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Canelo vs. GGG almost sold out for T-Mobile

Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin boxing photo

By Dan Ambrose: Tickets for the September 16 fight between IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez have been getting scooped up by eager fans wanting to see this is exciting fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Of the 21,000 tickets for the venue, only 3 thousand a remaining and those are expected to be purchased soon, perhaps within a week.

The tickets are going well for the Canelo and GGG fight, but what is unknown is how well the fight will sell on HBO PPV. There’s stiff competition from the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor fight that is taking place on Showtime pay-per-view on August 26. That fight is expected to have a price tag of $100 per household. Even if it was being sold for just $70 on PPV, it would still likely hurt the PPV numbers for the Canelo-GGG fight, because many of the boxing fans won’t be able to afford both fights.

If the fights were spaced out further apart, then it would be more doable. But with back to back expensive PPV fights, there could be lower numbers for the Canelo vs. Triple G fight. The boxing fans are being asked to pay a lot of money for these 2 fights. When you deplete the fan base by having too many PPV events in a short period of time, the number of buys tends to suffer.

Mayweather has the advantage in that his fight with the popular Conor McGregor comes first on August 26 with Canelo-GGG following 3 weeks later on September 16. That helps Mayweather and McGregor in a big way. Mayweather has been out of the ring for 2 years, so many boxing fans will be looking forward to seeing him fight.

McGregor is a very popular fighter in the UFC. He’s going to be bringing his many MMA fans to watch the fight. McGregor has brought in over 1 million PPV buys in his last 4 fights. Even Mayweather can’t say that. Canelo doesn’t sell fights with nearly as many buys as McGregor, and of course, GGG hasn’t either. He’s not a PPV fighter in the true sense.

This is expected to be a much better fight than Canelo’s recent mismatch against a depleted looking Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6 of this year at the same venue at the T-Mobile Arena. Chavez Jr. looked like he’d taken off too much weight for the fight, which was the case in Canelo’s fights against a weight drained looking James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo.

Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy have been doing a great job of selecting opponents for Canelo lately. They picked out Kirkland, Angulo and Chavez Jr. when they just happened to be heavy from inactivity. Now they’re selected Golovkin after back to back poor efforts against Danny Jacobs and Kell Brook.

“Ticket sales have gone quite well, according to the latest reports there are just over a thousand tickets,” said Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions to ESPN Deportes.

The ticket prices for the Canelo-GGG fight go from $300 to $5000.

Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy wanted the Canelo vs. GGG fight to take place in Las Vegas in order to let the boxing fans have something do to when coming to the fight. De La Hoya could have staged the fight in Texas at huge 90,000 seat AT&T Stadium in Arlington. That would have given more boxing fans a chance to see the fight live.

Canelo fought last September in front of 51,000 fans for his fight against former WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith. A fight between Canelo and Golovkin would have had a good chance of selling out the large stadium. It would have been a real gift for the boxing public if De La Hoya had staged the fight in that venue. There hasn’t been fight audiences of that size in the U.S lately.

Golovkin is the favorite to beat Canelo by the margin of 1.5 to 1. It should be interesting to see if Triple G remains the favorite all the way up to the fight. Things like odds tend to change rapidly when the fights get closer, especially when you have a highly popular fighter involved. Canelo hasn’t been the underdog since his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013. One reason for that is because Canelo has faced only one really tough opponent in his last 7 fights and that was Erislandy Lara.

Canelo’s other fights in the last 3 years have come against the aforementioned Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, James Kirkland and Miguel Cotto. The lack of truly dangerous competition for Canelo has kept him winning, but it’s also prevented him from expanding his fan base and growing as a fighter. If Canelo had been taking risks against the better fighters like Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, Demetrius Andrade and Danny Jacobs, he’d been in a better place right now.

”This is a history fight,” said an animated GGG, who is very excited about fighting Canelo. Golovkin sees this as a fight that will allow him to prove himself to the boxing world, and importantly to prove whose number one in the middleweight division.

Golovkin has already done that by beating Danny Jacobs. He was seen as the number 2 guy in the 160 pound division, and Golovkin beat him on March 18. Canelo is an upstart for the middleweight division, as is Jermall Charlo. You can’t say that Canelo should be above Jermall, as he’s not proven that he’s a better fighter at middleweight.

Canelo’s experience at middleweight was against fighters from that division was his one catch-weigh fight against Miguel Cotto in 2015. Cotto was more of a junior middleweight than a middleweight. Canelo beat Cotto, and then defended his WBC middleweight title against welterweight Amir Khan before giving up the belt when ordered to fight Golovkin by the World Boxing Council.

Hopefully the Canelo and Golovkin lives up to expectations from the boxing fans. It would be a real buzz-kill for the sport if the fight is dull or if it has a controversial ending. We’ve just seen back to back controversial fights involving Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn, and Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. The fans need to see a good fight that doesn’t end with a foul or a terrible controversial decision.

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