By Rick Reeno
The stage is set for another head to head promotional battle in Las Vegas. Keith Kizer, Executive Director for the Nevada State Athletic Commission, has advised BoxingScene.com that promotional rivals, Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, have officially reserved Las Vegas venues for September 14th.
Golden Boy is holding the MGM Grand for a planned Showtime pay-per-view involving Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Top Rank has reserved the Thomas & Mack Center for a welterweight main event between Juan Manuel Marquez and WBO champion Timothy Bradley, which is likely going to land on HBO pay-per-view.
The situation is a near mirror image of last year's Mexican Independence Day weekend, when both companies went head to head on September 15th in Las Vegas. Golden Boy staged a Showtime televised quadrupleheader with Saul Alvarez vs. Josesito Lopez as the main event at the MGM Grand, while Top Rank put together an HBO pay-per-view event from the Thomas & Mack, with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez as the headliner.
Both events were successful, but now the stakes are being raised.
"We've had this date [of September 14th] on hold for a long time for Floyd Mayweather. The MGM has confirmed the date for us as did the pay-per-view industry," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
Kizer confirms that Schaefer requested the date for Mayweather on December 6th. The MGM Grand was also placed on hold in the same time period. Top Rank reserved the Thomas & Mack for Marquez-Bradley earlier today.
Mayweather's opponent is not clear, as he faces Robert Guerrero on May 4th at the MGM Grand.
Golden Boy's target fight for September is a showdown between Mayweather and Canelo, but most industry insiders believe the two boxers will appear in separate fights - with Canelo vs. Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto being a heavily rumored possibility.
Last week, Mayweather told BoxingScene that he did intend on fighting in September. Following last Saturday's victory over Austin Trout, Canelo also told BoxingScene that he planned to return on September 14. The Mexican star spoke to Golden Boy and requested Mayweather as the opponent, but he also likes the possibility of facing Cotto.
Neither company is expected to budge from the September date and situation will likely heat up after Mayweather-Guerrero has concluded.