While boxing fans were focused with rare intensity on the rematch between British fighter Tyson Fury and Alabama-born Deontay Wilder, so members of the Democratic Party and political pundits were watching to see if Bernie Sanders could win the Nevada caucus, and take a step closer to a showdown with Donald Trump.
Outside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, where overnight rain had left the streets as slick as a boxer’s brow, a handful of people weighed in on both.
“I think it will probably be Wilder because he has a better punch,” suggested John Parker, a 31-year-old musician from Los Angeles, who was attending the fight because his wife knew people promoting the American boxer.
Both he and his wife, Mackensie, 32, said they liked Mr Sanders, the Democratic frontrunner.
They believed he could win the Democrats’ caucus in Nevada, but might not be able to beat Mr Trump.
“The problem is that Republicans stick together and vote for whoever the candidate is,” he said. “The Democrats are often too splintered.”
Sam Tatum, 59, a truck driver from Las Vegas had already secured his tickets for the evening’s fight.
He believed Fury, the so-called Gypsy King, was going to overcome the American, over whom he holds a two-inch height advantage and a major weight bonus, on points.
As to politics, he was planning to vote for Pete Buttigieg at the caucus. “I like what I have seen of him,” he said.
“Whoever is going to take Trump is going to have to talk with him the way he does. They’ll have to come down to his level.”
Louie Gallicchio and his wife Lisa had travelled to Las Vegas from New Jersey, as part of the boxing camp of Vito Mielnicki Jr, who was fighting on the undercard.
Mr Gallicchio said Mielnicki, who was only 17, was on a 4-0 wining ride and he likened him to former champion Oscar De La Hoya.
Mr Gallicchio predicted a victory for his own man, for Wilder, and for Mr Trump.
“Trump is a great president. Just look at what he’s doing with the economy,” he said.
He said he thought the most likely Democrat to emerge with the nomination was Mike Bloomberg.
But he said Mr Trump would win by a landslide.
And how could Vegas handle all this activity and drama? “It’s the city that never sleeps,” he said.
Ratalino Matos, 73, had flown to Las Vegas from Puerto Rico to watch the fight. He fancied Fury’s chances.
“He’s more strong. He will win by a knock out,” he said. As to politics, he said he liked what Mr Sanders was proposing for the country.
“He has different ideas to the others,” he said.
And could Mr Sanders deliver a knock-out to Mr Trump? Mr Matos smiled. “Possibly.”
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