Casino brings boxing to Queens this week

Photo by Steve Mosco
By Steve Mosco

Resorts World Casino will take a swing at the fights when it hosts a championship night of boxing on the casino grounds in South Ozone Park Saturday.

Featuring some fighters from Queens, the evening boasts nine bouts. In the main event, popular light heavyweight Joe Smith Jr. will take on Yasin Rashid. In the much-anticipated co-feature, it will be a contest between undefeated junior middleweights as Frank Galarza and Alantez Fox battle for the state title. The show will also feature appearances from undefeated super bantamweight Juan Dominguez and undefeated super featherweight Rafael Vazquez.

Vazquez, who lives in Howard Beach with his wife and four children, said boxing so close to home gives him an extra shot of adrenaline.

“I could take a cab to get here,” said Vazquez. “When I grow old, I can tell my kids that I fought here and was a part of history.”

This night of fights will make history as the first boxing matches ever held in a New York casino. The fighters see this as an opportunity to make a mark — not only for themselves, but also for the sport of boxing at large.

“The fight will be a stepping stone for me in my career. It will make me, not break me because I never break,” said Frank Galarza, of Brooklyn. “It’s also great for the sport. We feel really proud to be the first class of boxers to fight here.”

Another fighter, Elton Dharry, who lives minutes away in Richmond Hill, said he was most proud to be representing his Guyanese community.

“It’s a big deal for the people in the community, especially the young kids,” he said. “I want to make a mark in this sport and give them a positive example to look up to.”

With a fight card featuring both novice boxers and elite pugilists, the evening is expected to attract both sports fans and curious casino gamers alike. The matches will take place in the Central Park event space on the top floor — a 70,000-square-foot level with a capacity of 6,500 people.

“Resorts World is a destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors every month and our guests come for more than just gaming — we also offer the best in other forms of entertainment, including music, sports and the arts,” said President Michael Speller. “We are now offering large-scale concerts and even more events to provide the best possible mix of entertainment experiences for our guests. New Yorkers can now stay here at home for gaming, boxing and music all in one place.”

The fights start at 8 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. For tickets, go to newlegendboxing.com or call 718-487-4474 or 718-765-1860.

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at smosco@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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