*There’s nothing more exciting than a “Big” fight and what better place for that to take place than in Las Vegas, Nevada where in many circles it has always been considered to be the boxing capital of the world.
Sonny Liston went against Floyd Patterson at the Convention Center, the great “Sugar’ Ray Robinson fought Gene Fulmer there, and “the greatest of all times” Muhammad Ali fought there, and appeared there more times than I can count.
He actually lost his title to a young and upcoming heavyweight contender named Leon Spinks who came into the bout with only 7 pro fights.
“Sugar’ Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Julio Ceasar Chavez, Tommy Hearns, Oscar De La Hoya, “Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holifield, Riddick Bowe, Floyd ” Money’ Mayweather, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and many others have had “Big” fights in Las Vegas and there’s not enough room to fit all of these stories into this piece (did I forget to mention Bernard “The Excecutioner” Hopkins, Felix Trinidad, Fernando Vargas, Larry Holmes, Ken Norton, Michael Dokes, Mike Weaver, Michael Spinks, and what about Timothy ” Desert Storm” Bradley? I could go on and on but what the heck, I think you get my point).
Which brings us to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Amir “King” Khan, another “Big” fight that opened the doors to boxing at the new and fabulous T- Mobile Arena this weekend located right behind the New York, New York Hotel and Resort.
Folks, I got to tell you something. The underworld bosses who built this city decades ago had a unique idea in mind to establish a entertainment mecca that would attract millions of people from around the world. A place where they could get away and entertain themselves, and gamble without a care.
Las Vegas has somehow retained that aura or lure, and as time has progressed since those early days the city has become a vast metropolis and a wonderful place to live. Although it still holds on to the monicker, “Sin City.”
A couple of nights before Saul “Canelo” Alvarez got into the ring with Amir “King” Khan, Golden Boy Promotions which happens to be one the biggest promoters in boxing put on a private inaugural affair at the T-Mobile Arena that had Dan Rafael of ESPN hosting a televised panel discussion with former world champions Lennox Lewis, Evander Holifield, Bernard Hopkins, and Oscar De La Hoya in which they each spoke about their historical experiences in the world of boxing and how their lives have evolved after they left the sport. This was a first class affair folks, that also included a reception afterwards that had a fabulous buffet with a wide assortment Mexican food and lots of music. Our hats go off to all the staff at Golden Boy for putting this on.
The Nevada Boxing Hall Of Fame also sponsored a teaser at the Sake Rok restaurant just across the plaza from the T-Mobile Arena.
What made this event so special was that you had so many boxing legends in attendance from the likes of Leon and Michael Spinks, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, current WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack, Shawn Porter, Kevin Kelly, Shane Mosley, Winky Wright, James “Quick” Tillis, and Mauricio Suliaman the President of the World Boxing Council, and will be honored with an induction into the Hall Of Fame this year on July 31 at Ceasars Palace on the strip.
If you asked me, Las Vegas is the epicenter of boxing like no other place on earth, and I’m not kidding folks.
And the Nevada State Athletic Commission has proven to be the best at governing the sport there than in any other place.
And now to the fight. This one turned out to be a very exciting match with both fighters coming into the ring with deliberate focus, and right on early Khan took the lead with superb boxing skills, landing combinations and jabs and circling the ring staying out the way. And for the first five rounds it was all Amir Khan. But at the start of the sixth you could sense that he was getting a little careless as he was getting hit with some shots from “Canelo”. And near the middle of the round, it all ended with a straight right hand that caught Khan flush aside his chin and he went down and was out like a lamp post.
Folks, it wasn’t pretty to see him lying on his back motionless as if he needed the paramedics.
“Canelo” even knelt over him out of concern to see if he was okay, fortunately he was able to eventually get on his feet.
Say what you want about “Canelo”, there’s one thing for sure and that is he’s one guy who is full of compassion for his fellow man.
As a precaution, Khan was sent to the hospital to get checked out and fortunately he was alright. This all took place in front of a near capacity crowd of some 14,000 plus.
On the undercard David Lemiuex stopped Glen Tapia in four rounds, Frankie Gomez scored a unanimous decision over Mauricio Herrera, and Curtis Stevens made a powerful comeback statement by knocking out Patrick Teixeira 1 minute and 4 seconds going into the second round of their match. Boy what a night of boxing in Las Vegas.
If anyone doubted “Canelo’s” power they had to be mistaken. This guy packs a punch folks, and I’m not kidding. So now the negotiations have started to set up what could be the biggest fight of year between “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.
This is the one that everyone is waiting to see go down. And at this point, no other fight really matters. If the two sides can get on the same page with the proper numbers, and settle on the location , we could possibly see this go down in September. I hear that there are several locations in mind that includes the arena that Texas billionaire Jerry Jones owns, and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles which wouldn’t be a bad idea seeing that both fighters have a huge Mexican fan base there.
As I always say, we’ll see what happens.
“When the tide goes out, that’s when you’ll find out who’s been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffett
Mohammed Mubarak’s Ringside Update can also be read in the High Desert Inland Valley News, and the Pace News. He can be reached at [email protected] for your comments He is an artist as well, and you can go mubarakart.com or mubarakart on instagram and view his works.