Las Vegas - Gennady Golovkin will make his Las Vegas debut when he meets Canelo Alvarez in a middleweight title showdown that figures to be the richest fight since Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fought two years ago.
Promoters announced Monday that the much-anticipated September 16 fight between Golovkin and Alvarez will take place at the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip. The arena won out over AT&T Stadium in Dallas and Madison Square Garden in New York, which also bid for the bout.
"It was a hard decision because there was so much interest from other venues," said Golovkin's promoter, Tom Loeffler. "It's just the right time for Gennady to be in Las Vegas and make a big splash."
Golovkin, a knockout artist from Kazakhstan who hasn't lost in 37 fights, will defend his middleweight titles against Alvarez, the red-head who is the biggest boxing star in Mexico. Alvarez, whose only loss was at the hands of Floyd Mayweather, is coming off a lopsided win over Julio Cesar Chavez jnr last month in Las Vegas.
The fight will be televised on pay-per-view from the 20 000-seat facility that is also the home of the UFC.
"Everybody wants to go to Vegas, have a great time and watch a great fight," said Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes Alvarez.
Golovkin, popularly known in boxing as Triple G, has campaigned for a fight against Alvarez for much of the past two years. The fight was announced last month after Alvarez beat Chavez in a pay-per-view fight at T-Mobile Arena.
"We had to wait for a long time," Loeffler said. "It was frustrating having a champion willing to fight anybody who still found it virtually impossible to get top names in the ring with him."
Golovkin is coming off a hard-fought decision win over Daniel Jacobs in March at Madison Square Garden that was the first time in nine years he was forced to go the distance in a bout. The speculation in boxing was that his performance against Jacobs may have convinced Alvarez that it was worth the risk to face such a big puncher.
De La Hoya, who announced the fight during an appearance on ESPN, said the fight between two boxers who are all action and big punchers will help fans forget the 2015 bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao that didn't live up to expectations.
"I made Triple G versus Canelo in order to bring back those fans and give fight fans a real fight," De La Hoya said. "This is a real fight."
Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) has been established as an 8-5 favourite over Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 knockouts). Alvarez is a former welterweight and super welterweight champion who moved up to a catch weight of 164 pounds for his fight against Chavez.
Alvarez suffered his only loss against Mayweather, dropping a decision in a 2013 fight many thought he took too early in his career.
De La Hoya said he talked to officials from several venues wanting to host the fight, including Dodger Stadium and Madison Square Garden. In the end it came down to the glitz and excitement of Las Vegas against a much larger capacity at the stadium where the Dallas Cowboys play.
"Ultimately it's the entertainment factor," he said. "People want to go to parties before and after the fight."
MGM Grand, which owns the T-Mobile Arena, will televise the fight closed circuit at its other Las Vegas resorts in addition to the HBO pay-per-view. Ticket prices and pay-per-view prices have yet to be released.