Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith at AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
By Dan Ambrose: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) will be challenging WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) on September 17 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, according to RingTV. This is a stadium that seats close to 90,000 fans, which is probably way more than the fight will draw in. Golden Boy Promotions has been taking their time in naming the venue for the fight. To be honest, they probably should have had the Canelo-Smith fight take place in the UK rather than the U.S, because I have a feeling that there’s going to be a lot of empty seats on September 17 at AT&T Stadium. It’s the wrong fight. Fans don’t want to see Canelo beat up on a junior middleweight that he out-weighs by 20 pounds. They want to see Canelo fight Gennady Golovkin.
Canelo has attracted huge crowds in previous fights in Texas against Austin Trout and James Kirkland. It doesn’t make a lot sense to stage the Canelo-Smith fight at the AT&T Stadium because Smith isn’t a well -known fighter in the United States, and it could be difficult to sell tickets for the contest.
It would help if Canelo has the ticket prices dropped to around the $10 level so that a lot of fans can affords to get inside and see him fight.
The Texas stadium is the same venue where Manny Pacquiao fought in the past against Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito in 2010 at the height of his career. This was back when Pacquiao was able to attract 1 million buys on a routine basis. Things started going downhill for Pacquiao in 2012, when he lost back to back fights to Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
It might have been a better idea for Canelo and Golden Boy to have gone with Las Vegas, Nevada or New York for the fight. Those would be good cities to attract a lot of fans.
It will be interesting to see how many boxing fans are willing to see Canelo fight live in Texas. It’ll be even more interesting to see how many pay-per-view buys the fight attracts on HBO, because it’s not a pay-per-view worthy fight in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans.
The timing is really bad for Canelo with this fight coming off of him vacating his WBC title rather than taking on Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Golden Boy said that they didn’t want to negotiate with Golovkin under a deadline by the World Boxing Council. This was one of the reasons for Canelo vacating the WBC title. However, Canelo still didn’t fight Golovkin even after he vacated the belt. Canelo is fighting Liam Smith.
Many boxing fans think Canelo was afraid of Golovkin, and that’s why he vacated the title and didn’t fight him. If Canelo vs. Smith doesn’t bring in big numbers in ticket sells and PPV buys, then you have to suspect that one of the reasons for this is because fans have lost interest in Canelo due to him not taking the Triple G fight.