What's in a name? Quite a bit, insofar as the big, beige building at 7 Ritner St. in South Philadelphia is concerned.
As reported in the Daily News on Jan. 21, professional boxing at the "New Alhambra" has ceased, now that promotional partners Joe Hand Sr. and J Russell Peltz, who dubbed it that, are transferring their operation to the Blue Horizon in North Philly.
But boxing at "The Arena," at the renamed Ritner Street site, is very much alive and well, with promoter Greg Robinson's next show scheduled for March 13. The main event will pit Pennsylvania middleweight champion Rasheem Brown (19-3, 15 KOs) against challenger Chris Archer (10-5, 6 KOs) in a scheduled 10-rounder.
Robinson, formerly the president of Power Productions, has expanded duties and a new title - event coordinator for Xtreme Promoters, the company whose owner/executive director, Dale Shedd, will administer all activities in the facility. At various times, the venue also has been known as Viking Hall and the "ECW Wrestling Arena," because so many ECW events were held there.
In addition to a health club that will take over the space formerly occupied by the Joe Hand Boxing Gym, The Arena will continue to host televised monthly wrestling cards under the aegis of Combat Zone Wrestling (the next show is March 1), mixed martials arts (MMA is expected to be approved by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission sometime within the next 90 days) and the Eastern Pennsylvania Golden Gloves tournament, for novice and Junior Olympic boxers, on April 4. *