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Promoter pleased with ECC card

There wasn't a standing-room only crowd. Most of the participants lacked local name recognition.

But to the man who brought professional boxing back to Buffalo, Saturday's Fight Night boxing event at Erie Community College's Burt Flickinger Center was a success.

"I'm pleased with the show. I thought it was great," Don Patterson said of his first venture as a professional boxing promoter. "You always want to see big numbers. We didn't see that tonight. There were other things going on that we anticipated would impact us.

"But it was time to start professional boxing in Buffalo. ECC is a great venue to hold the show. It's going to be a process, but I'm very happy with our first show. I think the people got their money's worth."

An estimated crowd of about 400 attended the card, which featured five pro fights and three amateur bouts. In an entertaining main event, Nick Brinson of Geneva defeated Canadian Michael Walchuk in an eight-round majority decision for the New York State middleweight championship.

Two factors affected attendance. A pro wrestling event was going on at Coca-Cola Field that featured an appearance by the legendary Hulk Hogan. In addition, there were no local draws besides Niagara Falls heavyweight Lourenzo Davis, who made his pro debut Saturday.

Patterson expects to take a financial loss, but believes it was worth the investment.

"Like in all things, experience is the best teacher, and you have to pay for your education," he said. "Boxing is something I have loved since my father took me to the Golden Gloves as a kid. Some people don't ever find their passion. I have and it's something I'm going to be involved in and keep doing."

Patterson has been putting on amateur shows in Buffalo for more than 10 years. As the head of New York State Golden Gloves, he has to organize not only the annual Western and Eastern Regionals and the state's Golden Gloves Finals Tournament, but also all the fundraising for the 17-member New York State team. He also has a reputation as one of the best trainers in the area.

Promoting pro fights was always part of his plan. He plans to do more events in the future. He expects offers to hold events outside the area, but his main objective is to return Buffalo to a place of prominence in the sport that it once enjoyed.

"The history of Buffalo boxing is well-documented, and we want to bring that back," Patterson said. "Saturday night was the first step towards that."

e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com