Fight fans around the Brick City and the rest of the world were given a treat with the big announcement that Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and WBC/WBA/IBF/IBO Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) will meet once again in a highly anticipated 12-round battle on Cinco de Mayo, Saturday, May 5th.
But while we know that this event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT, we do not know where the actual fight will be taking place.
The original fight was hosted by T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and that remains the most likely venue for the rematch. Vegas boasts a wide variety of casinos and hotels, and critically features no state or city taxes.
However, the promoters still have to agree on a venue and it appears that Madison Square Garden has submitted a strong proposal to pull off an upset of the favorite.
The fight in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas drew a gate of about $27 million last September. The folks at the Garden are guaranteeing a more lucrative gate according to an interview the New York Post did with Gennady Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler.
“I don’t know what Vegas is going to offer,” said Loeffler. “It’ll be a little bit of a back-and-forth. But the Garden is definitely very interested in this fight. They realize this is one the few times they have a legitimate shot of getting a big fight. I don’t think Floyd [Mayweather] or Manny [Pacquiao] or any of those big fights ever considered New York. Gennady likes New York. Either this fight or if Gennady wins maybe a third fight, I think the Garden has a legitimate shot at getting one of these fights.”
Golovkin has a solid history at MSG where he has fought six times, with his last bout there drawing just under 20,000 fans.
On the other hand, Alvarez has fought 9 of his last 12 fights in Vegas including the last two Cinco de Mayo weekends which are traditionally big boxing weekends. And his promoter, Oscar de la Hoya has had many of his biggest paydays there as well.
In addition, Alvarez has also seen some very favorable judging in Sin City, including the controversial draw with Golovkin in September.
With all of those factors, MSG is going to find it hard to pull the fight away from Las Vegas, but the decision will come down to money. According to William Hill, one of the sports books in Las Vegas offering great odds and live boxing results, GGG has opened as a -165 favorite. That seems like a good deal to me! My guess is that this fight remains in Vegas and after a convincing victory by GGG, the third fight will take place at Madison Square Garden to close the trilogy.
As soon as it is announced, Brick City Boxing will let you know if you have to book your flights to Vegas or can simply hop on the PATH and head to the Garden!