When boxer Floyd Mayweather fought UFC fighter Conor McGregor in August, the spectacle lasted 9.5 rounds, but some boxing fans and insiders say that was only because Mayweather let it last that long.
The fight on Sept. 16 in Las Vegas between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, from Mexico, and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, from Kazakhstan, will be different, promises Oscar De La Hoya, whose Golden Boy Promotions is the fight promoter.
“For all those people that paid $100 for, I call it a farce. Come September 16 you’ll be able to watch a real fight. Finally a real fight… it’s going to be 8 to 10 rounds of hell. For both guys. It’s going to be exciting.”
Golovkin, 35, has a 37-0 record while Alvarez, 27, is 49-1-1, the single loss being to Floyd Mayweather in 2013. The fight, billed as “Supremacy,” is for multiple middleweight titles.
Alvarez is young, attractive, and beloved in his home country of Mexico. He has endorsement deals with Heineken-owned beer brand Tecate and Hennessy cognac, both with the aim of making him more of a star in the United States.
De La Hoya says Alvarez has the potential to “break records in years to come.” (Of course, he would say that—he’s promoting his fighter.) Alvarez’s brand image as a boxer, De La Hoya says, is about seriousness: he respects the sport; values hard work and training; he isn’t a moneyed playboy. He is, in some ways, the antithesis of Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
And De La Hoya has high hopes that Alvarez can not only grow his own stardom, but help the sport.
“I think boxing is at a place right now where we’re starting to feel and see the momentum shifting. In the last few years, the sport has generated close to 10 million Pay-Per-Views in only two fights. I think we have an opportunity to bring back those glory days, to bring back the business of boxing.”
It’s a bullish take, considering that the two fights he references both featured the same fighter, Mayweather, who claims to now be retired. And the Mayweather-McGregor fight left many fans outraged and demanding refunds after Showtime and UFC.tv streams of the fight, for $99, failed to work.
But the Alvarez-Golovkin fight may leave fans happier. “We know for sure that the fight is going to deliver,” says De La Hoya, promoting. “We know for sure this fight is going to be two trains colliding.”
Daniel Roberts is the sports business writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.