Some Valley bars serve up bout despite blackout order

By Don Shilling

The bars showing the fight were crowded Saturday night.

Some area bars were receiving the pay-per-view feed for the Kelly Pavlik bout Saturday even though the fight promoter and closed- circuit operator said they would not.

Youngstown Sports Grille in Boardman as well as Buffalo Wild Wings locations in Boardman and Youngstown were showing a preliminary fight that aired before Pavlik’s bout with Miguel Espino at Youngstown State University’s Beeghly Center.

Frank Cavelli, general manager of the Buffalo Wild Wings in Boardman, said he hoped the feed would still work when the champ stepped into the ring.

The company’s regional manager told him that G&G Closed Circuit Events of California was allowing local bars to show the fight if they had paid for it before Saturday.

With that information, he was charging a $5 cover fee, as was his Youngstown counterpart and Youngstown Sports Grille.

Also showing the preliminary bouts was the 13th Round in Struthers, which is owned by Pavlik, and O’Donold’s Irish Pub & Grill in Austintown.

Some local bar operators told The Vindicator earlier that a blackout would be unfair because they had spent money to advertise that they would have the fight.

Bars that were showing the fight were crowded.

Mike Benner of New Castle, Pa., was among a good crowd at Youngstown Sports Grille some two hours before the Pavlik main event, and he said he was delighted the sports bar was showing the fight.

“I think everybody should see this fight,” Benner said. “I think everyone in Northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania should stand behind their champion.”

It appeared that would not be the case Friday.

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum first said Friday that local bars would be unable to show the pay-per-view feed because the fight was not a sellout, and other Top Rank officials repeated that news Saturday night. Officials from G&G Closed Circuit Events also confirmed that a blackout would be in place.

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