As was expected, promoters announced Thursday that the May 5 rematch for the middleweight title between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez will be held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
T-Mobile was the site of the first meeting between the two that wound up as a controversial split draw. Judge Adalaide Byrd came under the most intense pressure after scoring the bout 118-110, or 10 rounds to two, in favor of Alvarez. The majority opinion was that Golovkin had won a close fight. Dave Moretti scored the fight 115-113 for Golovkin, but judge Don Trella had it 114-114, so it was a draw.
Trella’s card was controversial because he scored the seventh, widely viewed as Golovkin’s best round, for Alvarez. Had Trella scored the seventh for Golovkin, Golovkin would have won the fight.
Madison Square Garden in New York badly wanted the fight and made a strong bid for it. Golovkin’s team would have preferred New York, but promoter Tom Loeffler didn’t object strenuously to the rematch going to Las Vegas again.
He will, he said, have much to say when the judges are selected. When Byrd was mentioned, Loeffler said, “Well, we know she won’t be judging this fight. But you know what, I don’t think we can put the entire blame on her. I don’t know how Don Trella scored the seventh round for Canelo.
“Everybody I know of thought Gennady won the seventh. If he scores that round correctly, there isn’t an issue. But we feel Gennady’s career was definitely damaged by the scoring and it affected negotiations for the rematch. We will take a much closer look at the officials this time.”
Tickets go on sale Tuesday at 10 a.m., the same day a fan event will take place at Microsoft Square at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. Tickets are priced from $300 to $5,000.
Golovkin vowed he’ll be so definitive in victory that the judges’ won’t be able to get it wrong.
“It feels right that the rematch returns to the scene of the crime,” Golovkin said. “This time, there will be no drama with a decision. I won the first fight and left the ring as world champion wearing all the belts. And I’m going to win the second fight. It’s going to be a record fight and a golden night for me and boxing at T-Mobile Arena.”