The biggest fight of the year, unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin’s long-anticipated showdown with former champion Canelo Alvarez, will take place in the fight capital of the world: Las Vegas.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, appearing on ESPN’s SportsCenter, announced on Monday that the Sept. 16 fight will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“Everybody wanted this fight and I nailed it down,” said De La Hoya, who predicted Canelo will knock out GGG. “Everybody who wants to go to Vegas, have a great time. Watch a great fight with Triple G and Canelo. I mean it’s going to be a train wreck, let me tell you.”
After Alvarez rolled to shutout decision against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in their catch weight fight at 164½ pounds on May 6 at the sold-out T-Mobile Arena, where an arena-record crowd of 20,501 turned out, the fight with Golovkin was announced in the ring, but no site was set.
Golden Boy had many suitors for the bout, including Jerry Jones’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and Madison Square Garden in New York. De La Hoya said he fielded inquiries about the fight from Dubai and the United Kingdom, as well as locations in the United States.
“I did receive a crazy amount of money – the offers were just amazing (including) from Madison Square Garden (in New York). I was contemplating it,” De La Hoya said. “Obviously, my good friend Jerry Jones wanted this fight. I talked to my great friend Magic Johnson, who wanted to stage the fight at Dodger Stadium, but ultimately the entertainment factor (was key). People want to go to parties after the fight. You want to stage the pre-fight parties, the weigh-in.
De La Hoya also went with the T-Mobile arena after MGM Resorts International, which owns the T-Mobile Arena, the MGM Grand and several other casinos, made what Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told ESPN was “an incredible pitch and incredible offer.”
Gomez said the offer was so good that they called other suitors, including Jones, to tell them they were leaning to having the fight at T-Mobile Arena before getting into serious negotiations with any other venue.
Because T-Mobile Arena only holds 20,000 or so, De La Hoya said there would be around 35,000 seats at 12-15 closed circuit locations in Las Vegas. Ticket prices for the fight and the closed circuit seats have not yet been announced.
The fight, signed shortly before Alvarez-Chavez took place, has been anticipated for more than a year. Golovkin and his team have been ready to make the fight for ages but were waiting on Golden Boy and Alvarez to decide the time was right.
Last May, De La Hoya and Alvarez said they would attempt to make the fight but then ducked it.
Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs), 26, who also is a former two-time junior middleweight world titleholder, even vacated his 160-pound world title belt to avoid a mandatory with Golovkin, who held an interim belt at the time to go with his full titles; he inherited Alvarez’s belt.
Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs), 35, a Kazakhstan native living in Santa Monica, California, has made 18 title defenses, but looked a little vulnerable in his tight decision victory against Daniel Jacobs on March 18, which may have convinced De La Hoya that the time was now to make the fight. Going into the fight with Jacobs, Golovkin had scored 23 consecutive knockouts.