Photos: Ed Mulholland
Living inside the boxing bubble, it is sometimes easy to lose perspective. While not designed to do so, Grand Arrival Day during a big Las Vegas fight week can be a powerful corrective to that: there has been more than one occasion when the main eventers of what has been billed as a major fight have walked a velvet-rope-lined pathway into the lobby of the MGM Grand, only to be met by a desultory crowd comprising a handful of hardcore fans, a few curious gawkers, and a gaggle of luggage-toting convention-goers waiting in line to check in.
Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin is not one of those fights. If Tuesday’s grand arrivals are any indication, this is not only a fight that the core of boxing fandom is anxious to see. This is an event.
There are other signs, not least the fact that the T-Mobile Arena is completely sold out for Saturday’s card; but when a crowd lines up four or five or six deep on a Tuesday morning, four days before the fight itself, and when the temperature outside is 100 degrees, then something is brewing.
The crowd was perhaps cheering most loudly for Canelo, but the Bringer of Kazakh Thunder had plenty of supporters of his own, the whole mass roaring as first Golovkin and then Alvarez appeared and walked onto the stage. They answered questions for the crowd, and then from assembled media, and then with a wave and a smile – and, in Canelo’s case, a few autographs – they were gone.
And with that, fight week had officially begun.