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Billy Joe Saunders calls out Gennady Golovkin

By Scott Gilfoid: It looks like IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) won’t have any problems getting his unification fight against World Boxing Organization 160lb champion Billy Joe Saunders (23-0, 12 KOs), because Saunders created a video today calling Golovkin out for his next fight. Saunders, 26, saw Golovkin’s fight against the pumped up welterweight Kell Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) last night, and he wasn’t all that impressed with what he saw from GGG. Saunders says he saw flaws in his game that he thinks he can take advantage of, and he DEFINITELY wants to fight Golovkin next.

Barring any kinds of injuries, Golovkin is expected to be back in the ring in December, and he says he’d like to fight in the UK against Saunders if possible.

Golovkin stopped Kell Brook in the 5th round last Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, England. The fight was halted by referee Marlon Wright after Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle threw in the towel in the 5th to save Brook from taking punishment. Brook had been hurt to the eye and he appeared to be hurt from a body shot from Golovkin moments before the stoppage. Ingle was astute enough to see that Brook had nothing left in the tank and was ready to be knocked out in the clinical sense.

“I’m a boxer, I’m open for everybody, but I want a unification fight. First of all, I would like Billy-Joe Saunders because he has the WBO belt,” said Golovkin.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for the Golovkin-Saunders fight to take place anytime soon, because I suspect that Saunders will wind up fighting Saul Canelo Alvarez in December rather than Golovkin. It’s good news that Saunders is interested in fighting Golovkin, because that makes his work a lot easier. Of course, we’ve heard Saunders open his mouth in the past about wanting to fight Golovkin, and the fight never happened. As such, it’s quite possible that Saunders is merely name dropping rather than being serious about wanting to fight Golovkin. By name dropping, Saunders can get a lot of badly needed publicity without having to risk his hide by getting in the ring and actually fighting Triple G. It would be great for the boxing fans if Saunders is serious about wanting to fight Golovkin, but I have my doubts whether he’s serious or not.

You have to remember that Saunders is one of the names that Golden Boy Promotions is interested in matching against their flagship fighter Saul Canelo Alvarez in the near future. Believe me, with Saunders now mentioning Golovkin’s name, it could increase the urgency for Golden Boy to make a fight between Saunders and Canelo for December. If Golden Boy wants Canelo to get to the WBO middleweight title before Golovkin does, then they’ll move almost immediately to sign him up for Canelo to fight in December. Without the WBO 160lb title, Canelo and Golden Boy wouldn’t be able to get leverage to get a MUCH bigger cut of the purse in a potential fight against Golovkin in September 2017.

Right now, if the Golovkin-Canelo fight takes place, Golovkin would be the multi-title world champion at middleweight, and Canelo just a popular challenger with a large built in fan base in the U.S. But if he can win the WBO middleweight title off of Saunders, Canelo can say that he’s not only popular, but he’s also a world champion at middleweight. Canelo and Golden Boy could then give Golovkin a take it or leave it 90-10 offer for the money split for the fight. If Golovkin says no, then Canelo could move on guilt free.

“Let’s get one thing straight; Kell Brook is a welterweight, not a middleweight. I am a full-fledged middleweight. There is no welterweights here. Golovkin, no problems at all. I imagine you’ll be around for a couple of days. I’ve spoken to my management this morning. We will definitely get it on. I definitely want you on your next available date. I’m fighting on the 29th of October. So, Golovkin, I’m ready when you are. What date you come back with me with is the date I’ll accept. I’ll give the fans what they want to see. I saw faults and flaws in you last night that I know I can pick out. Let’s see who the best is for all the belts.”

Like I said, I don’t see Saunders vs. Golovkin taking place this year. I see this video by Saunders as a way for him to get Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy to hurry up and sign a fight against Saunders for December rather than them putting the winner of the Gabriel Rosado vs. Willie Monroe Jr. fight this Saturday in with Canelo in December. I think Golden Boy would make that fight if they thought Saunders wasn’t going to take a risky fight against Golovkin, because they would have no reason to rush to sign him for Canelo. But they obviously can’t have Golovkin swoop in and get to Saunders first, because then that would leave Canelo with no way of picking up a middleweight title to help validate his credentials to ask for a huge cut of the financial pie for a Canelo-Golovkin fight.

Saunder still doesn’t have an opponent for his October 29 fight, but it’s expected to be an easy mark in terms of it being a likely weak fringe contender rather than a highly ranked contender with the talent to defeat Saunders. The odds of Saunders facing a live body for his next fight in October are EXTREMELY remote in my view. I see Saunders taking on a fodder opponent, and then looking to fight Canelo in December.

Saunders hasn’t fought since last December when he beat Andy Lee by a 12 round majority decision to win the WBO 160lb title. It was a close fight, but Saunders edged I by knocking Lee down a couple of times in the 3rd round. Saunders was supposed to have already defended his WBO title by now against Max Bursak last summer, but Saunders suffered a hand injury that caused that fight to be canceled. I wouldn’t be surprised if Saunders still goes ahead and fights Bursak, because he’s arguably one of the easiest marks in the WBO’s top 15 rankings at the present time.




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