Saunders offers to fight GGG if Canelo doesn’t want the rematch
By Sean Jones: Billy Joe Saunders is volunteering to face IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin in a unification match-up if Saul Canelo Alvarez chooses not to take the fight with him on May 5.
The negotiations between Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy and Triple G’s promoter Tom Loeffler of K2 is dragging on without a conclusion. A deal was expected to be made around Christmas time for the Canelo-Golovkin rematch on May the 5th, and yet here it is January 5th, and nothing has been decided.
Saunders, 28, doesn’t mind stepping in to face Golovkin in a unification if it looks like the rematch won’t take place between the Golden Boy star and GGG.
“@GGGBoxing if red balls 🏀 don’t want to fight, I’m game to unify,” said Saunders to Golovkin.
Saunders is training with former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in Spain, and staying in shape. That’s positive news. It means that if the Canelo-GGG rematch fails to take place for whatever reason, then Golovkin will have a good backup plan to take by going in the direction of the Saunders fight.
There was a rematch clause in the contract for the Canelo-Gennady fight from last year on September 16, but it was Canelo that the option if using it, not Golovkin. The rematch clause worked one way. If Canelo wanted the rematch with Golovkin, then he could have it.
Saunders and his promoter will need to start looking for an opponent for his next title defense. It makes sense for Saunders to hang back and wait to see what happens with the Canelo-GGG rematch negotiations before he hastily looks to sign an opponent for his next fight.
Loeffelr said that he wanted to have a deal done for the Canelo rematch by December or January, because if he doesn’t have something by that time, he would be at risk if not getting a fight date for Triple G in April on HBO. Here it is January already, and there isn’t a deal for the rematch. December is passed without Golden Boy making a deal for the Canelo-Golovkin rematch, and there’s not telling whether a deal will be done in January either. At some point, there’s a drop-dead date in which Loeffler and Golovkin are going to need to have the negotiations completed. If that doesn’t happen, Golovkin could wind up with no fight for April or May, and nothing to show for all that wasted time.
Saunders is coming off a nice victory over David Lemieux on December 16 in Laval, Quebec, Canada. Saunders beat Lemieux with ease in pounding out a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision on HBO Championship Boxing. The victory was like a comeback in a way for Saunders, as he’d looked bad in his previous 2 performances against Willie Monroe Jr. and Artur Akavov. Saunders
If Canelo and Golden Boy decide they just want to string Golovkin along, age him a little more, and have him throw away a year of his career without fighting, they can probably do it as long as Loeffler doesn’t wash his hands of the stalled negotiations and move on. It would have been wise for Loeffler and Golovkin to set a December deadline for the negotiations with Canelo. That they Loeffler could have setup a rematch with Daniel Jacobs or setup a fight with one of GGG’s 2 mandatory challengers Jermall Charlo or Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Even Saunders would have been an option for Golovkin.