Photos: Ed Mulholland
By Bradford William Davis
“We’re respecting the fans’ wishes,” Oscar De La Hoya told the appreciative crowd on hand for the latest stop on the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin press tour. Fans in attendance at The Theater at Madison Square Garden interrupted the Golden Boy promoter’s words with enthusiastic cheers for both fighters, proving his point.
The red carpet event was driven by the passion fans have for Canelo and GGG, and their relief that the fight they longed to see is finally happening. The atmosphere had the feel of a generational rivalry, a “Yankees vs. Red Sox” or “Celtics vs. Lakers” of boxing, with supporters of each elite fighter trying their best to outdo the other.
De La Hoya announced that the September 16th mega-fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas will have a fan friendly start time of 8 PM ET/5PM PT.
In his remarks, De La Hoya was careful to note that Canelo and Golovkin were “two real boxers,” eliciting another roar from the crowd, as he not-so-subtly hinted that this is the biggest fight that boxing has to offer.
After the fighters and their array of handlers and promoters answered questions, De La Hoya tapped the audience once again, selecting four spirited fans to come on stage and give their predictions for the fight. Two fans draped in Mexican-flag ponchos and sombreros seized the opportunity to lead the crowd in a “Canelo” chant. In response, the GGG fans touted their fighter’s technical skill.
After leaving the stage, one of the Golovkin fans, Carlos, told Inside HBO Boxing that he found this fight particularly meaningful because “it’s the fight that fans want.” He added, “When fans want a certain fight, and they get made, it becomes a special occasion.”