By Dan Ambrose: HBO commentator Roy Jones Jr. doubts that WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will choose to fight interim WBC champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin if Canelo can get past his fight in two weeks against Amir Khan, because Jones believes that Canelo will be facing Manny Pacquiao for much more money. Golovkin looked sensational last night in dispatching Dominic Wade (18-1, 12 KOs) in two rounds in a fight televised by HBO Boxing from The Forum in Inglewood, California. The win by Golovkin may have scared Canelo off unfortunately.
There’s little doubt that Pacquiao’s promoters at Top Rank would make the fight between Pacquiao and Canelo if the Filipino star chooses to return to the ring this year. However, Pacquiao is now retired and is supposed to be going into a life of politics in the Philippines.
Pacquiao is not likely going to come back to the sport to fight a dangerous opponent like Canelo, who would have at least a 20-pound weight advantage over him, possibly even as 25lb weight advantage. That would be an unreal circus-like fight.
“I’m in agreement that Canelo won’t want to fight him [Golovkin] because why would he want to fight a bigger man when he can fight somebody like [Manny] Pacquiao,” said Roy Jones Jr. to HBO. “[Freddie] Roach talked about him [Golovkin] fighting the smaller man [Pacquiao] and making way more money in a less riskier fight,” said Jones.
I don’t think we’re going to see a fight between Pacquiao and Canelo. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum was talking up a fight between Pacquiao and Canelo in the weeks leading up to the third fight between Pacquiao and Tim Bradley earlier this month, but I got the sense that Arum was doing this to try and pump up interest in the Pacquiao-Bradley 3 fight, which seemed to really need some life breathed into it.
There was no interest from the boxing community in the Pacquiao-Bradley 3 fight compared to the other two times they faced each other. By Arum name dropping Canelo’s name in connection with Pacquiao for a future fight, it looked to me like Arum was trying to generate interest in the Pacquiao-Bradley fight because sometimes fans show interest in preliminary fights when there is a much bigger one on the horizon.
HBO commentator Jim Lampley thinks Canelo will opt to take the fight against Golovkin because he’ll want to please the fans, who badly want to see him fight Golovkin.
“I think Canelo is the type of competitor that wants to please the fans. I think he understands and respects the boxing public,” said Lampley last night.”
I don’t think Canelo is looking at it in the same way that Lampley is. Canelo seems to be making his decisions based on business rather than the sport. If Canelo was focused on the sport, he wouldn’t be facing a welterweight in Amir Khan in his next fight. That’s a business move. If Canelo was focused on the sport, he would fight at the full weight for the middleweight division at 160 rather than at a catch-weight of 155, which he clearly doesn’t need, given that he rehydrates into the 170s.
If Canelo was looking at boxing as a sport, he’d be fighting Golovkin on May 7 or one of the other top middleweights. Instead, we’re seeing Canelo take what many boxing fans see as a safe fight against the smaller Khan, who fights in a weight class that is two divisions below the one that Canelo is fighting in now. Since it’s established that Canelo is focusing on making business decisions in boxing rather than on making sport decisions, I see him ducking the Golovkin fight and either fighting a rematch against Miguel Cotto in September or facing former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux at a catch-weight of 155lbs.
There are no popular junior middleweights for Canelo to fight right now other than Cotto, and Canelo is probably not going to fight any of the dangerous middleweights like Daniel Jacobs, Golovkin, Andy Lee, or Peter Quillin. Lemieux fights for the same promoters that Canelo is promoted by at Golden Boy, and he’s very vulnerable. I think Canelo will fight Lemieux or Cotto. I don’t think he’ll choose another welterweight in back to back fights, because that might be a bad career move for him. Canelo would look bad if he keeps selecting opponents from the welterweight division while Golovkin, who is the same size as him, is wiping out middleweights one after another.
Jones says he doesn’t think it’s a good idea for WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez to fight Golovkin right now because it would be unfair to the 24-year-old Ramirez because he doesn’t have the experience to fight a seasoned pro like Golovkin. Jones instead would like to see Ramirez pick up experience before he eventually faces Golovkin at some point in the future. The problem with that is Ramirez’s promoters at Top Rank want to turn him into a star quickly, and they’re not going to be able to do that unless they can find big names that are willing to fight him. Golovkin and his promoter Tom Loeffler are open to the idea of fighting Ramirez if they can’t get a fight against Canelo or WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. Loeffler says that Ramirez is the third option for them if they come up empty in trying to get those fights.
“It would be more interesting than the challenger we saw tonight that’s for sure, because that guy doesn’t have much experience either,” Jones said when asked if he liked the idea of Gilberto Ramirez fighting Golovkin next. “I’s not going to be that much more interesting. For him to step in and take Triple G right now, it would almost be unfair to him because he’s going in against one of the best pound-for-pound and one of the best fighters of all time in the middleweight division. He hasn’t had the opportunity to grow himself as a champion. So I think it’s unfair to stick hi in front of Triple G right now. Give him some more
opportunities to develop himself and develop his skills, then bring him to Triple G, because Triple G isn’t going anywhere. He’ll be right there waiting. So let this guy develop and then bring him Triple G,” said Jones.
When asked if Ramirez would have a chance of beating Golovkin right now due to the Kazahkstan fighter’s style being a fairly simple straight ahead type style of fighting, Jones said “No, he [Ramirez] would not, because he has to learn how to avoid that situation for 12 rounds. That’s what experience does. Avoid it for two rounds is okay, but for 12 rounds. You saw Chocolatito tonight. The guy [McWilliams Arroyo] was able to do well for two or three rounds. After the third round, Chocolatito turned the warm level up to hot. Once he turned it up to hot, it got real hot in there. That’s where experience comes in at. You have to learn how and know how to keep the hot button on warm for 12 rounds. If he ever gets it to hot, you’re in trouble,” said Jones.
Ramirez would be in big trouble against Golovkin even with experience. He just doesn’t hit hard enough and he mostly throws arm punches and runs around the ring. Golovkin would have countless opportunities to connect with body shots that would take the movement away from Ramirez, and force him to fight stationary. Ramirez is nothing special when he’s stationary.