Golovkin moving on from Billy Joe Saunders

By Boxing News - 01/18/2016 - Comments

Boxing: Golovkin vs LemieuxBy Dan Ambrose: IBF/IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler has had zero luck in attempting to setup a fight between Golovkin and WBO 160lb champion Billy Joe Saunders for his next fight in 2016. Loeffler and Golovkin are reportedly giving up on the idea of facing Saunders in a unification match.

Instead, they will be looking at other options for Golovkin’s next contest this year. At the moment, IBF mandatory contender Tureano Johnson (19-1, 13 KOs) is in the spotlight as the next potential opponent for the hard hitting 33-year-old Golovkin to fight.

However, Loeffler has other potential opponents he’s looking at for Golovkin to fight. Loeffler wants the best potential name he can get for Golovkin’s next fight. Tureano is not a big name, but he is a dangerous opponent and arguably a tougher out than Saunders and some of the other top fighters in the middleweight division.

Golovkin has one fight to get out of the way before he looks to face WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez later on this year in a unification match. It’s still unclear whether Canelo will take the fight against Golovkin or not.

Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy could wind up dodging the fight with Golovkin by asking for too much of a purse split or insisting on a catch-weight of 155lbs. Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya recently said that if he has it his way, he would offer a 90-10 purse split to Golovkin. That would put the Kazakhstan star in a tough position whether he wants the fight against Canelo bad enough to accept the small money.

It is not surprising that Loffler had little luck in trying to negotiate a fight between Golovkin and Saunders right now. Saunders is coming off a big win over WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee last December, and he has not even defended his newly won WBO title yet. It makes sense for Saunders to get in some title defenses of his belt to make some money before he eventually faces Golovkin in the future.

The fight will likely happen eventually if Saunders does not lose his belt in one of his defenses, but right now, it does not make sense for Saunders to take the fight unless he gets a big payday. That’s not a match-up that would be pay-per-view worthy in the United States. There is little chance that HBO would agree to put Golovkin vs. Saunders on PPV.

It would be a fight that would likely not even bring in 100,000 PPV buys, because Saunders isn’t a household name with the casual boxing fans in America. The money would not be there to give Saunders the huge payday that he would be looking for in order to take the fight.

Saunders recently said that he would potentially face Golovkin if he were willing to travel to the UK to fight him in his own country. It is unclear whether he was serious or not with that offer. If he were, then it would seem that Loeffler did not like the idea of having Golovkin fight outside of the U.S against Saunders.

Loeffler does not have many great options for Golovkin to fight in his next bout. Besides Tureano, the rest of the names that are potentially available are not huge recognizable stars. Loeffler could offer the fight to Andy Lee, but I am not sure if he would accept it with him coming off a loss.

It always looks bad when a champion faces an opponent that lost their last fight. Some of the junior middleweights would be interesting for Golovkin to fight, but it is not probable that Loeffler would be excited at putting Golovkin in with a 154lb fighter.

There are some potentially difficult opponents for Golovkin to fight from the junior middleweight division like Demetrius Andrade, Erislandy Lara, Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo and Liam Smith. At least one of them would possibly agree to fight Golovkin if the money was right. However, it would be a tough fight for Golovkin to face one of those fighters.

You can make an argument that the Charlo brothers and Adrade are even more difficult fights for Golovkin than a fight against Canelo, because those fighters have more facets to their game than Canelo does.

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