Boxing Event at Packard Hall Has Venue Looking for More

WARREN, Ohio — Saturday’s championship boxing event was the first in Warren in decades but it won’t be the last.

The show was the first sellout of the new year at Packard Music Hall and the largest crowd there since 2019, according to a news release from JAC Management, which operates the venue.

Saturday night’s card consisted of six title fights, including the WBC cruiserweight championship and the WBA heavyweight championship.

“My tremendous gratitude goes out to the phenomenal Ohio boxing fans and fantastic people of Warren for making this unprecedented six-championship fight card at the Packard Music Hall a sold-out event for the ages,” said Hall of Fame Boxing promoter Don King, in the release. “The affectionate welcome I have received during this triumphant return to my beloved home state will remain etched on my heart for eternity.”

WBC Cruiserweight champion Junior Ilunga Makabu and promoter Don King.

King is a Cleveland native.

The event created the blueprint for future boxing cards for JAC Management. The company views it as a first step in developing a new avenue for future sporting events, according to the news release. 

Packard Music Hall is a hybrid venue, with a stage at one end, and a “horseshoe” of fixed seats that face the center of the floor – and not the stage – in the upper level. Portable seats are placed on the floor for boxing. The venue’s seating capacity in its theater configuration is 2,250, and Saturday’s boxing event would have been close to that number.

The venue looked “nearly unrecognizable” as it was transformed into a Vegas-style boxing ring, according to JAC.

“We have always had it in our sights to pay homage to Warren’s rich boxing history, and when we started the conversations with Don King Productions it became evident that this event was the perfect way to restore that legacy,” said Ken Bigley, vice president of JAC Management Group.

Not only was Packard Music Hall at full capacity on Saturday night, the event was also broadcast live to approximately 8 million people across the globe.

JAC Management Groups believes the economic impact of this event has laid groundwork that will not only solidify a promising relationship with Don King Productions but also attract other event
promoters of this magnitude to Trumbull County.

“The Trumbull County Tourism Bureau realizes that events like this are so important to the development and growth of tourism in our area, and we are thrilled that JAC Management Group gives our residents unique opportunities to experience this level of entertainment while inviting visitors from surrounding states to enjoy it as well,” said Beth Kotwis Carmichael, executive director of the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau.

Photos: David Martin-Warr/Don King Productions

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.