incentives for high-rolling gamblers.

There was a public sale for this fight; all 11,425 tickets were sold. Ringside seats went for $1,200. There weren't as many celebrities in attendance as for some big fights, but Jack Nicholson and Eddie Murphy were reported to be at ringside.


Until Felix Trinidad comes out of retirement, which might be never, Puerto Ricans are searching for the next champion from an island that has produced many.

They believe they might have found him in Miguel Cotto, 21, a super-lightweight from Caguas.

He faced the biggest test in his 12 professional fights in the last of five preliminary fights, and, when the 10 rounds were finished, he had beaten the veteran John Brown, 34, of Akron, Ohio, in a unanimous decision.

Brown's best nights are behind him, but he was a valuable opponent for Cotto because of the experience Brown earned in the ring against fighters such as Shane Mosley, Gabriel Ruelas and Angel Manfredy.

Brown is 23-10.

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