The Las Vegas arena was always the favorite to land the middleweight superfight beating out Madison Square Garden in New York City and AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. T-Mobile Arena was always Golden Boy Promotions’ top pick and although the aforementioned two venues were being considered, it would have taken a ludicrously high offer for Golden Boy to not take T-Mobile Arena. Madison Square Garden made a late push by offering massive financial guarantees, including a higher gate than the approximate $27 million live gate the first fight drew at T-Mobile.
New York media quickly picked up on the negotiations and there was a feeling around New York that the fight was likely heading to Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately for MSG, the venue had a smaller maximum capacity, the city had a really busy boxing schedule in the eight weeks leading up to the fight, which could have killed some of the buzz around the local area, and the city couldn’t have been able to match the financial success regarding closed-circuit television Las Vegas had for the first fight.
The first fight drew 1.3 million buys on pay-per-view and drew the third-largest gate for a boxing event in the history of Nevada. Those numbers are nothing to sneeze at and Golden Boy officials will tell you that it was a financial success, but the company still cannot help but feel somewhat disappointed the first fight wasn’t able to do more buys on pay-per-view. The problem wasn’t the fight itself or the fighters, but pay-per-view buys were affected because of the fact that the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor pay-per-view, which did more than triple that buyrate just three weeks earlier.
On February 27, a press event was held in Los Angeles where both fighters, alongside their trainers and Golden Boy Promotions officials, got a chance to talk about the fight in front of fans and media. Nothing eventful happened at the presser except for one exchange between Alvarez and Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez where Sanchez said he was disappointed as a Mexican to see Alvarez, the biggest boxing star in Mexico, “run” during the fight, which prompted Alvarez to defend himself and have a verbal exchange with Sanchez.
The only other notable thing to be announced for the fight is that the pay-per-view card will actually start at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. That is a big win for boxing fans on the East Coast as they don’t have to stay up too late to watch the main event. Assuming the pay-per-view card will have four fights total, including the main event, it’s more than likely that both Alvarez and Golovkin will make their walks to the ring around 11 p.m. ET with the whole card ending at about midnight, give or take how long the fight goes.
Speaking of the length of the fight itself, the whole promotion of the rematch is centered around the fact that there will be a knockout and thus, take out the judges as a factor in the fight’s result. It’s smart marketing considering it was the judges who created this rematch in the first place with one judge scoring the fight in favor of each boxer and the third judge scoring the fight a draw. You’re more than likely see the same promo video that was first shown when the fight was announced in the coming weeks instead of multiple press conferences due to the announcement that there will be no global or national press tour like with the first fight.
The thinking behind this, at least according to officials, is that the whole world is still talking about the first fight and that the momentum of that fight will carry the buildup for March and April. Although it’s hard to really say if that is a smart decision, and really conventional wisdom should tell you more promotion means more eyeballs to your product, it’s also hard to say that logic isn’t true. Boxing fans will see the fight and even non-boxing fans knew about the fight, but with the NBA playoffs having already started, it might have been a smart idea to at least try and bring the non-boxing audience in for the rematch.
There’s no doubt that the pay-per-view will more than likely do better numbers than the first fight, but Golden Boy is really gambling on the fact that non-boxing fans will remember to tune in on May 5.