Andre Ward not in the picture for Golovkin, says Loeffler
By Dan Ambrose: IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler says that a fight between Golovkin and WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward isn’t in the picture in the near future.
The only reason there was talk of a Golovkin-Ward fight in the recent past was because the media keeps asking Golovkin and Ward questions about when/if they’ll be fighting each other, and they’ve answered the questions the best that they could. But as far as an actual fight goes between them, it’s not going to happen anytime soon if ever, says Loeffler.
Golovkin’s focus right now is on his unification fight against IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs) on October 17th on HBO pay-per-view at Madison Square Garden in New York. If Golovkin beats Lemieux, then Loeffler says he’s going to try and match him against the winner of the November 21st fight between WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. If Golovkin defeats the winner of that fight, then Loeffler will continue to have Golovkin try and unify the remaining title belonging to WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee.
If Ward wants a fight against Golovkin, he’s likely going to have to wait a long, long time for the fight to happen. We’re probably talking about 5 years or more. Ward will be 37 by that time, and I’m not sure that it’s a fight that the boxing public will even care about. If Golovkin keeps growing in popularity over the next five years, I don’t think the fight between him and Ward could even be made. It would be too much of an imbalance in popularity for Golovkin to his waste his time moving up two entire divisions to fight Ward at light heavyweight. If Golovkin were to make a move up to 175, he’d be better off facing a star on the rise like Sergey Kovalev than he would be for him to fight Ward, who hasn’t done much his career since winning the Super Six tournament in 2011. Kovalev is on his way up while Ward seems to be going downhill by not fighting and not facing the top guys that he needs to in order to increase his star power.
“Andre approached me at the Mayweather fight, and he said we shouldn’t use his name if the fights not going to be happening,” Loeffler said to Fighthype. “We haven’t had any negotiations for an Andre Ward fight. That whole thing came about from a private e-mail to Dan Rafael, and he wrote an article about it, so there haven’t been any negotiations [with Ward]. Right now, Gennady’s focused on unifying the middleweight division. He said he’d move down to fight Floyd; that’s his answer. Before, he was saying he’d fight anyone from 154 to 168. For him [Golovkin] to move outside of 160lbs there has to be a compelling fight. Andre Ward is certainly a great champion. He’s beaten a number of great fighters a few years ago. But when the Carl Froch fight came up, I was negotiation with Eddie [Hearn] for about a week and then that kind of went away pretty quickly, so he’s [Golovkin] not moving up or down just to see if he can gain or lose weight if there’s a huge fight. Andre, his last fight was at 172. So I don’t know if he’s going to stay at light heavyweight or keep fighting at 168.”
It’s hard to say whether Loeffler will be able to get a fight for Golovkin against the winner of the Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders. I think not. But it’s still in Golovkin’s best interest to stay at middleweight so that he’s in position to fight the other top middleweights and junior middleweights than it would be for him to move up to super middleweight to fight Andre Ward.
For Golovkin to fight Ward, it would probably mean that Golovkin would have to move up to the full weight of the division at 168 for the fight to happen, because Ward likely wouldn’t be able to make 164 for a catch-weight fight. Golovkin would be giving up a lot of weight against Ward if he was to take that fight, and that wouldn’t be a good deal for him. Besides that, Ward has a wrestling/grappling style in which he wrestles his opponents on the
inside to keep them from throwing punches if they have any kind of punching power. You could expect Ward to use his superior size to wrestle Golovkin to keep him from throwing punches much in the same way Ricky Hatton used grappling to keep Kostya Tszyu from getting the better of him in their fight a decade ago. If Golovkin was 190lb fighter with great inside wrestling moves like Ward, it would be a good fight to take, but he’s not a wrestler and he’s not someone that drains down from the 190s to make 168. It wouldn’t be a good deal for him because he wouldn’t have the size or the wrestling skills to get Ward off of him.
“Right now, we’re focused on Lemieux, and then we’re focused on the winner of Cotto-Canelo,” Loeffler said. “So there’s really not much to discuss in regard to that situation right now. I think that whole thing [Golovkin vs. Ward] was blown out of proportion. I think Andre answers questions when asked about Gennady, and Gennady answers questions when asked about fighting Andre Ward. So I think that whole situation is blown out of proportion. For it [Golovkin vs. Ward] to marinate for a while is one thing, but they’re in two different weight classes; just like Gennady’s not going to wait. If Gennady waited for the Floyd Mayweather fight, he’d probably be waiting his entire career not fighting. He wants to fight. He fights 3-4 times a year. If that fight [Golovkin vs. Mayweather] fight happens, great. If the Andre Ward [vs. Golovkin] fight happens, great. His [Ward] manager said they want to do tune-up fights, which seems like what the last one was, and probably the next one will be, and then we’ll see where he’s at. But right now, Gennady’s focused on if he can unify the middleweight division, that’s his focus. David Lemieux, we give him a lot of credit, because he’s the first champion to actually agree to get in the ring and risk his title fighting Gennady Golovkin. You’ve got [Roman] ‘Chocolito’ Gonzalez vs. Brian Viloria, probably the best co-feature fight we’ve seen in a long time. That could be its own main event and the fans are real excited about this fight. Chocolito at the forum with his HBO debut, he made a tremendous splash with the fans. He’s on the pound-for-pound list, top of all those lists, and when you couple him with someone like Gennady, who is now fighting another champion, it’s a tremendous combination,” Loeffler said.
I don’t get the feeling that Loeffler is interested in having Golovkin move up to super middleweight to fight Ward. It’s not just a situation where Golovkin would have to fight a bigger super middleweight. Ward is now having problems getting down to super middleweight after being out of the ring for close to two years.
Ward had one fight recently at light heavyweight against Paul Smith, and his next fight is expected to be at light heavyweight as well. If Golovkin were to face Ward now, he’d likely be facing a genuine light heavyweight rather than a super middleweight. That would be like Ward choosing to fight someone two divisions above him like heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. It doesn’t matter how good of a wrestler Ward is, he’d get picked apart by Wladimir and likely knocked out no matter how much holding and wrestling he did on the inside.