Atlantic City is a city in Atlantic County, New Jersey and a nationally renowned resort city for gambling, shopping and fine dining. The city also served as the inspiration for the board game Monopoly. Atlantic City is located on Absecon Island on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. As of 2008, the city has a population of 35,770, with 266,268 people living in the Atlantic City–Hammonton metropolitan statistical area. The 3 routes into Atlantic City are the Black Horse Pike/Harding Highway (US 322/40), White Horse Pike (US 30) and the Atlantic City Expressway. Atlantic City is roughly 120 miles south of New York City by road, 62 miles southeast of Philadelphia, and borders Absecon, Brigantine, Pleasantville, Ventnor and West Atlantic City (part of Egg Harbor Township).
In an effort at revitalizing the city, New Jersey voters in 1976 approved casino gambling for Atlantic City; this came after a 1974 referendum on legalized gambling failed to pass. The Chalfonte-Haddon Hall Hotel was converted into the Resorts International; it was the first legal casino in the eastern United States when it opened on May 26, 1978.\ Other casinos were soon added along the Boardwalk and later in the marina district for a total of eleven today. The introduction of gambling did not, however, quickly eliminate many of the urban problems that plagued Atlantic City.
Many have argued that it only served to magnify those problems, as evidenced in the stark contrast between tourism-intensive areas and the adjacent impoverished working-class neighborhoods. In addition, Atlantic City has played second-fiddle to Las Vegas, Nevada, as a gambling city in the United States, although in the late 1970s and 1980s, when Las Vegas was experiencing a massive drop in tourism due to crime, particularly the Mafia's role, and other economic factors, Atlantic City was favored over Las Vegas. The rise of Mike Tyson in boxing, having most of his fights in Atlantic City in the '80s, also helped Atlantic City's popularity.
Mike Tyson fought in Boardwalk Hall several times as Heavyweight Champion including four of his seven defenses as Undisputed Champion. Among his title defenses in Boardwalk Hall was a Fourth Round TKO over former champion Larry Holmes on January 22, 1988. His most famous bout at the venue was the 91 second Knockout of former champion and previously undefeated Michael Spinks on June 27, 1988.
On April 19, 1991, Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield defeated former champion George Foreman in his first title defense.
Other fighters who have had boxing matches (many of which were title fights) in Boardwalk Hall include Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, Roberto Duran, Lennox Lewis, Roy Jones Jr., Floyd Mayweather Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Riddick Bowe, Julio César Chávez, Héctor Camacho and Arturo Gatti.
In September 2007, it was the venue for the Kelly Pavlik - Jermain Taylor boxing match for the World Boxing Council, World Boxing Organization and The Ring magazine's middleweight championships.