Nearly a month to the day after it was made official, the most anticipated superfight of 2017 now has a home.
The September 16 World middleweight championship showdown between Gennady Golovkin and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Golden Boy Promotions founder and Chairman Oscar de la Hoya confirmed Monday afternoon on ESPN's Sportscenter.
Several venues around the world were interested in hosting the event, which will air live on HBO Pay-Per-View. The top candidates aside from T-Mobile were AT&T Stadium just outside of Dallas, Texas - home to the NFL's Dallas Cowboys - Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and even Madison Square Garden in New York City, which has been a big supporter of Golovkin's star development in the United States.
In the end, the powers that be decided the biggest fights in the United States were best fit to take place in the fight capital of the world.
"Everybody wanted this fight,” de la Hoya claimed during his segment on Sportscenter. “Everybody wants to go to Vegas, have a great time, it’s going to be a train wreck, let me tell you. I did receive a crazy amount of money, the offers were just amazing from Madison Square Garden.
"I was contemplating it. Obviously my good friend (Cowboys' owner) Jerry Jones wanted this fight. I talked to my great friend (former Los Angeles Lakers legend and now businessman) Magic Johnson who wanted to stage the fight at Dodger Stadium.”
Fans eager to attend were hoping for the event to land at AT&T Stadium, where the odds of scoring a ticket in a 100,000-seat venue are five times greater than hoping to gain entrance to a T-Mobile Arena that will be configured for 20,000 fans.
As much was not lost on the Hall of Fame boxer-turned-veteran promoter, who insists that Las Vegas will still be the place to be even for those who won't necessarily have venue access on fight night.
"Vegas has people coming in from all over the world. We are going to open up 25,000-30,000 tickets for closed circuit viewing," de la Hoya told a group of reporters shortly after his ESPN appearance. "The entertainment factor is just overwhelming in Las Vegas.
"There’s a lot of little details (in signing with T-Mobile Arena), I always say the devil is in the details. All the offers were hovering around the same (dollar amount). There are so many elements to it. AEG has over 200 properties around the world, where they are going to help us market the event."
Golovkin (37-0, 33KOs) - who looks to make the 19th defense of at least one middleweight title - will make his first career appearance in Las Vegas, where Alvarez (49-1-1, 34KOs) will come in as the overwhelming fan favorite. Plans were in place all along for Golovkin to eventually make his way to Las Vegas with or without a Canelo showdown.
The unbeaten, unified middleweight titlist now gets to enjoy the best of both worlds.
"This is the type of fight I have dreamed of since I became a professional boxer," said Golovkin, a 2004 Olympic Silver medalist for Kazakhstan and now regarded among the very best boxers in the world today. "This fight will be at a true championship level and we will give the fans an exciting fight."
The showdown will headline the fourth-ever boxing event to be staged at T-Mobile Arena since opening its doors last spring. Three of the four will have starred Alvarez, who topped the first boxing card at the venue in his 6th round knockout of Amir Khan last May. Exactly 52 weeks later, he delivered a shutout win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in front of a sold-out crowd of just over 20,000, atop a PPV telecast that sold more than 940,000 units (as of June 1) in the biggest selling card in the post Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao era.
Of the four boxing events at the newly erected Vegas arena, the lone show to not feature Alvarez came last November, when Andre Ward scored a controversial decision win over Sergey Kovalev in their multi-belted light heavyweight title fight which played to modest commercial success at the box office but disappointing PPV numbers.
Simply put, T-Mobile Arena has quickly become The House That Canelo Built.
"I am thrilled to return to T-Mobile Arena, and to give the fans the best fight that can be made in our sport today," stated Alvarez, who became the first-ever boxer from Mexico to capture the World (lineal) middleweight championship with his 12-round win over Miguel Cotto in Nov. '15. "I have repeatedly said that I fear no man, and I am now going to prove it by stepping into the ring against GGG.
"When the final bell rings, everyone will know that this is indeed the Canelo era, and that I am the best fighter in all of boxing."
Come fight night, Alvarez will play live along the Vegas strip for the 10th time in his career.
Ticket prices and suggested retail price for the PPV event are forthcoming.