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Warren wants GGG to fight Saunders in June

Image: Warren wants GGG to fight Saunders in June

By Allan Fox: Promoter Frank Warren wants Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin to cancel his May 5th fight date and wait instead until early June to face his fighter WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in a unification fight.

Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) is unable to take Saul Canelo Alvarez’s place and fight on the May 5th card against Golovkin because he has a hand injury that he suffered training. The injury won’t be healed until June.

IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Golovkin wants the WBO middleweight title that Saunders has. That’s the last middleweight title that Golovkin doesn’t yet have in his possession currently. Other than the WBO title, Saunders doesn’t bring much to the fight with GGG in terms of name recognition in the U.S. The casual boxing fans in the U.S aren’t well familiar with Saunders, and he’s a bit of a runner, as we saw in his fight with David Lemieux last December. Saunders is a purely defensive fighter, who Golovkin would likely need to chase around the ring for 12 rounds.

“Golovkin has always said that he wants to get the last middleweight belt he doesn’t hold yet by fighting Billy Joe. This is the chance for both of them,” Warren said to the “Although Billy Joe can’t recover in time for May 5 he could go as early as the first or second Saturday in June.”

Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler wants him to stay on May 5th, as a lot of boxing fans have already planned to come see that fight. While many of them will be getting refunds on their tickets now that Canelo has pulled out of the May 5th date, a lot of fans will still be coming to see GGG fight. Moving off the May 5th date wouldn’t be a good idea. Besides that, the date is on Cinco de Mayo holiday, and that date is considered one of the most valuable for boxing in the U.S. Cinco de Mayo in May and the Mexican Independence Day holiday in September are the best dates for boxing in America.

Golovkin has May 5th all to himself now that Canelo has pulled out of the fight. It would make no sense at all for Golovkin to move his fight date 1 month to face Saunders in June. Golovkin would be giving away a lot of PPV buys that he’ll be getting by default due to him fighting on the Cinco de Mayo holiday. Golovkin probably won’t bring in 1 million buys on HBO PPV if he fights a poor opponent like Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan on May 5th, but he could still possibly get lucky and bring in 300,000 buys. That would be a respectable number for Golovkin. If Golovkin took a chance and fought a good opponent like Jermall Charlo or Danny Jacobs, he might be able to bring in a lot of PPV buys on that date, but it doesn’t look like he’s interested in facing anyone good. O’Sullivan appears to be the guy that GGG will be facing on May 5th date.

“I am making a huge offer for Gennady to come to a football ground in London,” Warren said. ”Otherwise we are just as happy to go to Las Vegas, where Golovkin is keen to headline for the first time in his career.”

In an interview this week, Saunders said he was committed to fighting Martin Murray on June 23 in their rescheduled fight date. Saunders says he gave Murray his world that he would fight him. If Saunders cancels that fight so he can fight Golovkin in early to mid-June, it wouldn’t look so good for him.

Saunders also said he couldn’t take the fight with GGG if his hand wasn’t 100 percent. He wants to be totally healthy before he’ll agree to face GGG. Saunders says he’ll gladly fight Golovkin in September if he doesn’t face Canelo during that month. Unfortunately, it’s likely that Canelo will be giving a 6-month suspension by the Nevada Commission, and that ban will be up in August. So, Canelo will almost surely be facing GGG in September. It’s too bad Saunders can fight Golovkin on May 5th, because if he could take the fight without being 100 percent, he’d at least be getting the fight with GGG.

With Saunders’ history of injury problems, it would be risky for Golovkin to agree to a fight with him in June. With Golovkin’s luck, Saunders would suffer another injury, or his current hand injury could become a chronic problem, and then he would have to deal with a postponement that could last months and take him too close to the September date for him to get the Canelo fight. There’s only three months between June and September. If Saunders suffers a hangnail, then Golovkin would have wait until he heals and who knows how long that would be.

What Golovkin doesn’t need is Saunders in sickbay until July or August before he’s able to fight him. In that case, Golovkin would have only one or two months between the Saunders fight and the Canelo fight in September. It wouldn’t work out at all. It’s too bad Saunders can’t just take the pain and fight with his hand not 100 percent on May 5thagainst Golovkin, because he would have a chance of getting the fight. I don’t see Golovkin giving up such a prestigious fight date like Cinco de Mayo. That date is so valuable that Golovkin probably won’t even need to fight a even a halfway decent fighter for him to bring in a lot of PPV buys.

If Saunders had stuck with his original April 14 date for the Martin Murray fight, then he would have more than enough time to get back in the gym to train to fight Golovkin on May 5th. Murray is an easy mark for Saunders. That’s like a sparring match rather than a tough.

If Golovkin ever does choose to fight Saunders, I hope he’s willing to deal with the fight taking longer than he expected. If Saunders suffers injury training for the Golovkin fight, there would be no way of knowing how long it would take before he finally heals up and can face him. It would be better for Golovkin to forget about unifying the middleweight division, and instead focus on making the best fights possible that the U.S boxing fans want to see. I don’t think there’s a big demand from the American fans to see Golovkin fight Saunders. The fans want to see Golovkin face Canelo two or three times, and then guys like Daniel Jacobs, Jermall Charlo and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

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