The hottest ticket in town no longer exists - other than in the secondary market.
It will be a massive Cinco de Mayo celebration in Las Vegas, as the May 6 showdown between Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has officially sold out the T-Mobile Arena. The venue is set to hold more than 20,000 in attendance, with no more tickets available at the boxing office, it was announced by Golden Boy Promotions on Friday afternoon.
<>"Big fights sell, and as anyone can see from the fact that we sold out Las Vegas' biggest boxing venue less than 10 days after tickets became available, Canelo-Chavez, Jr. is a huge fight," said Golden Boy Promotions CEO and Chairman Oscar De La Hoya in a statement released through his founding company's press office. "Now that T-Mobile Arena is full, we will soon announce venues for showing the fight on closed circuit for fans still planning to come to celebrate in Las Vegas, and fans can of course see the fight in the comfort of their own homes on HBO Pay-Per-View."
Alvarez (48-1-1, 34KOs) topped the first-ever boxing event last May at the state-of-the-art Vegas arena, whose doors opened to the public last spring. The iconic Mexican superstar gave his fans their money's worth, scoring a 6th round knockout of Amir Khan on Cinco de Mayo weekend one year ago. The middleweight title fight (which was contested at a 155 lb. catchweight) wound up serving as the best-selling Pay-Per-View event of 2016, only adding to Alvarez' current status as boxing's biggest box office attraction in North America today.
The massive crowd to be on hand for this event continues to justify Golden Boy Promotions' decision to bring Alvarez back to HBO. The intention was to have the red-headed superstar reclaim the two biggest boxing weekends as it relates to Mexican holidays - Cinco de Mayo and Grito de Dolores (also known as "Mexican Independence Day", which is on September 16), which he couldn't do while fighting on rival cable network Showtime in the same era as his lone ring conqueror, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
His return to HBO came in front of more than 31,000 fans at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. Alvarez scored a 3rd round knockout of James Kirkland in what served as the most watched cable TV boxing event since 2006, with well over 2.1 million viewers tuning in to the May '15 telecast.
While most fans are waiting for Alvarez - who holds the lineal middleweight championship and (for now) the WBO super welterweight title - to square off with unbeaten and unified middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin, he first decided to check off a bucket list item that was some five years in the making.
The hold up - in addition to rivaling promoters and, for a spell, networks - was finding an appropriate weight for such a bout to take place. Alvarez agreed to move up while Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32KOs) will come down as the contest will take place at a 164.5 lb. catchweight, with stiff penalties in place in the event that either miss the mark.
It has become a recurring theme for Chavez Jr., as the famed second-generation boxer has gained a reputation as a lazy and pampered boxer. It has not been uncommon for the former middleweight titlist to renegotiate the contracted weight in the days before a forthcoming fight, his name value - and the associated dollar amount for said compensation - enough to strong-arm his opponents to give in to the demand on such occasions.
Despite his underachieving nature. the son of Hall of Fame former three-division champ Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. has still managed to scratch out a decent career. He became the first-ever boxer from Mexico to lay claim to a middleweight belt, winning a vacant title with a unanimous decision over Sebastian Zbik in June '11. He managed three successful defenses before conceding the crown to lineal champ Sergio Martinez, although he had him down and nearly out in the 12th and final round of their Sept. '12 meet.
Nothing but trouble has followed, beginning with his receiving a hefty fine and suspension for testing positive for marijuana - his second failed drug test in Nevada. His ring return has since seen a controversial win over Brian Vera in a Sept. '13 clash where the weight limit was basically erased at the 11th hour; a cleaner win in their March '14 rematch; and sitting out for more than a year to break contract with Top Rank and Zanfer to join Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) stable, which began with a shocking knockout loss to Andrzej Fonfara in April '15.
Two wins have followed for Chavez Jr., including a lopsided 10-round decision over Dominick Britsch last December to help set up what has quickly become a hotly anticipated event. Ticket sales have remained the hottest moving item in the secondary market for as long as the event has been officially on the books, a status that will only grow now that the box office is no longer an option.