De La Hoya 75% confident Canelo-Golovkin rematch happens in September
By Sean Jones: Now that Saul Canelo Alvarez has signed up with VADA testing as of this week, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya says he’s 75 percent sure that the rematch with middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golokvin will be taking place in September on the Mexican Independence Day holiday.
De La Hoya says as of now, he doesn’t have a cutoff date on the Canelo-GGG negotiations for the rematch, but he needs the talks to be concluded soon because he’ll need to look another direction for Canelo so that he can fight in September.
It’s believed that the backup plan that Golden Boy has for Canelo is Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan. He’s the likely Plan-B option for Canelo if they can’t hammer out a deal with Golovkin. De La Hoya obviously doesn’t want to take that option, because there’s far less money for Canelo, and the fight wouldn’t do anything to give him closure from the controversial 12 round draw for the Canelo-GGG fight last September.
“I’m 75 percent sure, confident that, that we can get this done because it (the talk from GGG camp) had been quite disparaging towards him. But of course everybody uses their own negotiating tactics,” De La Hoya said to AFP. “But I can say that I think I’m about 75 percent confident right now and happy with the process that has happened the last couple of days in terms of the broader stuff.”
Canelo came up positive for the performance enhancing substance clenbuterol last February, and this led to the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspending him for 6 months. Golovkin’s negative comments about Canelo, saying that he believed that he’s a drug cheat and that he had been using PEDs before their first fight, and didn’t seem to be a planned “negotiating” tactic, as De La Hoya says. It appeared that Golovkin was genuinely angry at Canelo, because he believed that he a banned performance enhancing drug for the first fight.
Canelo’s physique looked chiseled for his mega-fight against Triple G last September. His body looked different in the eyes of a lot of fans. If Canelo had looked that way his entire career, it wouldn’t have created so much suspicion, but he hadn’t looked like that. Golovkin’s angry reaction likely had to do with his belief that Canelo was on something for the first fight, and that he was trying to do the same thing for their rematch on May 5, which was canceled after he pulled out of the fight just before his hearing with the Nevada Commission on April 18.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler is able to negotiate the rematch to take place outside of Nevada, because of the controversy surrounding the 12 round draw for the first Canelo-GGG fight, which took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Loeffler couldn’t get the May 5th fight outside of Nevada. It’s unclear whether Loeffler was assertive enough or what with Golden Boy. If he was given no other option but to take the fight in Las Vegas or else no fight, then it’s understandable why he agreed to it. Las Vegas is Canelo’s favorite venue, and it’s perhaps best that Golovkin doesn’t go back there ever again for a fight against the Golden Boy star due to the very questionable scoring for the first fight.
When you have one judge scoring the fight 10 rounds to 2 in Canelo’s favor, it sends huge alarm bells that something is not right about having the fight staged in Vegas. It wasn’t just that judge that turned in a strange score that night. Another just scored the fight 114-114, giving Canelo round 7, which is easily the best round of the fight for Golovkin. The other two judges both gave Golovkin round 7, but not the judge that scored it 114-114. Many boxing fans believe Golovkin has no chance of beating Canelo by a decision in Las Vegas. They don’t see it possible.
If Golovkin believes he has no chance of winning a decision in Vegas too, then puts him in a position where he’s going to have to take more risks in order not to be on the receiving end of a controversial decision. It plays into Canelo’s hands if Golovkin is desperate, because he’s a counter puncher, who takes advantage of his opponents’ aggressiveness. If Golovkin is sloppy while trying tor a knockout, he could get hit by one of Canelo’s counters and knocked out. Even if Golovkin doesn’t get knocked out, he could lose the fight based on Canelo landing the best eye-catching shots. Unfortunately, I think it’s likely that Golovkin already believes he can’t win a decision against Canelo, and that’s going to push the pace much faster than the first fight to force the Mexican star to fight harder than his body will allow him to.
Canelo has very poor stamina for a middleweight, and he always has. He’s always needed rest breaks even as a teenager. Golovkin made a mistake in the first fight by not pressuring Canelo hard enough in the first 8 rounds. Golovkin thought he could stay on the outside and follow the Floyd Mayweather Jr. blueprint in how to beat Canelo by jabbing him all night. Mayweather got the decision over Canelo but was the A-side for that fight. Golovkin was not going to get the same benefit from the set of judges that were assigned to work the Canelo-GGG fight last September. They were not going to score the fight the way the judges did for the Mayweather-Canelo fight, even though the contest was played out in a similar pattern with Golovkin on the outside, jabbing the shorter-armed Canelo at will like Mayweather had done in 2013.
“I think it’s (Canelo’s stature) been affected here a bit in the U.S. But guess what, I’ve always said you’re as good as your last fight,” De La Hoya said. “He wants to fight.”
De La Hoya is wrong about Canelo being good in his last fight. He wasn’t very good against GGG. That’s the whole problem. Canelo looked horrible. He was tired from rounds 3 to 10, and he never was able to fight hard for more than the first minute of each round. Golovkin fought the wrong fight obviously. It wasn’t impressed upon him by his training team that he was entering Canelo’s venue, and because of that, he was going to have to either knock him out or give him such a bad beating that the judges couldn’t score it the way they did. The way that Golovkin fought through the first three-fourths of the fight, he seemed to think he could win a decision, so he didn’t bother going for a knockout. It was a mistake. It’s quite likely that Golden Boy Promotions will insist on having the rematch take place in Las Vegas. That’ll put Golovkin in the position where he’ll need to show that he learned from the previous fight with Canelo that he’s not likely to have a chance to win a decision unless he knocks him down three or four times along the way.
If the fight doesn’t happen, then Golovkin will probably look to face WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in September. Saunders brings nothing to Golovkin aside from his WBO title. The U.S boxing fans have no interest in seeing Golovkin fight Saunders. It’s a fight that only works for GGG, because he gets a chance to win the WBO belt that he’s been after for a while. For Canelo’s part, he’ll surely face O’Sullivan in September, as I mentioned. It’s a safe fight for Canelo, as the Irish fighter O’Sullivan is very limited. The fight will buy some time for Canelo, but it solves the problems of his limited size for the middleweight division. Canelo will have to fight the bigger middleweights like Jermall Charlo and Daniel Jacobs if he wants to be a major player in the division. It’s important that the judging be fair for the Canelo-Golovkin rematch, because another controversial decision that saves Canelo from a loss would be bad for him. Before last September, Canelo had already been involved in two controversial fights against Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara. The fight against Trout was viewed as a draw in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans, and the Canelo-Lara fight was a win for Lara or at least it should have been.