Canelo Alvarez-GGG Ends In Split Draw Before Sold-Out Crowd; Is Rematch Coming?
Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin fought to a draw Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena, and a crowd of 22,358 "roared throughout the fight" as the two men "put on the kind of show that boxing purists had anticipated," according to Tim Dahlberg of the AP. The bout "lived up to its hype as the two fighters traded huge punches and went after each other for 12 rounds." Both "landed some huge punches to the head that had the crowd screaming in excitement." Alvarez "was guaranteed" $5M, while Golovkin had a $3M guarantee. But both were "expected to make much more on a share" of the PPV revenue (AP, 9/17). In Las Vegas, John Katsilometes writes the attendance number for the fight "bears investigation, especially since early reports were far lower than 20,000 ticketholders in the building." According to MGM Resorts officials, the announced figure is accurate when "adding the total number of ticket holders, every person admitted to T-Mobile’s many VIP suites and lounges (including Jack Daniel’s Lounge and the Bud Light Lounge), terraces, Hyde Lounge and Goose Island Lounge on the south side of the arena, and the Party Deck on the north side" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/18).
ROUND 2 COMING? Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, who promoted Alvarez, said, "This is the most exciting fight that fans have seen in years. Obviously, it begs for a rematch" (L.A. TIMES, 9/17). ESPN.com's Dan Rafael wrote the fight "delivered on the promise of extreme combat." It was a "hellacious battle that won't soon be forgotten." Rafael: "They gave us thrills. They gave us the fight we hoped for" (ESPN.com, 9/17). The GLOBE & MAIL's Cathal Kelly wrote, "For 12 tremendous rounds, the pair went straight at each other in a match that had many small, perfect moments." Two weeks ago, fans "paid a hundred bucks to watch the circus between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor." Kelly: "This time, your money got you inside a gladiator school." The difference in quality was by "orders of magnitude" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/17). CBSSPORTS.com's Brian Campbell wrote not only does a rematch make "tremendous financial sense, it would have the potential to fix the controversial aftertaste left behind by Saturday's scoring" (CBSSPORTS.com, 9/17). In Phoenix, Greg Moore wrote the action "didn't disappoint, even if the result did" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/17). USA TODAY's Martin Rogers wrote a draw was "not unfair and was the same result many ringside observers had on their personal scorecards." But the way it arrived "left much to be desired, and the crowd, even many Mexican fans devoted to Alvarez, were loud with their disapproval" (USATODAY.com, 9/17).
CONTROVERSIAL ENDING: ESPN.com's Rafael noted judge Dave Moretti scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Golovkin, Adalaide Byrd "stunningly had it 118-110 for Alvarez, and Don Trella scored the fight 114-114." Byrd gave Golovkin only the fourth and seventh rounds on a scorecard that "likely will go down as one of the most shocking in boxing history" (ESPN.com, 9/17). Nevada Athletic Commission Exec Dir Bob Bennett yesterday said that Byrd "needs 'a small break' from big fights after turning in a scorecard in the draw" between Golovkin and Alvarez that had Alvarez winning 118-110. Bennett said, "Like in any profession, you have a bad night. Unfortunately, she didn't do well" (L.A. TIMES, 9/17). In Newark, Jerry Izenberg writes Byrd "took a fight that was dominated by Golovkin's jab and his power and brilliantly contested by the house fighter and turned it into a showcase for judging ineptitude" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 9/18). In Las Vegas, Ed Graney wrote under the header, "It's Time For Nevada Athletic Commission To Get Serious About Judges." Boxing was again a sport "stained by the incompetency of those employed to judge it" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/17).
UNPOPULAR DECISION: Former boxer Lennox Lewis tweeted, "This fight wasn't close to a draw!" UFC.com's Damon Martin tweeted Byrd is "awful at scoring MMA and boxing." Combat sports podcaster Brendan Schaub: "Decision makes me SICK. This is EXACTLY what is wrong w/ boxing. Biggest fight in years and crooked boxing politics ruined it." ESPN's George Whitfield Jr.: "I love Canelo, but he wouldn't have had himself winning 118-110." Sports writer Ben Dirs: "That Golovkin-Alvarez would prove a bigger farce than Mayweather-McGregor is an irony that only boxing could contrive."
STAR-STUDDED AUDIENCE: In DC, DePaolo & Payne noted TNT's Charles Barkley, Michael J. Fox, Tracy Morgan and Thunder G Russell Westbrook were "among those reportedly ringside" for Alvarez-GGG, as were Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and former NBAer Paul Pierce. WWE was also "reportedly well represented," with Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, John Cena, Roman Reigns and Randy Orton "all in the stands." Others "reportedly sitting" ringside included 50 Cent, Andre Royo, Chris Brown, Dave Chappelle, George Lopez, LL Cool J, Mario Lopez, Mark Wahlberg, Marlon Wayans, Mike Tyson, Adrien Broner and UFC President Dana White, as well as LRMR Management Founder Maverick Carter (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 9/17).