Hill, Brudov to square off in St. Louis on Sept. 30
ST. LOUIS -- For the second time this year, St. Louis will host a world boxing championship.
Virgil Hill will come out of retirement to face undefeated Russian Valery Brudov, the No. 1 contender, for the vacant WBA world cruiserweight championship. The fight will be Sept. 30 at the Savvis Center.
More than 22,000 people were on hand in February when Zab Judah scored a technical knockout in the ninth round over St. Louisan Cory Spinks to gain the undisputed world welterweight title. Since then, the city has agreed to waive its ticket tax for boxing events.
Also on the Sept. 30 card will be a fight between Daniel Santos and Joe Wyatt for Santos' WBO junior middleweight title and local fighters Devon Alexander and Danny Williams.
On Oct. 21, Savvis will start its Friday night fights, an occasional series of smaller cards in the building's Concert Club.
Dennis Petrullo, general manager at Savvis Center, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he's hoping for 10,000 to 12,000 fans for the Hill-Brudov fight.
"This is a risky business. There's a lot of money involved, and it all happens real fast. We'd love to have 15,000 to 16,000 and prove we're a boxing town, even if we don't feature a local like Cory," Petrullo said.
Petrullo had been targeting Spinks for the next Savvis fight, but contractual issues between Spinks and Don King have kept that from happening, the Post-Dispatch reported. Kevin Cunningham, Spinks' trainer, said he was looking to have Spinks back in the ring before the end of the year, he hopes in St. Louis.
Hill, 41, is 49-5 but has lost four of his last 10 fights. Brudov is 30-0 with 23 knockouts, including one in each of his last 11 fights. All of his fights have been in either Russia or France.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press