Ward’s trainer: If Golovkin moves to 168, we’ll come down to fight him
By Eric Baldwin: Light heavyweight world champion Andre “SOG” Ward’s trainer Virgil Hunter says he’ll move back down to 168 to fight Gennady “GGG” Golovkin when he moves up in weight to the super middleweight division. Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez is saying that he plans on moving up to 168 either directing after his June fight or after a possible fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in September.
It appears that Golovkin will be done with the middleweight division by the end of 2017, and that makes it possible for him to fight Ward at 168 if he comes down from the light heavyweight division where he currently holds the IBF/WBA/WBO titles. Ward has a rematch against former 175 lb. champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev that is supposed to be taking place on June 17 on HBO PPV. After that fight, Ward would be available to come down to 168 to meet with GGG if there’s interest from his side in making the fight.
With Golovkin fighting at super middleweight, there wouldn’t be any excuse for him not to fight Ward, because he would be now be fighting in the same division as him. Hunter says that Ward is still a super middleweight. He doesn’t say whether Ward will be staying at 168 if he moves down to fight Golovkin. It might be a good option for Ward to stay at super middleweight. There aren’t enough big fights at 175 for Ward to keep getting nice paydays like the one he received for his last fight against Kovalev last November.
“If he moves up in weight, we’ll fight him there,” said Hunter to Dontae’s Boxing Nation about Golovkin moving to 168. “We have unfinished business at light heavyweight. I don’t know if we’ll go back down, but he’s not a light heavyweight. He’s still a middleweight. We’ll move back down. There shouldn’t be any reason now why he wouldn’t fight us. He should have a real good reason. I don’t think he can use those excuses again after we finish with Kovalev and decide to move back down. Of course, he can make 168 if the money’s right,” said Hunter about Ward. “Most definitely, he’s still a super middleweight,” said Hunter.
Golovkin vs. Ward would be a big money fight on HBO PPV. It would certainly bring in many more PPV buys than Golovkin’s recent fight against Daniel Jacobs on March 18, which brought in 170,000 buys according to Yahoo Sports News. Not a lot of boxing fans purchased the Golovkin-Jacobs fight. That’s not all Golovkin’s fault. He was facing competition on the night of the fight from NCAA men’s basketball and a Major League Baseball game that were televised at the same time. Jacobs isn’t even a big draw in his own hometown of New York.
Fighting Jacobs was never going to be a big money fight on HBO PPV for Golovkin. That being said, Ward vs. Golovkin might be a big enough fight to bring in a large number of PPV buys on HBO. The only problem that Golovkin might have is getting a big enough split of the revenue for it to be worthwhile. If Golovkin wants to take the bigger split, he might have problems, because Ward is a big star in his own right. It would probably need to be a 50-50 deal for the Golovkin-Ward fight to make sense.
Hunter’s comments about Ward being willing to move down to 168 to fight Golovkin will now put pressure on Triple G’s management to decide what they’ll say about this offer. Do they just ignore and keep it from having any legs or do they agree the fight. Will Golovkin’s team reject the fight offer by saying that they’re only interested in fighting for the world titles or against the guys that are highly ranked and stand in the way of him getting a title shot.
Golovkin’s management can put any hurdles they want to keep the Ward fight from happening if they’re not interested in the fight. Ward isn’t a title holder at 168, and he’s no longer ranked in the division. If Team Golovkin say that Ward must be rated highly or have one of the titles in his possession for them to make the fight, then that would suggest to some that the interest isn’t there in making that fight from GGG’s side.
“I do know they said he was willing to fight anybody from 154 to 168,” said Hunter about Golovkin. “At the time, we were at 168. When we found that out, we said, ‘Why not? We will fight you at 168.’ It was a legitimate fight. The best fight the best, and we consider him a top fighter, one of the best, so why not. But when he came there, that’s what we were met with, a lot of excuses or reasons. Just to give him the benefit of the doubt, I’ll say reasons. [Such as] From they had other ideas; they had another plan at middleweight to get all the belts or the next time you would hear that the money we would want, a certain amount of money. That’s what we were supposed to do. We weren’t going to take it for nothing. Then all of a sudden it became about a draw at the gate and all this kind of stuff. I think anybody that knows boxing knows wherever that fight [Golovkin vs. Ward] was, it was going to draw. It would have been a sold out arena wherever it was. So they have to answer that question. We’re willing to fight him,” said Hunter about Golovkin.