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WBC recognizes Gennady Golovkin as new 160lb champion

Gennady Golovkin Saul AlvarezBy Dan Ambrose: It didn’t take the World Boxing Council long to recognize Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) as the new WBC middleweight champion earlier on Wednesday. Moments after Saul “Canelo” Alvarez made an announcement that he was vacating his WBC title, the WBC announced that Golovkin is now the new WBC middleweight champion.

It didn’t take long at all for the WBC to give Golovkin the belt. It’s a good thing because it would have been a tragedy if Golovkin had to fight Canelo at a catch-weight in order to fight for the vacant WBC middleweight title.


Here’s what the WBC said in their statement:

”The World Boxing Council has received official confirmation from Golden Boy Promotions with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez decision to vacate the WBC middleweight championship . Gennady Golovkin is hereby recognized as the undisputed WBC middleweight champion of the world. The WBC wishes “Canelo” Alvarez great success in his career and will certainly look forward to see Golovkin vs Alvarez materialize in the future.”

Golovkin has been trying to get a fight against Canelo ever since he won the WBC middleweight title against Miguel Cotto last November. Canelo has been insisting that he’s still a 154lb fighter, and that he’s not ready to fight anyone at the full weight of 160lbs.

It would be a reasonable thing for a junior middleweight to say if they were someone that rehydrates into the low 160s. But Canelo is someone that rehydrates into the 170s, which makes him the same weight if not heavier than Golovkin. There’s no reason for Canelo to be needing a catch-weight for a fight against Golovkin.

I think Canelo’s move in vacating his WBC title today was a strategic move made on his and his promoters at Golden Boy’s part to start negotiating a catch-weight fight against GGG.

Canelo and Golden Boy wouldn’t have been able to do this if he’d held onto the WBC title, because the WBC couldn’t force Golovkin to agree to a catch-weight of 155lbs. But now that Canelo is no longer weighed down with the WBC belt, he can basically tell Golovkin if he wants the fight with him, he’ll need to agree to fight him at his special weight class of 155lbs. In other words, Golovkin would be just like any other fighter that wants to fight Canelo. If they want the fight with him, then they need to agree to his catch-weight if that’s what he wants.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the negotiations between Canelo and Golovkin. Canelo says “I will fight ‘GGG,’ and I will beat ‘GGG’ but I will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines.” If he really believes that he can beat Golovkin, then he shouldn’t need a weight handicap to get him to come down to 155lbs to gain an edge against him.

The question now is whether Golovkin will still say no to Canelo if he tries to push for a weight handicap to get him to drain down to 155. Canelo’s promoters could potentially dangle a carrot to get Golovkin to drain down to 155 by offering him more money if he’ll agree to it.

One gets the sense that unless Golovkin agrees to the catch-weight, he won’t get the fight otherwise. I think the 155lb catch-weight is likely a given that Golovkin will need to agree to if he wants to fight Canelo. If he says no, then I can see Canelo and Golden Boy going in another direction, especially now that the WBC belt no longer has them trapped.

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