The Relationship Between Boxing and Las Vegas

The Las Vegas bout that took place between Tyson Fury and Tom Schwarz on Saturday 15th June 2019 highlighted everything that is right about the relationship between Sin City and Boxing. Of course, it was helped by the enigmatic and likable Fury, and he had the crowd at the MGM in the palm of his hand.

Fury came out dressed head to toe in American colors before demolishing Schwarz in a two-round assault. The aftermath of the bout resulted in Fury leading the crowd in a rendition of an Aerosmith classic. The glory days of boxing in Las Vegas looked to have ended following the retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jr. However, the emergence of the vibrant heavyweight division could breathe new life into Sin City’s sport.


While Vegas is more synonymous with grand casinos, shotgun weddings and bright lights; the emergence of boxing in the area added a new element to what visitors could expect to see. Over the past 50 years, Sin City has played host to some of the most significant bouts in the history of the sport and some of the biggest names to grace the ring. Without a doubt, the pull that Vegas has in the casino industry still draws millions of keen gamblers to the city. However, the emergence of the best online casinos, which can be found on, has meant that players no longer have to travel to Vegas to play their favorite casino games.

The sportsbook appeal in undeniable within the sport and it should come as little surprise that Vegas wants to host the biggest bouts. New York and Madison Square Garden made the first movement in the US boxing scene but as they swapped quality for quantity with their weekly events; Vegas eyed up a chance to have major fighters compete in events which would be sure to draw in the crowd. While the initial bout between Archie Moor and Nino Valdes in 1955 was a disappointment in terms of interest; the seeds were planted for the supremacy that the city was planning.

Five years later and the popularity within Vegas bouts reached fever pitch, as the newly built Las Vegas Convention Center housed bouts involving major stars and significant title fights including the much sought after rematch between Floyd Patterson and Sonny Liston in 1963. During the early days of boxing in Vegas, the casinos would work together to put on the best show possible. However, as soon as they released the money-spinning amounts that could be earned by hosting these events that soon ended.

The first big money bout to be organized by a casino occurred with the bout between Ron Lyle and George Foreman in 1976 at Caesars Palace. The attraction for casinos was undeniable. The money that could be made in admission prices, television revenues and of course the gamblers staking their money on the bouts all contributed to the competition being so hotly contested.

Demise and Resurrection

Ultimately the good times didn't last in Vegas, and the demand for purpose-built boxing arenas couldn’t be avoided in the last 1990s. However, Vegas moved quickly, and the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay were constructed with the intention of being perfect for boxing events. This was later proven to be accurate with these locations playing host to significant events involving Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, and Floyd Mayweather.

Vegas remains as the boxing capital of the world, and the move of Fury to fight consistently in Vegas could take that to a new level. It is hotly anticipating that the Brit will once again do battle with Deontay Wilder early in 2020, and that could prove to be the most lucrative Vegas bout to date.

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