Boxing has a history on Long Island, but that section of NY hasn’t been really, truly on the map as a place able to boast a beast since Gerry Cooney, the Huntington-based hooker who smashed his way up the heavyweight ladder in the later 70s, was wrecking brain cells.
There is no single entity now on the Island lighting it up like Cooney, but don’t discount that it won’t happen in the coming five or so years.
Why, you pray tell?
The Nassau Coliseum is being re-fashioned, and will be open for business, the boxing business, in the spring of 2017. The Uniondale building, which opened in 1972 and housed the NHL Islanders from ’72 to 2015, will be remade into a brand, spankin and sparkling facility which will enable about 14,000 persons to watch pugilistic faceoffs.
If you have been to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where the Isles now do their ice escapades, you will get a sense of the design layout and feel of the place; Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark will be heading up the programming there as he does in BK, and he’s said boxing will be integral to the slate of sports, music and such. “People can expect the same superb action that they’ve enjoyed in Brooklyn, with a Long Island flavor,” said Barclays communications chief Barry Baum today.
Four of the best current hitters to call the Island home, light heavy aces Joe Smith (of Mastic-Shirley), Seanie Monaghan (Long Beach), welter contender Chris Algieri and rising junior welter Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin donned hard hats, to see where they’ll be dispensing hard launches in front of presumably XXL crowds.
I’m speculating, but as I discussed with Smith, I could see the fan bases for all these four, and more, exploding exponentially. There are……………………………………………