By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – James Dolan watched from the front row Saturday night as Gennadiy Golovkin knocked out Steve Rolls at Madison Square Garden.
Dolan hopes to occupy a similar seat September 14 to witness the third bout between Canelo Alvarez and Golovkin in his arena. The owner of The Garden, the Knicks and the Rangers has assured Golovkin and his team that he’ll “do everything he can” to bring Alvarez-Golovkin III to that famous Manhattan venue.
Dolan’s company made an aggressive bid to secure the Alvarez-Golovkin rematch September 15, but their second middleweight championship match went to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the site of their first fight in September 2017.
Golovkin is reluctant to return to Las Vegas for their third bout because their first fight resulted in a controversial draw and Alvarez won their rematch by majority decision. Kazakhstan’s Golovkin appeared to do enough to win their initial meeting, though their rematch was much more competitive.
Eleven of Alvarez’s past 15 fights have taken place in Las Vegas. Now that Alvarez and Golovkin have fought at Madison Square Garden, however, Golovkin and his team have higher hopes that their third meeting will be brought there.
“Naturally, Canelo fought here, Gennadiy fought here,” Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promotional representative said early Sunday morning at a post-fight press conference. “We met with James Dolan this week, and he said if there’s a way to bring it here, he’ll do everything he can to bring it here. So, if there is a way, this is probably the most neutral place, since Canelo fought here and Triple-G fought here, for that fight to take place.”
Dolan’s company obviously has the financial wherewithal to bring a fight of this magnitude to Madison Square Garden. Alvarez also has a better feel for the iconic venue after helping sell out The Garden in his debut there December 15.
He knocked out British super middleweight Rocky Fielding in the third round of that fight. An announced crowd of 12,357 attended the Golovkin-Rolls card Saturday night.
“I want [the fight at MSG],” Golovkin said. “It’s different people, different atmosphere.”
Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) has fought at Madison Square Garden four times and The Theater at Madison Square Garden twice.
Golovkin later was asked about the possibility of boxing Alvarez at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Alvarez has fought once at that venue, which could hold roughly 100,000 for boxing.
“I know what you’re talking about,” Golovkin said. “We know about Texas, but it’s maybe a little too early, a little too premature to talk about that. It’s a business proposal. Right now, we’re in Madison Square Garden, and they’re really trying to make this next fight possible. So, let’s talk about Texas when we hear from Texas.”
The 37-year-old Golovkin again made it clear that he would prefer to fight Alvarez somewhere other than Las Vegas.
“It’s not like in principle I don’t like to go to Vegas,” Golovkin said. “But I have some bad feelings about Vegas.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.