By Jake Donovan
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs could know by as soon as month’s end whether the most anticipated bout on the current boxing schedule will become a Vegas party.
The aforementioned middleweight title unification clash is currently scheduled to take place May 4 at a venue and location to be determined. Alvarez’s handlers, Golden Boy Promotions are shopping the bout to various parties around the U.S. but have already placed a hold on the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
As is the case with all venue requests for Las Vegas shows, the matter is now up for review with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The subject will be addressed during its next monthly agenda hearing, which will be January 29 at NSAC’s Las Vegas headquarters.
“The decision to approve Golden Boy’s request is currently on the budget for our January 29 meeting,” Bob Bennett, executive director of the Nevada commission told BoxingScene.com. “It’s standard practice for all requests to be reviewed by the chairman and the commissions, and this event is no exception to that rule.
“In fact, we couldn’t even add it to our calendar (as their being a hold on the venue) or present it as a budget item until all of the paperwork was properly filled out and submitted. Eric Gomez (president of Golden Boy) let us know beforehand that it would be intended for Canelo but of course we needed to know it was against a suitable opponent, which of course turned out to be Danny Jacobs.”
Golden Boy Promotions formally announced Alvarez-Jacobs last Wednesday through its press office, noting that future details are to follow. The company did its due diligence in filing all of the necessary paperwork to properly secure a hold on the venue; however, even a final decision to go with T-Mobile cannot be made without the commission’s final blessing.
Of course, there’s little reason to believe the event isn’t destined for the boxing house that Canelo built.
Since its grand opening in 2016, Mexico’s Alvarez (50-1-2, 39KOs) has played the arena four times beginning with its first ever boxing event on Cinco de Mayo weekend in May ’16 when he starched Amir Khan in six rounds.
He played the venue on the very same weekend one year later, scoring a 12-round shutout of countryman and longtime rival Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. The fight itself seemed like a platform to reveal the bigger plan—a long awaited showdown with Gennady Golovkin.
The first of their two memorable middleweight battles took place at T-Mobile the following September, ending in a controversial 12-round draw. Plans to return to the metaphorical scene of the crime for a rematch the following May, however, were stalled when Alvarez tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol.
Despite professing his innocence by means of having ingested through tainted meat (a long-running epidemic in his native Mexico), the NSAC ultimately held Alvarez responsible for the pair of positive tests, issuing a six-month suspension from the time of the finding last February. It was just enough to kill the May date, but also short enough to reschedule for last September—same venue and this time with Alvarez prevailing by narrow decision.
Alvarez’s four fights at T-Mobile have grossed nearly $70 million in ticket sales, not to mention the amount of revenue generated through sponsorship, Pay-Per-View and closed-circuit sales.
The tally is among his nine overall headlining acts anywhere in Las Vegas, where his events have generated more than $115 million just at the live gate, six of which rate among the 36 highest grossing events in the history of Nevada boxing. All but one of those bouts have aired live on Pay-Per-View; the May 4 showdown with Jacobs (35-2, 29KOs) will break that trend, with the event to be distributed live via sports streaming service DAZN USA, under which both middleweights are under contract.
“Assuming it gets approved and Golden Boy decides to bring the fight here, this event is a great way to off doing some business with DAZN,” Bennett noted. “Canelo fighting Danny Jacobs in the fight capital of the world—we look forward to (possibly) hosting it.”