DEADWOOD | When undefeated contender Regis Prograis and former unified world champion Julies Indongo answer the bell for Round 1 of their Super Lightweight bout Friday night here, a World Boxing Council title will be up for grabs.
The Deadwood Mountain Grand is hosting a major sporting event for the first time and officials hope the Showtime Boxing: Special Edition fight card, set for 8 p.m., will be a knockout for the venue, Deadwood and Black Hills.
“When they say ‘Live from the Deadwood Mountain Grand,’ how cool with that be?” asked DMG general manager Susan Kightlinger.
“I’ll have to have the TV on at the same time, so I can see that,” she said.
The Deadwood Mountain Grand is more known for big-name entertainer concerts than sporting events, so Friday night’s Showtime event is new territory for Kightlinger and the DMG staff, in more ways than one.
First, the fight card, featuring a triple-header of bouts along with an undercard of matches starting at 5:30 p.m., is the first sports event, and the first event of any kind, to be televised live from the spacious casino concert hall where Three Dog Night and Shinedown will perform later this month.
Secondly, the boxing will take place not on the stage at the north end of the hall, but “in the round’ in the middle of the cavernous room, meaning crews are having to build and install a massive catwalk to hold thousands of pounds of lighting and sound equipment above the ring.
“We do a lot of events, but this one is brand new, with new lighting in the middle of the floor. It’s all unknowns for us,” said George Milos, Deadwood Mountain Grand sales and marketing director.
Kightlinger said an engineer was called in to ensure the roof trusses, designed originally to support gold processing machinery from the Homestake Gold Mine era, could handle the lighting setup.
“We’ve never had anything like this hanging from those trusses,” Kightlinger said. “We knew they could hold it, but until we had an engineer tell us, we couldn’t do it.”
Along with the scheduled 12-round main event between Prograis and Indongo, the card also includes undefeated 140-pound contender Ivan Baranchyk facing former world title challenger Petr Petrov in an IBF junior welterweight matchup. Petrov is a replacement for Anthony Yigit, a late scratch because of illness.
Also on the marquee slate will be an eight-round heavyweight scrap between undefeated prospect Junior Fa and once-beaten Craig Lewis.
Kightlinger said good seats are still available for the fight card, announced for the DMG only about a month ago.
The Showtime card was originally set for a casino in Oklahoma, but the owner of that venue had to withdraw, she said.
One of the DMG owners, an acquaintance of one of the boxing promoters, offered the DMG as a replacement.
After an inspection from promoters and Showtime producers, the event was on, but leaving very little time to hustle ticket sales.
“We haven’t had a lot of planning or preparation time, so we’re thankful that the people at Showtime and the boxing promoters are pros at this,” Kightlinger said. “That will just help us, because we’ve never done this before.”
Kightlinger said many potential ticket buyers may also be holding off with the misconception of the card being a pay-per-view event, taking place elsewhere and only being shown on closed-circuit television at the DMG.
“This is live boxing, up front and personal,” she reiterates, with the reality of the Friday spectacle sinking in all over again.
Live. From Deadwood.
“How cool is that?” she repeats.