Could big-time boxing be headed to China? If Hasim Rahman defeats your-favorite-and-ours Oleg Maskaev August 12 in Las Vegas, maybe. (Although we admit it’s hard to call any heavyweight bout from the past 15 years or so “big time.”) ESPN.com’s Dan Raphael writes:
[Promoter Bob] Arum told ESPN.com that he is talking to Showtime boxing boss Ken Hershman about holding a Rahman title defense Nov. 4 in Macau, a special administrative region of China located off the southern coast that has become a major tourist destination and enjoys autonomy from mainland China similar to Hong Kong’s.
Arum would do the proposed fight against an opponent to be decided at the Wynn Macau, hotel magnate Steve Wynn’s latest project, a $1.2 billion, 600-room resort modeled after his year-old Wynn Las Vegas resort. It opens in September, and Arum said he is going to attend the grand opening.
Speaking of Wynn, does anyone know if he has anything to do win Wynn Win, the club at the top of Plaza 66? We tried a little internet search, but all we got was a club website that doesn’t work and a bunch of newspaper headlines with really bad puns (“Macau’s a Wynn-win siuation“).
Professional boxing in Macau makes perfect sense. After all the region is poised to overtake Las Vegas as the world’s strongest casino market in 2007. But some still might think the idea a bit strange, because it wasn’t long ago that boxing in China was banned — but we doubt that rule ever pertained to Macau.