Exclusive Interview: Dennis Petrullo

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Dennis Petrullo

Yesterday afternoon Boxingtalk.com reached out to Dennis Petrullo Senior VP and General manager of the Savvis Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The Savvis Center is home to the National Hockey League's St. Louis Blues and after Saturday night it will have hosted Cory Spinks last two fights, both of which have been televised by Showtime Champsionship Boxing. Petrullo makes it clear that if Spinks takes cares of business against Karmazin on Saturday night, the city of St. Louis and the Savvis Center in particular are ready to compete with Las Vegas and any other host city interested in bringing the pride of St. Louis to their town.

GL: Was backing Cory Spinks comeback fight against IBF junior middleweight champion Roman Karmazin a no brainer as far as you were concerned?

Dennis PetrullO: "This is his hometown and after seeing how well we did with Zab Judah drawing over 22,000 people it was a no brainer to bring him back. He's fighting to get a belt back at 154 pounds after an 18 month layoff, but we're backing him all the way. We hope he's successful and we're hoping to do fights with him again."

GL: The fact that the Savvis Center has hosted Cory's last two fights it leads me to believe that as long as he takes care of his business in the ring, the Savvis Center will continue to showcase him as the boxing franchise of St. Louis. Is that correct?

DP: "Yes it is, and hopefully it's just not his last two fights. If Cory wins this fight I would be open to holding our venue for his next bout hopefully in October. Obviously in boxing for him to draw 22,000 people you have to have a hometown flavor and the Spinks name holds pretty strong in this community. The fighting history in that family speaks for itself."

GL: As you've said when Cory fought Zab it was standing room only and over 22,000 showed up. How have the ticket sales been going for this event and are you pleased with the way they've been moving?

DP: "For this event we're looking at 10,000. Again, you're talking about a February event and a July event right after the fourth of July weekend. The reality in the boxing world is if you can draw between 8-10,000 people each time out you're alright. You're not going to draw 20,000 plus on a regular basis."

GL: Is the Savvis Center willing to compete with Cities like Las Vegas to ensure that Cory continues to fight at home?

DP: "Definitely! I think Don likes the response he gets in St. Louis and Don always puts wonderful cards together. If Cory gets by Karmazin and gets a shot at Sugar Shane Mosley, De La Hoya or anybody in that weight class, because that weight class is hot; I think we're going to be able to compete with Las Vegas, New York, Atlantic City, or any other venue out there. There could be a bidding war. That weight class is just so popular, and Cory just needs this win to get in the mix, so obviously we'll worry about that when we get there."


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