Warren says Golovkin’s promoter has contacted about making GGG-Saunders
By Dan Ambrose: WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders’ promoter Frank Warren says he’s spoken to IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler about a GGG-Saunders fight if Triple G beats Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on May 5th in their rematch on HBO pay-per-view.
Warren says he doesn’t think Canelo (49-1-2, 34 KOs) will want any part of fighting Saunders if he gets past Golovkin on the 5th of May. Warren doesn’t have any confidence in 27-year-old Canelo agreeing to take the unification fight against the unbeaten Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) if he beats GGG. He thinks Canelo has been scared off fighting Saunders after the way he dealt with former IBF 160 lb. champion David Lemieux in beating him last December in front of his own Canadian boxing fans at the Place Bell in Quebec on HBO Boxing After Dark.
“If Canelo wins, I don’t think he will go anywhere near Bill,” Frank Warren said to IFL TV about Canelo possibly not wanting to fight Saunders if he beats GGG in their rematch on May 5th. “I think he frightens the life out of him. They all thought [David] Lemieux was going to do a job on Billy, which you it isn’t how it turned out, and I think he scared him off,” Warren.
It’s academic that Canelo will go nowhere near Saunders. To hear Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez run down Saunders after he beat Golden Boy fighter Lemieux last December, it was abundantly clear that he’s not going to make the Canelo-Saunders fight in 2018. It would be surprising if that fight ever gets made. There’s no reason for Golden Boy to make that fight, as Canelo doesn’t need world titles to validate him in the eyes of his boxing fans or to create new fans. Canelo is at the Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao stage where titles are no longer necessary. The only thing Canelo needs to entertain people is a good opponent that is recognizable to them. That’s why we’ve seen Canelo fighting old timers in the past like James Kirkland, Alfredo Angulo, Shane Mosley and Kermit Cintron.
”Tom Loeffler has told me he’s interested if his man [Golovkin] wins,” Warren said. ”Let me tell you, Tom. So are we and so is Bill. You know how serious Bill is in fighting Golovkin. Golovkin is a great fighter, but Bill is hitting his form that we all knew and the ability that I always knew was inside of him,” Loeffler said.
Golovkin needs the Saunders fight to win the last remaining middleweight strap that he needs to round out his collection of 160 lb. belts. Golovkin has got 3 of the 4 world belts at middleweight. It wasn’t easy for Golovkin to collect them. He had a trouble trying to get a fight for the World Boxing Council belt. The WBC ordered Canelo to fight him, but he took his time in facing Amir Khan first, and then he vacated the belt rather than taking the fight with GGG in 2016. The WBC then elevated Golovkin to their champion at 160 without him having to fight anybody. That was a good deal for Golovkin. He didn’t have to wait another 4 months for a fight to be lined up against one of the other contenders. It would have mattered back then, because Golovkin would have had little problems against anyone the WBC lined up for him to fight.
”Provided there’s no banana skins with the Martin Murray fight and doesn’t take Martin for granted, and then hopefully he can be in the winner of that fight,” Warren said. ”I fancy Golovkin as the favorite for that fight. If he’s fighting Golovkin, it’s going to be a great fight, a fantastic fight. Bill wants the fight and I want the fight. You know what I want it, because I fancy Bill. He isn’t going to be the favorite, but I think Bill can cause an upset as far as the judges are concerned. I mean, people in boxing. I think he can cause an upset. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he beats him, because I know he’s got the brains to do it,” Warren said.
Saunders is going to be over-matched if he does fight Golovkin this year. Golovkin still has to get past Canelo for it to even be a consideration. A lot of boxing fans are picking Canelo to beat Golovkin, but they might be in for a disappointment when that fails to happen. Golovkin was the better fighter last time, and the way he performed, it looked like he would beat Canelo every time they fought, as long as good judges were working the fight. You never know what you’re going to get when it comes to judges. Golovkin looks like he’s going to beat Canelo in the rematch and then Saunders later this year. If the fight takes place in the UK, then Golovkin is going to need to attack him like he did in his match against Kell Brook in September 2016 in London. The judging for the Golovkin-Brook fight was disappointing to say the least. One judge had Brook ahead 39-37 after 4 rounds, and the other 2 head it 38-38, 38-38. The fight looked like Golovkin was ahead 3 rounds to 1 going into the 5th, which is when Brook quit fighting back and was stopped.
”I wish Billy Joe had been like that when he fought Eubanks, because he beats Eubanks,” Warren said. ”Could you imagine what Billy Joe would have done to Eubanks? He’s [Saunders] one of the biggest exponents of the art of hitting and not getting hit. He knows what he’s capable of now,” Warren said.
Chris Eubank Jr. is fighting at 168 now, and it’s unclear whether he’ll ever move back down to 160. Saunders already beat Eubank Jr. in 2014, so there’s no real sense of urgency on his part to fight him a second time. It’s on Eubank Jr. if he wants to try and avenge the defeat or not, and obviously he’s good with it because he’s never attempted to get a rematch.
Saunders will be defending his WBO title on April 14 against Martin Murray. If Saunders loses that fight, then he’ll have lost his golden ticket for a fight with Golovkin. Saunders has to do his best not to lose his focus for the Murray fight. It only takes one punch and it could be the end of his plans for a fight against GGG.