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Canelo vs. Golovkin 2: De La Hoya wants Las Vegas for rematch site

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: Oscar De La Hoya is making a major push to have the rematch for the Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady “GGG’ Golovkin second fight on May 5th to be staged in Las Vegas, Nevada once again, and it’s looking like he’s going to get his way. Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler would prefer the fight take place in New York at Madison Square Garden or the Cowboys Stadium in Texas, but he’s fine with it also taking place in Las Vegas again.

If the Canelo-Golovkin 2 fight does take place in Las Vegas, it could invite a lot of criticism from the boxing fans if outcome is marred by controversial scoring again. A lot of people will shake their heads and say, ‘I told you so.’

Loeffler thinks the venue for the Canelo-Golovkin 2 fight will be settled by the middle of February. From there they can begin the press tour to start hyping the fight for the next 3 months to try and build interest in the rematch.

Canelo and Golovkin fought on September 16th last year at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and that’s where Golden Boy Promotions CEO De la Hoya wants the fight to return to. Canelo has no mental baggage about going back to Vegas, because he wasn’t hurt by the controversial 12 round draw last September. The boxing fans thought Canelo lost the fight, so he was helped by fighting in Vegas. The fighter that was hurt was Golovkin. Golovkin failed to get the win over Canelo last September in their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The judging was very good to Canelo, giving him a lot of rounds in which appeared to lose against Golovkin. The decision by the judges was an unpopular one with the boxing media and the fans, as they overwhelmingly had Golovkin winning the fight. If the rematch takes place in Las Vegas again, the judging will need to get better for the fans not to complain bitterly once again. What are the odds that the second fight will have controversial scoring? Oddball scoring like we saw in the first Canelo-GGG fight isn’t the norm. It’s usually a rarity in boxing, so hopefully we don’t see that for the second fight. If so, it’s going to be bad for Canelo if he’s the one that the judging favors, because he was viewed as the loser of the first fight.

”An event like this shouldn’t take place any place other than Las Vegas because of the hotels, the closed circuit [locations] and the entertainment the city has to offer,” De La Hoya said. “The bottom line is, Las Vegas is the perfect site for a fight of this magnitude. In the history of the sport, Las Vegas has hosted the biggest events in boxing.”

Las Vegas is fine as long as Golovkin is happy with it being staged there, and as long as the judging is quality and not something that is stacked in favor of one fighter or another. The boxing fans just want a legitimate winner to be given a decision this time, and not a fighter given a draw that didn’t deserve it, which would be Canelo. He fought like he was the loser of the fight. The judges gave Canelo a draw, and it saved him from suffering his 2nd career defeat.

Golovkin likely feels that even if he gets robbed in Las Vegas, the boxing public will still recognize him as the winner like they did last time and ignore the judges’ decision. That’s not good for Canelo and Golden Boy if that happens, because they’re not seen as legitimate winners when they get a controversial victory. That’s why quality judging is important for the rematch. Loeffler needs to monitor who is picked for the judges I the second fight and he should speak up if he knows if one or more of them has a history of turning in scores that are controversial.

If Canelo and Golovkin can make more money fighting in Las Vegas than in another state, then it’s hard not to go back there, even though crowd will likely favor Canelo over GGG. Canelo has fought in Las Vegas 10 times in the past compared to just 1 time for Golovkin. If think that doesn’t help Canelo, then you’re sadly mistaken. It helps Canelo, because it means the boxing fans in the city of Vegas will be his fans, and they’ll be cheering for him, not Golovkin. It’s thought that some judges score rounds based on cheering rather than what takes place during the rounds. If Canelo is getting most of the cheering from the pro-Canelo boxing fans in Las Vegas, then that in turn will help him win the fight. The fans at home or the fans that can ignore crowd noise, they’ll see a different fight than a judge that is influenced by cheering. It’s not a good situation for Golovkin to go back to Las Vegas for the Canelo rematch other than for the possibility of making additional money fighting in that city than he’d make if the fight is staged in New York or Texas.

The gate for the Canelo-GGG fight at the T-Mobile Area last September generated an impressive $27,059,850, which made it No.3 biggest gate in the history of the sport. Whether the fight could have brought in a similar or better gate if it had been staged in Los Angeles, Texas or New York is unknown. We’ll never know. With Golovkin’s popularity in Los Angeles and New York, it’s quite possible the Canelo fight would have done the same if not better numbers. There’s nothing magical about Las Vegas when it comes to the popularity of Canelo and Golovkin. They’re popular elsewhere in the U.S, and not just in Las Vegas.

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