On pins and needles…
There’s not all that much going on in boxing this upcoming week but that certainly doesn’t mean we media members who cover the sport won’t have something to talk about. Hey, there’s always something taking place on Bash Blvd.
Now, for the past several weeks, I’ve been asked, ad nauseam, on various social media platforms if I know where the Sept. 16 bout between middleweight ruler Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will take place. Folks, I promise you; I don’t know. Yes, I do have very good relationship with the parties involved (K2 Promotions’ Tom Loeffler and Golden Boy Promotions) but they are guarding this secret as if it were the formula for Coca-Cola.
Trust me; I don’t even know where I’ll be that weekend.
Everyone knows the two most viable sites are Las Vegas (either the MGM Grand or the T-Mobile Arena) and Dallas/Arlington, Texas with AT&T Stadium. Everywhere else mentioned was basically click-bait. Now, it says here it would be a significant upset if this mega-event didn’t land in the 702. Seriously, just when was the last time Las Vegas and the powers-that-be didn’t host a fight they absolutely wanted?
It’s also being floated out there that Golden Boy Promotions is trying to leverage other (future) dates from the MGM in exchange for hosting this fight. There also is the specter of the tentative Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor fight and, by letting the MGM host GGG-Canelo, this will ensure Golden Boy has the stage all to itself in September.
As for Jerry Jones – who, in the past, has hosted boxing but never the real super-fight he craves – one source says, as of yet, he has not even put in a bid for the fight.
Regardless, the unveiling of the venue for Sept. 16 will be made soon. The press tour for this fight will begin on Monday, June 19 in London and hit Mexico, Los Angeles and New York.
Till then, you may want to book flights and hotels (refundable, of course) to either Vegas or Texas.
The other story that has many in the industry curious is just what Top Rank is up to. For a few months now, Bob Arum has hinted that there will be a paradigm shift in the business in how and whom televises boxing – at least from Top Rank’s perspective.
For years, they have been HBO’s main content provider but Arum has been frustrated for awhile by the network and his last two pay-per-view cards (which featured WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao and WBO featherweight titlist Oscar Valdez) were self-produced and distributed by Top Rank. And in the immediate aftermath of WBC/WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford’s victory over Felix Diaz at Madison Square Garden on May 20, the veteran promoter sauntered over to press row and made it clear that neither HBO nor Showtime “run boxing” – or at least Top Rank’s business.
This much is clear: Top Rank will be on a new platform it will, more or less, control. Various industry insiders have speculated they will do something akin to the WWE (which has its own streaming network) or a “BoxNation”-like package similar to the one that exists in Great Britain.
Managers who have boxers with the company have not been told the specifics of this new venture but have been informed that their clients will have the opportunity to fight three or four times a year, if they so desire. One of Arum’s main gripes is, under the current system, marquee boxers were basically limited to two appearances a year on HBO.
It can be safely assumed that there will be online element of some sort to Top Rank’s grand plan. After all, everyone in this business is utilizing streaming to air their content; the question is if whether a television component is involved. And is an investor involved? The past few months Kiddar Capital/Sports has advertised on the Top Rank shows (and, like Waddell & Reed they are an investment firm, lulz).
In less than one month, Pacquiao goes “Down Under” to face Aussie Jeff Horn. Arum has stated for a couple of weeks that they would announce the American television component for this fight. Till then, however, nobody really knows what Top Rank is up to – not even HBO.
WBC light heavyweight beltholder Adonis Stevenson has mastered the art of taking the path of least resistance; hasn’t he?….Azat Hovhannisyan is a handful for a lot of guys at 122…Tickets can be bought all over for the rematch between IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev on June 17 at the Mandalay Bay. Yes. Mr KO Tickets, Jim Boone (@kotickets on Twitter) has deals…Is the “Wonder Woman” movie any good?…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.