There will be two big boxing matches Saturday in Las Vegas, but “the real fight has been the battle” between rival promoters Golden Boy and Top Rank “to win the hearts and wallets of boxing fans,” according to Steve Carp of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez will fight “in front of a sellout crowd of 19,186 at the Thomas & Mack Center,” while “close to 15,000 are expected to watch” Saul "Canelo" Alvarez against Josesito Lopez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. It is “rare to have two major fight cards go head-to-head in the same city.” Nevada State Athletic Commission Exec Dir Keith Kizer said, "The only issue we had was making sure we had enough staff to properly oversee both events. As it turned out, it's going to be a big weekend for the city and the state, so we're very pleased to see both promotions are doing well.” Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said that the “rumors that GBP was offered more money to vacate Las Vegas to Top Rank weren't true, and despite pressure from some media members to move to Friday, Schaefer refused to give in." Schaefer: "Why should we change? We had a deal in place with the MGM. We had sponsors lined up. We had a deal with Showtime to televise the fight.” The Alvarez-Lopez bout also will be “shown in Mexico on Televisa.” That TV deal is reportedly “worth an additional $1 million to Alvarez” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/13).
BATTLE ROYALE: USA TODAY’s Jon Saraceno writes the “reputed long, bitter cold war between the sport's kingmakers heats up this weekend.” Scheduling conflicts usually are “studiously avoided for their potentially deleterious effects on revenue generation.” Promoter Lou DiBella said, "Saturday night is going to be a great night for boxing." But DiBella said that he is “concerned that the enmity between the sport's power brokers has created a lingering battle.” However, he said that the "term 'cold war' is a misnomer.” DiBella: "In a cold war, no one's talking. In a hot war, you're actually trying to hurt each other. These guys are out there bad-mouthing each other.” Top Rank Chair Bob Arum “insists sustained tension between the promoters is a mirage” (USA TODAY, 9/14).