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Canelo already ducking Jermall Charlo? Not fighting GGG for WBC belt

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s decision to not fight for Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s WBC title in their fight on September 16 has more than a few boxing fans whispering that this is a move by the redheaded Mexican star to avoid having to potentially fight the talented WBC mandatory challenger Jermall Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs).

If Canelo beats GGG, he would be the new WBC champion. While that would have to be considered a great honor for the 27-year-old Canelo, it would also mean that he would have a huge burden of having to defend the WBC strap against Charlo. However, with Canelo deciding he’s not going to fight for the WBC belt, he’s relieved of a burden that could have been a disaster for him.

Jermall, 6’0”, is a lot taller than Canelo, and he would be a do or die type of fight for the Golden Boy star. Even if he gets past GGG, there would no easy marks right off the bat. The World Boxing Council would expect Canelo to defend against Jermall.

Canelo vacated his WBC middleweight title last year when he was supposed to fight Golovkin. That was seen by boxing fans as a duck job by Canelo. Now it looks to some fans like Canelo is set it up to do a duck job against Charlo. Canelo must beat Golovkin to be put in the position to fight Charlo, but it looks peculiar that he’s already made it clear that he won’t fight for the WBC title.

What are the people in the sport of boxing supposed to think? Why didn’t Canelo choose to not fight for the IBF title? If Canelo beat Golovkin, he would only need to fight #1 IBF Tureano Johnson. That’s arguably much easier fight than facing Charlo. I have my doubts whether Canelo could beat Tureano if he were healthy, but it’s still not as dangerous a fight paper as the Charlo fight.

Supposedly, Canelo is upset with the World Boxing Council for them making Golovkin his mandatory challenger when he was the WBC middleweight champion in 2015. Canelo beat Miguel Cotto to win the title. The WBC ordered negotiations to begin between Canelo and Golovkin for a fight between them last year. Canelo was given the chance by the WBC to defend the middleweight title against welterweight Amir Khan. Canelo then vacated his WBC title after beating Khan.

It was bad enough that Canelo fought Khan, a fighter that is arguably on the downside of his career, but then to vacate his WBC title rather than fight GGG. It made Canelo look REALLY bad. Now with Canelo with the possibility of winning the WBC middleweight title once again, he’s turning that option down. What are boxing fans to think? When they see Canelo make a move like this, it has duck written all over it. Fighting Charlo immediately after battling Golovkin would be Canelo running a gauntlet.

Trainer Robert Garcia and three division world champion Mikey Garcia don’t understand why Canelo doesn’t want to fight for the WBC title. They both say the WBC belt is the title that Mexican fighters want to fight for. Robert says it looks bad for Canelo that he’s not fighting for the WBC belt. They might not realize though that Jermall Charlo is perched and ready to go after the winner of the Canelo vs. GGG fight.

Well, Charlo was ready to fight either of them, but not he’s stuck fighting Golovkin or nobody. If Golovkin loses to Canelo, the WBC middleweight title becomes vacant due to Canelo not agreeing to fight for it. This means Charlo will probably be given the WBC title outside of the ring.

“I don’t understand his decision behind that,” said Mikey Garcia to Fighthype in chiming in on Canelo’s decision not to fight for the WBC belt against Golovkin. “I don’t know why Canelo is so upset with the WBC. But I’m happy with the WBC giving me these opportunities. They gave me the opportunity to fight for the WBC lightweight title. Now we fought for the WBC Diamond title. To get the recognition from the WBC is good. The fans love the idea to have the new belt. I don’t know why Canelo chose not to, but the fans really appreciate when you have that belt, especially Mexican fans,” said Mikey.

I’m in full agreement with Mikey. I don’t understand why Canelo isn’t willing to fight for the WBC title against Golovkin either. It’s not as if the WBC did anything wrong. What are sanctioning bodies supposed to do? Golovkin beat Marcos Antonio Rubio to become the interim WBC middleweight champion in October 2014.

If Canelo didn’t want to have to be potentially ordered by the WBC to face Golovkin, then he shouldn’t have fought WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto in November 2015. That put Canelo in the hot seat after beating Cotto, because he was the new WBC 160 lb. champion, even though he beat Cotto in a catch-weight fight at 155.

What Canelo should have done back then was tell the WBC that he wouldn’t fight for Cotto’s WBC middleweight title at the time. That would be weird to do though, as there would be no excuse for Canelo not to fight for it. Right now, Canelo might have an excuse; although we heard what the excuse. It’s though that Canelo isn’t happy with the WBC for them ordering him to fight his mandatory challenger. I don’t see why Canelo expected special treatment from the WBC. We they not supposed to order him to fight his mandatory? If this was the NFL and you won the Championship game, would you tell the NFL that you didn’t want to play in the Super Bowl because you weren’t ready or interested in playing against the opposing team? The NFL wouldn’t understand that move. Canelo should have fought Golovkin last year instead of vacating his WBC. It doesn’t make sense now for Canelo NOT to fight for the WBC title, considering that it looks like he’s potentially ducking the Charlo fight if he gets past Golovkin.

“I’m very proud to be fighting for these important titles,” said Canelo in talking about the IBF and WBA titles that currently belong to Triple G.

This was a press statement from Canelo, saying he’ll be fighting for Golovkin’s IBF and WBA middleweight titles.

“GGG will be proudly defending all of his titles – WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO 0 as well as looking to add The Ring Magazine title to his collection when he steps into the ring against Canelo,” said Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler.

Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler is making it quite clear that all of his titles will be fought for in the Canelo fight. If Canelo decides he doesn’t want to fight for the WBC belt, then that’s on him. It looks bad tough. Some boxing fans are saying that Canelo is prima donna. I don’t know if I see it that way.

Personally, I think Canelo is making sure that he doesn’t have to fight Jermall Charlo. Look at it this way. Canelo didn’t Charlo when he held the IBF 154lb title and was viewed by many as the best fighter in the junior middleweight division. In the last 4 years, Canelo has fought these junior middleweights: Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, Liam Smith, Erislandy Lara and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Yeah, Mayweather was technically a two division world champion at the time Canelo fought him.

Mayweather held titles in the 147 and 154 lb. divisions. Canelo didn’t fight Charlo or his brother in the last couple of years, and he probably should have. Why fight Kirkland when he was no longer a relevant fighter? That move made no sense at all. It looked like Canelo being given a soft touch by Golden Boy in order to pad his record to make sure he didn’t get beaten – again. When Canelo fought Kirkland in 2015, he was fighting a guy that hadn’t fought since 2013. Kirkland wasn’t even an active fighter at the time. He’d been out of boxing for 2 years. Kirkland hasn’t fought since. I guess he will eventually when someone with name needs a fighter that the hardcore boxing fans will recognize.

“That’s up to Canelo,” said Robert Garcia to Fighthype about Canelo choosing not to fight GGG for the WBC title. “He’s got his differences with the WBC, and he’s got his reasons. The WBC is the belt that every Mexican wants to have. Canelo being the Mexican and rejecting the WBC, if you ask me, I’d say that it doesn’t look good for him. He has reasons. I don’t know what his reasons are,” said Robert Garcia.

It’s impossible to know what Canelo’s reasons are because he’s not saying why he’s not going to fight Golovkin for the WBC belt. It would make sense if Canelo would at least try and explain his reasons. If he said that he didn’t want to fight Charlo, I’m sure the boxing fans wouldn’t hold it against him. I think quite a few of the fans would understand that move, and they wouldn’t be upset. After all, Canelo vacated his WBC title last year in order not to fight Golovkin.

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