By Patrick McHugh: Harold Lederman of HBO thinks WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is trying to avoid fighting his mandatory challenger Gennady “GGG” Golovkin by asking for a catch-weight for the fight, which he doesn’t need.
Lederman thinks it’s silly that the 25-year-old Canelo would be asking for a catch-weight for a title defense at middleweight against Golovkin because the mandatory challenger for Canelo’s belt. To Lederman, he thinks Canelo doesn’t want the fight with Golovkin and is looking for a reason to get out of it.
Canelo has a fight this Saturday night against Amir Khan at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. If Canelo wins the fight, he’ll have a little more than two weeks to decide whether he’ll be defending the belt against Golovkin.
Canelo must let the World Boxing Council know by 15 days after the Khan fight whether he’ll be agreeing to defend the WBC title against Golovkin. If Canelo chooses not to, then the WBC will strip him of the title and give it to Golovkin if Canelo doesn’t vacate it first. It seems that the WBC has bending over backwards to give Canelo chances to keep his WBC title by letting him take a voluntary defense against Khan, when he was supposed to be defending the title against Golovkin next.
“I just don’t understand Canelo. He acts as though he wants to get out of the fight and he could make a huge payday,” said Lederman to Fighthub.com.” Asking for a catchweight, Golovkin doesn’t have to come in below 160, that’s ridiculous, he’s a middleweight. He’s the top rated contender and they should fight for the middleweight title at 160. I think Canelo’s making excuses so that he doesn’t have to fight – if you ask me,” said Lederman.
Canelo would probably take the fight with Golovkin if it were up to him, but he’s got a lot of people giving him advice, and that might be the reason why Canelo ultimately chooses to vacate his WBC title to avoid the Golovkin fight. It makes sense from Canelo’s standpoint not to fight Golovkin until later on in the future.
Canelo can continue to build his name with easier fights against guys that are picked out by his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions. They’re not going to put him in with totally soft opponents, because those fights won’t sell and will just make Canelo look bad in the process. Never the less, Golden Boy will put Canelo in situations where he has a great chance of winning and only a small chance of losing. For example, in Canelo’s fight against Khan this Saturday night.
Canelo is fighting a guy that has a known chin problem in Khan, who is coming up two weight divisions to take the fight. Yes. Khan has a chance of winning, but not a very good one. Enough casual fans are in the dark about Khan’s size disadvantage and chin problem to make the Canelo-Khan fight a success.
Golden Boy can find a high number of similar fighters like Khan in the 147 and 140lb divisions for Canelo to fight and make a lot of money off them. Golovkin would be dangerous for Canelo because he punches harder and is more talented. Golovkin is also the same size as Canelo, and that would be a problem because Canelo is being matched against fighters that weigh less than him. It seems to be a strategic move that Golden Boy has been doing with Canelo’s career and it’s paid off with him using his weight advantage to beat lighter fighters.
“I love Canelo as an opponent. And I like Danny Jacobs. I mean, I think the two of them would be very good opponents,” said Lederman. “Billy Joe Saunders seems to be trying to get out of the fight in the worst way, you know? I don’t know why he don’t want to fight, I don’t know what his story is but, be as it may, I like Danny Jacobs and I like Canelo Alvarez – I think they would be two really good opponents for Gennady Golovkin in my opinion.”
Jacobs is managed by Al Haymon, and the odds of him letting him fight Golovkin are pretty slim right now. I do think Haymon will let Jacobs fight Golovkin one of these days, but probably until Golovkin is older and showing signs of no longer having his skills. It might take another five to six years before we see Jacobs being given the green light to fight Golovkin. By that point in Jacob’s career, he may no longer be a championship level fighter.
Jacobs has a lot of talent, but he’s got some holes in his game that would keep him from being able to beat a fighter like Golovkin. Haymon has to be aware of the flaws that Jacobs has, and that’s probably why won’t see Jacobs put in with Golovkin until the Kazahstan fighter is looking to be on his last legs. If Golovkin is still punching major power into his 40s, then I doubt we’ll ever see Jacobs put in with Golovkin.
“Kell Brook is a very good fighter but there’s so many guys at 147 I think he should stay in the welterweight division – not try to fight a middleweight, that’s crazy,” said Lederman.
I don’t think Brook is seriously interested in fighting Golovkin. Brook recently made comments about being willing to fight Golovkin at a catch-weight in the middleweight division, but that seemed to be just Brook talking and not being seriously interested in that fight. Brook is a good fighter at 147, but Golovkin would be a real problem for him because he’s a much bigger puncher and he would be all over him the moment the fight starts. Brook could have his own problems in the near future if Errol Spence elects to fight in the International Boxing Federation’s title eliminator against Konstantin Ponomarev like the IBF ordered. Right now, it’s debatable whether Spence will take that fight because Ponomarev is promoted by Top Rank, and Spence is with Haymon.