Originally published on Dallasobserver.com
For a man known for deep pockets and persuasiveness, Jerry Jones continues to get outbid.
On Sept. 16, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will face Gennady Golovkin in the biggest and most important fight in boxing. And once again — as with earlier major fights — Jones may try to pry it away from Las Vegas and host it at AT&T Stadium.
AT&T Stadium has hosted the NBA All-Star game, a Super Bowl, a college football championship and Wrestlemania. But despite Jones’ attempts, it has yet to attract important boxing bouts, largely because his bids do not top those of Las Vegas’ guaranteed money.
But given the Sept. 16 fight’s importance, Jones will aggressively bid to host the fight, according to Tony Aguilar, whose Golden Eagle Promotions has hosted boxing events throughout Texas — including several at the Bomb Factory. In fact, Aguilar believes the probability of AT&T Stadium hosting Alvarez versus Golovkin is good.
“I think it’s going to be AT&T [Stadium] this time,” he says. “[Jones] knows this one is going to be big.”
If Jones wins the bid to host Alvarez versus Golovkin, it will add to the earlier fights AT&T Stadium has hosted. In 2010, AT&T Stadium hosted two Manny Pacquiao fights — against Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito. There was then a six-year gap until hosting Saul “Canelo” Alvarez against Liam Smith last September.
Although Pacquiao and Alvarez are among the most popular boxers, their opponents were clearly inferior, so the outcomes of those fights were never in question, making the events seem like money grabs.
And though all three fights drew well, they didn’t come close to filling AT&T Stadium. Alvarez versus Golovkin will be different, with Aguilar predicting a sellout and a live screening at the new Dallas Cowboys training facility, The Star in Frisco, to accommodate those who could not buy tickets.
In March, Anthony Joshua defeated Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 fans in London’s Wembley Stadium. Attendance records are as important as ever — especially with the United States’ boxing supremacy in decline.
This is where AT&T Stadium has an advantage over any Las Vegas site: It is one of few stadiums in large cities that can accommodate such a large audience. In short, this is one of the many reasons for building AT&T Stadium — to host marquee events.
Jones’ involvement in boxing may cause some head-scratching. He seems to have enough to do without getting involved in boxing’s notoriously corrupt politics.
In contemporary times, there is Don King, who killed two men on different occasions, the first ruled a justifiable homicide while the other a manslaughter for which King served almost four years in prison. King’s main competitor, Bob Arum, who remains one of boxing’s top promoters, testified in 2000 to paying International Boxing Federation officials a $100,000 bribe to license a fight.
Oscar De La Hoya owns Golden Boy Promotions and promotes Alvarez — one half of the fight card Jones hopes to host at AT&T Stadium. Before the Sept. 16 event, Golden Boy Promotions will present an ESPN2 televised boxing event at The Star in Frisco.
By then, we should know if Jones finally achieved what he has been after for close to a decade or if he has once again failed in taking boxing away from Las Vegas.