By Jake Donovan
Golden Boy Promotions and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez dropped a bombshell of a news story on Thursday, when revealing plans for a well-received middleweight title unification showdown versus Daniel Jacobs.
The ‘when and how to watch’ were also revealed, as the two will collide on May 4 with the bout to stream live on DAZN USA. However, the absence of a confirmed location indicates there will be more big news to come.
For the moment, the frontrunner to land the forthcoming superfight is the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Golden Boy Promotions have placed a hold on the venue, according to data provided by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Alvarez has played the venue in four of his last six starts, including his having headlined its first ever boxing event in May ’16 when he knocked out Amir Khan in six rounds.
A surprising change of pace came in his most recent ring appearance, as Alvarez (50-1-2, 34KOs) made his long-awaited debut at New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden last December. The occasion also christened his $365 million haul with DAZN, complete with a 3rd round knockout of Rocky Fielding to win a secondary super middleweight title.
The fight at super middleweight was a one-and-done deal for the 28-year old superstar from Mexico; most figure that the same will apply to his stay in New York.
Of course, a return to the Big Apple would be more than welcomed by Jacobs, born and bred in the Brownsville-section of Brooklyn, New York. Each of his last four starts have come in his home state, including a split decision win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October at Hulu Theatre in New York City to win his portion of the middleweight title.
Jacobs made his pro debut in Las Vegas, where he has fought eight times in his career. However, none have ever come as a headliner and he hasn’t played Sin City since suffering the first loss of his career, a 5th round knockout at the hands of Dmitry Pirog in July ’10.
While the Alvarez-Fielding Garden party played to a boisterous crowd of more than 20,000, Alvarez—who also drew massive crowds for a pair of fights in Texas in May ’15 and Sept. ‘16—made his reputation as North America’s leading box-office attraction among all active fighters from his time spent in Las Vegas.
In his nine headlining bouts in the town hailed as the “boxing capital of the world”, Alvarez has generated more than $115 million just at the live gate, owning six of the 36 highest grossing events in the history of Nevada boxing.
His four appearances at T-Mobile Arena have grossed nearly $70 million in ticket sales, not to mention the amount of revenue generated through sponsorship and ticket sales for surrounding venues carrying the event via closed circuit viewing.
T-Mobile was the site for both of Alvarez’s middleweight championship bouts with Gennady Golovkin, taking place on the September weekend celebrating Mexican Independence Day in each of the last two years.
Their first fight sold more than $27 million at the live gate, a night which ended in a highly questionable 12-round draw. Still, it did slightly better than the rematch which hauled in $24.5 million in ticket sales on the night when Alvarez reaffirmed his place atop the middleweight mountain with a narrow 12-round win.
Both bouts rank along with Alvarez’s Sept. ’13 points loss to Floyd Mayweather rank among the five best-selling events ever in Nevada.
With the May 4 clash streaming live on subscription-based DAZN, no longer will Alvarez and Golden Boy have the Pay-Per-View market upon which to rely as a primary revenue source.
While news of an Alvarez-Jacobs superlight will undoubtedly drive sales for the sports streaming service now home to both boxers, it still leaves the site location as a highly crucial element in generating the type of revenue necessary to fund an expensive fight.