The International Fighting Confederation's world super heavyweight title fight will be the main event of a 10-bout card coming to the Port City, tentatively scheduled for June 5.
Tim Sylvia, the former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion, will battle mixed martial artist Wes Sims for the IFC world title under the lights at Harbour Station.
"This is the first time we'll experience superstars of this level in Atlantic Canada," said Jack Livingston of SRO Entertainment Ltd., the event's promoter.
"It's never been done before and people can't believe it's coming."
Livingston, founder of Saint John-based SRO Entertainment, said plans for the premier sporting event have been in the works for about a year.
A Saint John native whose company has brought the likes of rap stars 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg and classic rock icon Aerosmith to the Port City, Livingston was approached by organizers within the IFC to promote the super heavyweight title fight.
Noting a fighting event of this magnitude has never come beyond Montreal, Livingston said it was an easy decision to hold it in Saint John.
"What better place to make sporting history than in our hometown and at the great Harbour Station."
Aside from the main event, a feature bout will see UFC star Jeremy Horn duke it out with mixed martial artist Dante Rivera. The remaining eight bouts feature American-born fighters with UFC experience.
"Star bound, star struck and the destination is Saint John, New Brunswick," Livingston said.
And the event comes relatively cheap.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are scheduled to go on sale on March 19 and are priced at $59.50 for upper bowl seats, $69.50 for lower bowl tickets and $99.50 ringside.
"We're keeping this world event priced for everybody's sporting dollar," Livingston said, adding ringside tickets for similar events in Montreal have sold for around $300.
"I wanted to make it affordable for everyone. I think all of the (attendance) records at Harbour Station will plummet and this will probably be the fastest sell-out in the history of Harbour Station," the promoter said, adding the card will have a seating capacity of about 7,500.
"You get down to a world championship fight with these two super athletes "¦ people are going to come from the State of Maine, Eastern Quebec and all over Atlantic Canada to see this event."
Livingston said SRO Entertainment Ltd. has obtained the necessary licensing to hold the event from the Moncton Boxing and Wrestling Commission, and received the blessing of the City of Saint John.
Michael Caddell, general manager of Harbour Station, said the title fight will be one of the venue's top-ranked tickets.
"We're looking forward to the event," Caddell said. "We tentatively have booked a date and we look forward to making it happen."
Livingston, whose company promotes events across the world, said the card is sure to be a first-class act with judges and referees coming in from the United States and ring girls hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada.
"I'm just ecstatic we could bring this to the entertainment capital of Atlantic Canada."
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