Professional boxing will debut in Richfield Thursday, Oct. 12, with junior lightweight champion Juan Laporte and top-ranking Paul Banke in the featured bout.
Boxers have trained in Elsinore, a small town about six miles south of Richfield, and have found what they liked in Sevier Valley, said Bob Richardson, owner of the All Heart Boxing Association. He moved his association from Quail Valley, Calif., to Utah because, he said, the air is clean, the people are friendly and the crime rate is low.Richardson added that temptations such as drugs and drinking, which usually afflict boxers in high-population areas, are not prevalent here, and the boxers wanted to come to the area.
Professional boxing may find a permanent home in Richfield. If there is sufficient support at the 7 p.m. event Thursday in the Richfield Gymnasium, a boxing facility may be built in Sevier County, Richardson said. Promoters hope upward of 2,000 spectators from throughout Utah and nearby states will be on hand.
Richfield City Finance Director Michael Langston said boxing could be an asset to the area's economy. He said he was skeptical at first, but after meeting with promoters and boxers he's become more enthusiastic, "because the boxers and promoters like it here."