November 10, 1994
DAN DUVA, President, MAIN EVENTS MAIN EVENTS/MONITOR
One of the leading boxing promotional firms in the world Main Events, is based in Totowa, N.J. with its sister company, Main Events/Monitor and Main Events Television. Dan Duva is founder and president of Main Events, which he. originated in 1977, Main Events/Monitor, which originated in 1984 and METV which originated in 1993.
Most notable among the highly talented boxers under contract to Main Events are WBA and IBF Heavyweight King, Michael Moorer, former WBC Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis, and Pernell Whitaker, currently the WBC Welterweight and the best “pound for pound” fighter in the world.
Also fighting under the Main Events umbrella are IBF Junior Lightweight Champion John John Molina, WBC Featherweight Champion Kevin Kelly, former WBA Bantamweight Champion Junior Jones, and IBF Featherweight Champion Tom Johnson.
Bright prospects in the Main Events stable include NABF Junior Lightweight Champion Ed Hopson of St. Louis; 1988 Canadian Olympic Silver Medalist Egerton Marcus, who recently added the NABF Light Heavyweight crown to his list of awards and New Jersey’s own USBA Junior Lightweight Champion Arturo Gatti. Main Events’ newest prospects are 1992 US Olympic Team member Raul Marquez of Houston and New Zealand’s Heavyweight Olympic Bronze Medalist David “Terminator” Tua, as well as Poland’s Olympic Heavyweight Bronze Medalist Andrew Golota.
Now in its 17th year in the boxing business, Main Events has promoted numerous boxing contests televised on all of the major broadcast and cable networks, as well as pay-per-view, during the past 14 years.
Main Events and Main Events/Monitor also have promoted several record breaking events to date, including the 1991 pay-per-view all-time leading event, “The Battle of the Ages.” Featuring then-Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Holyfield and George Foreman, it grossed over $80 million worldwide. Main Events/Monitor also presented the number two all-time PPV moneymaker, Holyfield-Bowe, in November of 1992.
METV’s 1993 “Miss Howard Stern New Years’s Eve” Special shattered every PPV entertainment record in existence.
Main Events also promoted the 1981 “Showdown” between Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns for the Undisputed Welterweight Championship, which grossed nearly $40 million worldwide, setting a pay-per-view and closed circuit record for its time. .
During the late ’70’s and early ’80’s, Main Events thrilled the boxing world with a little club in Totowa, N.J. known as Ice World, where it televised monthly boxing programs. Out of the monthly programs came future world champions Livingstone Bramble, Rocky Lockridge, Bobby Czyz, Johnny Bumphus, Pazienza and Pinklon Thomas, Robert Hines, Mark Breland, Tony Tucker, Leo Randolph and Mike McCallum.
Dan Duva received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Rutgers University and his Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. From 1976 to 1980 Duva was an associate at the firm of Cerreto and LaPenna, Newark, N.J. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of Bergen Commercial Bank.
As the head of Main Events, a family enterprise, Duva promoted or co-promoted more than 100 world championship bouts, including 12 heavyweight title fights that accounted for more than $300 million in gross revenue.
Duva was one of boxing’s dominant promoters, along with Bob Arum and Don King. Those who have fought under the Main Events banner include Pernell Whitaker, Evander Holyfield, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns and Lennox Lewis.
“Dan was a terrific guy, a good promoter and good man,” Arum said. “Boxing business will really miss him. Dan had a good staff and a good organization, and they will be able to carry on. But replacing a guy like Dan will not be easy.”
Dino Duva, Dan’s younger brother, has been Main Events’ chief for the past year. Dan’s father, Lou, has long worked with Main Events fighters as a manager and trainer.
Dan Duva founded Main Events as a small family business and began making his mark in boxing in the late 1970s by showcasing fighters who at the time were relatively unknown.
Introduced to the boxing world in a monthly series of bouts televised from Ice World at Totowa, N.J., were the likes of Livingstone Bramble, Rocky Lockridge, Bobby Czyz, Johnny Bumphus, Vinny Pazienza, Tony Tucker and Mike McCallum. All became world champions.
Main Events was involved in world title fights in the late 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1981 that Duva moved his organization into the bigtime with the promotion of the Leonard-Hearns fight for the undisputed welterweight championship. It grossed near $40 million, pay-per-view and closed-circuit records for that time.
After the 1984 Olympics at Los Angeles, Duva signed medalists Holyfield, Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, Mark Breland and Tyrell Bigs, helping to establish Main Events as a premier promoter.
Taylor became a junior welterweight and welterweight champion; Breland won a welterweight title; Whitaker won the lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight titles; and Holyfield became undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight champion.
Duva was involved in the three Holyfield-Riddick Bowe fights, which grossed more than $100 million in pay-per-view revenue.
Dan Duva, a major boxing promoter for almost 20 years, died Tuesday following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 44.
Duva had been admitted to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York Sunday. Cause of death was a primary brain tumor.
Dan Duva, 44, Boxing Promoter Who Guided Many Champions
Duva had undergone surgery for brain cancer in 1994, but the illness recurred last November.
Duva, whose father, Lou, is a trainer who has been part of the sport’s fabric for 60 years, enjoyed the irreverence, illogic and just plain nuttiness associated with boxing. He often described himself as “incorrigibly optimistic,” observing, “I’m a Jets fan, too.”
His company, Main Events, successfully competed with other major promoters in the sport like Don King and Bob Arum. Typically, negotiations often included screaming and posturing and broken promises.
Among the 12 heavyweight title fights Duva promoted was the 1994 meeting of Evander Holyfield and Michael Moorer. To wring some added excitement out of it, Duva arranged for Moorer, the challenger, to smash the podium at one of the pre-fight rituals. Television networks, not knowing it was a set-up, showed the angry Moorer that night, which helped to hype the fight.
Duva, a graduate of Rutgers and the Seton Hall School of Law, promoted more than 100 world title bouts. His first mega-fight was the 1981 meeting in Las Vegas, Nev., between Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns.
By then, Duva had left the practice of law to return to the sport he had been raised in by his father, who is 73 years old and still training such champions as Pernell Whitaker, who holds a welterweight title.
In 1984, Dan Duva saw a new breed of fighter emerging, from the Olympics, and that year he signed Holyfield, Whitaker, Mark Breland, Tyrell Biggs and Meldrick Taylor, all of whom had won Olympic medals. All but Biggs went on to win professional championships.
“Dan was a man who gave me an opportunity, and I’ll never forget him for that,” Holyfield, who has earned more than $110 million in the ring, said yesterday.
Besides his father, Duva is survived by his wife, Kathryn; two daughters, Lisa and Nicole; a son, Bryan; a brother, Dino, and three sisters, Donna Brooks, Denise MacPhail and Deanne Boorman.