Loeffler: Saunders is option for GGG if Canelo rematch negotiations fail
By Sean Jones: Billy Joe Saunders is an option for Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin if the negotiations for a rematch with Saul Canelo Alvarez fail to produce a fight for May 5th, according to promoter Tom Loeffler. He says WBO middleweight champion Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) has always been a backup option for Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) if for some reason he can’t negotiate the fight with Golden Boy Promotions, the promoters for the 27-year-old Canelo. Loeffler still isn’t sure if the Canelo-Golovkin rematch will take place.
Loeffler says he’s been working with Golden Boy president Eric Gomez for the past 3 months to try and get the Canelo-GGG rematch done. According to Loeffler, it’s down to several points that need to be worked out in order to successfully complete the negotiations. Right now, Loeffler is waiting for Golovkin to get back from Kazakhstan so he can go over the sticking points in the negotiations.
Loeffler says they’re not even talking about the venue or the rematch clause. It’s different items that Loeffler and Gomez are going over. It’s probable that the purse split is the main sticking point. Canelo got the larger split of the revenue for the first fight on September 16 last year at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since the fight was scored a 12 round draw, it puts Canelo in a great position to get the same exact split as last time, even though the boxing world saw him losing the fight.
“I’ve been working with Eric Gomez behind the scenes for a long time,” Loeffler said to Fino Boxing in talking about the negotiations for the Canelo-Golovkin rematch. “Triple G was disappointed with the decision. That’s what really gives the momentum for the rematch to happen. If he can make the rematch, that’s what the fans are waiting for. We’re waiting for Triple G to get back from Kazakhstan. Hopefully when he gets back, I’ll sit down with Eric to iron out these last few points to get both sides to agree. The event was overshadowed by some of the scoring,” Loeffler said.
After Canelo decided he wants to wait 8 months before he fights again, it left the 35-year-old Golovkin no other choice but to wait as well, because that’s the fight that he wants. There was a rematch clause in the contract for the second fight. It helps Canelo by waiting 8 months because he’s the younger fighter, so he can age Golovkin a little more. Canelo waited to rest after what he felt was a grueling fight against Golovkin.
The scoring by the judges last September greatly overshadowed the Canelo-Golovkin event. It’s an understatement what Loeffler is talking about. The scoring by the judges ruined the fight for a lot of boxing fans, because neither fighter got the win. Boxing fans never like to see fights end in a draw, especially when they’ve had to pay a lot of money to see it on PPV. But what made the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight results so much worse is the act that it seemed like a very easy fight to score. It wasn’t a very complicated fight to decide a winner on. One guys was tired from the 3rd round, and he did next to nothing in the last 9 rounds of the fight. That guy is Canelo. He was exhausted in the last three-fourths of the fight. It was a bad deal for Golovlik to get stuck with a draw in a fight like that.
“Saunders has always been an option,” said Loeffler about Billy Joe Saunders being a backup option for Golovkin if the Canelo rematch doesn’t take place. “Saunders had a great victory over David Lemieux. He’s the last champion that Golovkin hasn’t fought, and the last title that is missing from his undisputed status, and Gennady has always wanted to fight him. I would say if the Canelo fight doesn’t happen for whatever reason, then the unification fight against Saunders would make a lot of sense, but there are a lot of good fights in the middleweight division. Canelo needs Triple G for the mega-event. The same thing with Triple G needs Canelo for the mega-event,” Loeffler said.
Saunders will be defending his WBO title against Martin Murray (36-4-1, 17 KOs) on April 14 in the UK. Murray is a former Golovkin opponent that he knocked out in the 11th round in February 2014. Saunders’ decision to fight the 35-year-old Murray in April means that he’s not an option for Golovkin in his next fight unless GGG wants to sit and wait until after that fight to try and face Saunders in August or September of 2018. That would be crazy for Golovkin to stay out of the ring for 11 to 12 months until a unification fight against Saunders can get made. If Golovkin doesn’t fight Canelo, he’ll obviously fight someone else that is available like Sergiy Derevyanchenko or Daniel Jacobs. Those would be good options for Golovkin to face as long as he’s ready to tackle either of those 2 big punchers. They would be hard fights, but he’s used to that.
“I’ve been negotiating the fight with Eric Gomez for the last 3 months,” loeffler said in discussing the Canelo-GGG fight negotiations. “You’re always concerned with the judging. I think it comes down to the judges and not necessarily the location. Canelo does seem to have gotten some favorable scorecards there,” said Loeffler about Canelo getting some controversial scorecards while fighting in Las Vegas, Nevada. “If the fight happens, it’ll be May 5th. By far, Canelo made his biggest payday fight against Triple G, and by far, Triple G made his biggest payday fight against Canelo. I think both sides have an interest to get it done,” said Loeffler.
There you have it. Loeffler says Canelo seems to have gotten some favorable scorecards while fighting in Las Vegas. Loeffler doesn’t mention for which fights Canelo has had questionable scorecards, but he’s probably talking about these fights:
• Floyd Mayweather Jr.
• Erislandy Lara
• Gennady Golovkin – This is a no-brainer obviously, but I threw his name in there anyway
We’ll see if the Canelo and Golovkin rematch can get made. If it does, it might wind up back in Vegas if Golden Boy pushes hard enough to make the fight in this city once again.