By Jeff Aranow: Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn feels sorry for Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, because their important fight on September 16 was totally undercut by the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor event that took place last Saturday night on August 26 on Showtime pay-per-view.
Hearn says that even this past week can’t count for the Canelo-GGG fight being properly hyped with the boxing fans due to all the fans still talking about the Mayweather-McGregor fight, breaking down the results and thinking about the match.
The way Hearn sees it, the management for Canelo and Golovkin has 2 weeks to try and sell the fight on HBO pay-per-view before it takes place on September 16. Hearn sees the Canelo and Triple G match-up as the far better fight by far.
“It’s a really good fight, didn’t they,” said Hearn to IFL TV in discussing the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight on September 16. “I did think Canelo was going to win, but now I think Gennady Golovkin will win. I feel a little bit sorry for them because of the Mayweather-McGregor fight. They haven’t been able to have the hype for the last 4 or 5 months that the fight really deserves. And even now, this week, everyone is talking about Mayweather-McGregor. So you’ve got 2 weeks on Saturday,” said Hearn.
Hearn doesn’t say why he changed his mind about him initially picking Canelo to beat Golovkin. Something made Hearn change his mind to make him believe that Golovkin will be the one that gets his hand raised on September 16. It could have something to do with Golovkin’s superior size. It’s one thing to look at clips of Canelo fighting guys like Mayweather, James Kirkland and Amir Khan, but it’s another thing when you see him standing next to Golovkin. The two looked like they don’t belong on the same stage, as Golovkin is so much bigger. Golovkin looks a lot more powerful compared to Canelo. Granted, Canelo has put on a lot of muscle weight for this fight, but it’s unlikely that will translate to more punching power. It might make Canelo slower and cause him to fatigue quicker, but that’s about the only it will do. The added weight makes Canelo look good in the buildup to the fight, but all that size likely won’t do much for him when he gets inside the ring. Golovkin seems to be the more naturally strong guy of the two by far. The weight that Canelo added for this training camp will likely result in it acting like an anchor in dragging him down when the fight goes into the later rounds if he makes it that far.
As good as the Canelo-Gennady fight is, it’s impossible for the fight to get the attention it deserves with it having only 2 weeks to be sold to the public. It clearly needs more time to be built up properly. It needed a long international press tour like the Mayweather and McGregor fight, and it didn’t get that. It needed more trash talking from both fighters, which hasn’t gotten. Canelo can’t or won’t speak English, and Golovkin only has a small grasp of the language. Neither fighter is a trash talker. They don’t quite understand the importance of trash talking and coming up with interesting quotes for the media. Hearn feels that it doesn’t matter if a fighter is the best in the world, if he doesn’t have a personably or good promoters that can get him in the right fights, he’ll be invisible and not as well-known as lesser fighters that can talk and have good management.
”I really hope that hype machine will get going,” said Hearn. ”It’s a fight for the fight fans. It’s not a fight for the general public [casual boxing fans]. You can’t compare them to Mayweather-McGregor in terms of the interest of Golovkin and Canelo, because one was a great event and one is a great fight. So now I think it’ll get the respect it deserves. now, but also people just spent 100 pounds, $100 in the States. And now they’re being asked to spend another $100 [on Canelo-Golovkin],” said Hearn.
Hearn brings up a good point about how it’s going to be a real hardship for a lot of boxing fans to have to come up with more money to order the Canelo vs. Gennady fight on HBO PPV after they already spent $100 on the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight on August 26. For a lot of fans, they’re not going to be willing to order a second PPV fight with just 3 weeks from having spent $100 on the Mayweather-McGregor event. As much as the boxing fans want to see the Canelo vs. Triple G fight, they won’t be able to afford to order it because it would mean a big $200 jump in the fans’ cable bill.
Hearn thinks Mayweather knew what he was doing in placing his fight against McGregor 3 weeks ahead of the Canelo-Golovkin fight. He feels that they hate each other. It’s kind of sad how a fight as compelling as the GGG vs. Canelo fight will be partially crippled due to the fight being undercut by an inferior fight between and old, retired fighter facing a UFC champion with no experience in boxing. The fans paid top dollar to see Mayweather coast for 9 rounds before knocking out the 29-year-old McGregor in the 10th round.
”They knew what they were doing,”said Hearn in talking about Mayweather and his team scheduling the McGregor fight 3 weeks in front of the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight. ”They hate each other, De La Hoya, Arum, Mayweather, Haymon. They took the shine away from them, but it’s a much better fight than Mayweather-McGregor. It’s not as big a worldwide event,” said Hearn.
Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao only had 1 month of actual promotion from what I remember of that fight. The negotiations lasted so long that it left the fight with just small amount of time for it to be hyped. Of course, 1 month is a lot better than the 2 weeks the Golovkin-Canelo fight has left to be hyped. But it’s still a big enough fight to attract a lot of boxing fans to see it.
You won’t get the casual boxing fans that will tune in for the GGG-Canelo fight like they did for the McGregor-Mayweather fight. Those two fighters did a fantastic job selling the fight, making the fans believe that it would be a competitive fight where either of them could win. Enough of the boing and MMA fans believed that it would be a thrilling affair for them to want to pay $100 of their hard-earned money on a fight with just one outcome.
The only thing that Golovkin and Canelo can to do make sure they take full advantage of their rivalry is to make it a point to fight each other at least one more time at the minimum so they can hype their rivalry properly. If Canelo and Golovkin face each other I December, it’s less likely Mayweather will want to come back and undercut them a second time. I wouldn’t put it past Mayweather doing that, but I don’t think he will. Historically, Mayweather disappears for long stretches of time after he gets a big payday. I think there’s a high probability that Mayweather will be back for another payday after he gambles and throws away his money on bad business moves out of control spending. But it’s not likely that Mayweather will come back so soon that he can undercut a rematch between Canelo and Golovkin if there is one.