Raging Babe’s Philly Special has been postponed again due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event, originally set for March 27 and then rescheduled for June 19, was to feature an all-Philly main event between lightweights Stevie Ortiz and Damon Allen.
The fighters on the card have agreed to fight as soon as a date becomes available.
Greg Sirb, executive director of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, is expected to issue guidance on Monday, and Raging Babe has dates on hold every month through the end of 2020.
“This is a tough time to be a promoter who depends on the live gate,” said Raging Babe founder and promoter Michelle Rosado, of Bristol. “Promotional companies that have television deals are able to put on shows with no fans. The middle-class promoters, those of us who need people in seats to make the events work financially, we’re out in the cold, temporarily.”
Rosado said fans can expect a big payoff for the wait.
“Philly Special has all the elements of any big television card,” said Rosado. “We’ve got Philly fighters in very competitive matches. There’s a reason Philadelphia is known as a terrific fight town. These guys aren’t out there to be flashy or to pad their records. Some of them have big amateur careers, some are undefeated, most have compelling stories, but nobody on the card is expecting a ‘gimme.’ They come to fight, and the matchups that Hall-of-Fame matchmaker J Russell Peltz put together promise to be the kind of fights that make people fall in love with boxing,” she said. “I can’t wait to get the green light, and we’re ready to go when that time comes.”
Rosado acknowledged that the pandemic has been difficult for some of the fighters.
“These boxers aren’t on a salary from a big-time manager or promoter,” she said. “They are in the gym every day, getting ready for their big shot. Many Philly fighters are known for working day jobs to keep afloat. We’ve got some amateur standouts who rely on this platform to showcase their skills and help their careers progress.
“The most important thing is keeping the fighters safe, their families and fans safe, and all the people involved with putting on an event safe.”