A big bout is Ve­gas bound

Las Ve­gas’ T-Mo­bile Arena wins out over Texas’ AT&T Sta­dium for Sept. 16 mega-bout.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Lance Pug­mire lance.pug­mire@la­times.com Twit­ter: @la­time­spug­mire

Canelo Al­varez and Gen­nady Golovkin will meet Sept. 16 in T-Mo­bile Arena.

This was be­yond Las Ve­gas temp­ta­tion. This was the sure thing.

So with­out a fi­nal for­mal­ized of­fer from Jerry Jones for AT&T Sta­dium out­side Dal­las or a long­shot Dodger Sta­dium bid, the Sept. 16 Canelo Al­varez-Gen­nady Golovkin fight for mid­dleweight and box­ing supremacy is headed to T-Mo­bile Arena in Las Ve­gas.

“It’s good busi­ness … you have peo­ple com­ing from all over the world to Ve­gas, and the fact that we’re go­ing to open it up to 30,000 closed­cir­cuit seats” also was in con­sid­er­a­tion, Al­varez pro­moter Os­car De La Hoya said upon an­nounc­ing the deal Mon­day.

“Ve­gas is go­ing to be a big ol’ party. Peo­ple want to go there to have a good time, watch a good fight and go off to restau­rants and clubs. The en­ter­tain­ment fac­tor there is that much bet­ter.”

De La Hoya also ac­knowl­edged that the ur­gency to book Las Ve­gas sprung in part from want­ing to beat Floyd May­weather Jr. to the punch.

As se­cret talks con­tinue for a pos­si­ble box­ing match be­tween the un­beaten, pound-for-pound prize­fight­ing king May­weather and UFC cham­pion Conor McGregor, Al­varez-Golovkin in Sin City is a done deal.

May­weather, who re­tired in 2015, of­ten fought in Septem­ber be­fore re­tir­ing in 2015, and his ri­valry with De La Hoya is in­tense enough to take se­ri­ously a pos­si­ble com­pet­ing su­per-fight on the same night had De La Hoya opted to re­turn Al­varez to AT&T Sta­dium a year after he drew 51,000 to the Dal­las Cow­boys’ home.

Although of­fi­cials close to Jones said he was “in­ter­ested and pre­pared to make a sig­nif­i­cant of­fer,” he never pre­sented a for­mal of­fer.

“We wanted to se­cure the date be­cause ob­vi­ously there’s rum­blings an­other fight might take place around that same time,” De La Hoya said. “We had to go to Las Ve­gas.

“This is the real fight, the fight that every­body has been want­ing to see for the last year and a half. We’re happy we can do it in Las Ve­gas and we’ll have spe­cial events around the fight,” with Mex­i­can In­de­pen­dence Day week­end con­certs fea­tur­ing Ricky Martin, Mana, En­rique Igle­sias and Marc An­thony sched­uled.

Of­fi­cials in Texas are hope­ful the bout match­ing un­beaten three-belt mid­dleweight cham­pion Golovkin (37-0, 33 knock­outs) against Mex­ico’s most pop­u­lar fighter, former two-di­vi­sion cham­pion Al­varez (49-1-1, 34 KOs), will be as com­pet­i­tive as an­tic­i­pated to gen­er­ate a re­match that could then go to Jones’ sta­dium.

“These are the types of fights every­body wants . . . it can be a tril­ogy,” De La Hoya said.

The fight­ers ex­pressed ex­cite­ment at stag­ing their bout in “Fight City.”

“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,” Al­varez said. “I have re­peat­edly said 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.”

While Al­varez opened 20,000-seat T-Mo­bile Arena in May 2016 by knock­ing out Amir Khan and re­turned last month to dom­i­nate the big­ger Julio Ce­sar Chavez Jr. by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion, Golovkin will be mak­ing his Las Ve­gas de­but.

"This is the type of fight I have dreamed of since I be­came a pro­fes­sional boxer," Golovkin said. “This fight will be at a true cham­pi­onship level and we will give the fans an ex­cit­ing fight.”

De La Hoya and his staff de­clined to re­veal terms of the T-Mo­bile Arena deal, but MGM Resorts, boosted by the mas­sive spend­ing of heavy crowds and high­rolling gam­blers on such a fight week, has a proud his­tory of out­bid­ding larger venues for su­per-fights.

In 2015, the 16,000-seat MGM Grand beat out AT&T Sta­dium for May­weather-Manny Pac­quiao, and De La Hoya said New York’s his­toric Madi­son Square Gar­den was in­volved in this bid­ding.

“Ob­vi­ously, there’s a lot of lit­tle de­tails” that helped Las Ve­gas, De La Hoya said. “The other el­e­ments [fa­vor­ing Las Ve­gas] were that [TMo­bile op­er­a­tor] AEG has 200 are­nas through­out the world, where they’re go­ing to help us mar­ket and pro­mote the pay-per-view.”

The much-an­tic­i­pated HBO pay-per-view show­down be­tween Al­varez, who’ll turn 27 next month, and Golovkin, 35, is box­ing’s big­gest match since May­weather-Pac­quiao in 2015, but is ex­pected to pro­vide far more ac­tion than the dud that turned many fans away from in­ter­est in pay-per­view bouts.

Ticket sale in­for­ma­tion and prices are due to be an­nounced in the near fu­ture.

Erik Ver­duzco As­so­ci­ated Press

MID­DLEWEIGHTS Canelo Al­varez, left, and Gen­nady Golovkin will fi­nally square off in Septem­ber.

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