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Golovkin should set deadline for Canelo negotiations

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Sean Jones: Gennady Golovkin is going to need to be proactive and firm with Golden Boy Promotions and Saul Canelo Alvarez in setting a strict deadline to have them agree to his 50-50 purse split request. GGG can’t waste time with Golden Boy and Canelo and risk losing his IBF title in the process. This is an idea that Kevin Iole of Yahoo News brought up, and I think it’s a good one.

If Golovkin walks away from the negotiations, he’ll have his pride and integrity intact and he’ll likely be able to fill better about himself than if he folded up in a ball and cringed in giving Canelo and Golden Boy what they want, which is for him to agree to the 65-35 purse split of the revenue.
Canelo made $50 million last time he fought GGG.

If he pouts and stubbornly refuses to give GGG an even split, then he’s looking at having to fight someone of lesser value who won’t bring in the same PPV buys as GGG. Fighting Golovkin, the match would likely generate 1.5 million PPV buys on HBO. Now that Floyd Mayweather Jr. isn’t around to get in the way of the promotion like he did last time when he staged his mega-fight against Conor McGregor three weeks ahead of the Canelo-Golovkin fight, Canelo and GGG can bring in a lot more buys than the 1.3 million buys the fight generated on September 16 last year. If the rematch brings in 1.5 to 1.8 million buys, then we’re talking about $70 million to perhaps $90 million the fight can haul in. If the money is split 50-50, then it gives Canelo and GGG $45 million each if it brings in $90M.

While that’s not quite as much money as Canelo got for his fight last year against Golovkin, it’s still a huge amount of cash for him to get. If Canelo fights O’Sullivan, he might be lucky to bring in $10 million. It would depend on how lopsided the split would be. Of course, I don’t think Golden Boy would even agree to give O’Sullivan a split. I think they’ll offer him a take-it-or-leave-it flat fee. It’ll probably be a respectable flat fee amount, but nothing like the money that Canelo will get. He still won’t get anywhere near the same amount he’ll receive if he fights Golovkin, and he definitely won’t receive the same amount of respect from the boxing public in fighting O’Sullivan or David Lemieux. Those are not A-level middleweights. Those guys are more like C-level guys, fighters with major flaws in their game that make them vulnerable against the better fighters.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has sided with Canelo in suggesting that Golovkin is the one that can make the fight happen. Sulaiman isn’t coming right out and saying it, but it sure looks like he wants GGG to be the one that feels the pain in agreeing to the negotiation terms that Canelo and Golden Boy want, which is the 65/35 split. That’s almost the same lopsided deal as the first fight. If this is all Loeffler was able to negotiate on GGG’s behalf in the May 5th negotiations, then he needs to add a second negotiator that is a lot tougher. I’m trying to imagine Al Haymon agreeing to a 65/35 split if he was Golovkin’s promoter, and I just can’t see it. I don’t think Haymon would ever agree to a split that low and that far slanted in Canelo’s favor.

If Golovkin gives Canelo a 2-week time limit to give him the 50-50 purse split or else, I believe we may see movement on his part. The alternatives for Canelo are just too horrible to even think about. Canelo will end up fighting Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan or David Lemieux, and end up being laughed at nonstop by boxing fans and labeled a cherry-picker. If I put my crystal ball in front of me to predict the future, I do not see Golden Boy Promotions allowing Canelo anywhere near Jermall Charlo, Billy Joe Saunders and Daniel Jacobs. Those fighters are not going to get a chance to fight Canelo, no way. They’re too big for Canelo for one, and they’re real middleweights. Canelo is a middleweight in terms of his weight. You can argue that Canelo is a super middleweight if you look at his weight. But as far height and reach, Canelo is a wide-bodied junior middleweight and he’ll always be that. At 27, the 5’8” Canelo has obviously stopped growing. He’s not going to get any bigger, and he’s going to be too small whenever he fights a true middleweight like Golovkin, Jacobs, Saunders, Demetrius Andrade or Charlo. With quality judging, Canelo will be hard pressed to beat any of the top guys in the middleweight division. But with the type of judges that worked the previous Canelo-GGG fight, Canelo is unbeatable. He won’t lose with that kind of judging.

If Canelo and his promoters aren’t willing to give GGG a 50-50 deal, then he has only one option and that’s to walk away and accomplish his goal of unifying the middleweight division by defending his IBF title against Sergiy Derevyanchenko by August 3 and then negotiating a unification fight against WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. If Saunders prices himself out or if he drags his heels, which is very likely, then Golovkin needs to hold onto his titles by taking on his mandatory challengers one by one. At present time, Golovkin has Derevyanchenko, Daniel Jacobs and Jermall Charlo waiting for title shots against him. Of those three, Charlo appears to be the toughest. Charlo can be out-boxed though. 59” Austin Trout gave Charlo fits with his jab before he moved up in weight to middleweight.

Golovkin needs to move on if Canelo and Golden Boy aren’t going to give him a respectable split of 50-50, as he’s gone through too much already in dealing with them. Canelo’s two positive tests for clenbuterol is one issue that makes it difficult to justify him getting a bigger split of the revenue in the rematch. Canelo pulling out of the May 5th fight is another. That move cost Golovkin a ton of money, because he was forced to find a replacement opponent. Golovkin deserved a 50-50 purse split from the very start. Letting Canelo get a huge 70-30 split for the first was lunacy on Triple G’s part.

It’s too bad that he didn’t have a strict negotiator taking part in the negotiations, because I think Golovkin would have made a lot more money if he had someone that was willing to scrap the deal and walk away. Yes, it would have cost GGG a lot of money initially, but Canelo would have come around eventually because he’s not meant for the middleweight division. Once Canelo starts losing, and he will very soon, he and Golden Boy would give Golovkin whatever he asked for in the negotiations. Canelo has it really tough because he’s not a middleweight, and he never fought the good fighters at 154 after his controversial 12 round split decision win over Erislandy Lara. Canelo refused to give Lara a rematch to clear up the controversy of his win. It’s as if Canelo felt like only Lara was the one that had a problem with his questionable win over him rather than the boxing world, who saw him as the loser.

Canelo never fought the Charlo brothers or Jarrett Hurd. When Canelo was fighting at 154, he was taking on guys like Josesito Lopez, who moved up two divisions from the 140lb weight class to fight him at 154, and Liam Smith. Canelo didn’t take on the good fighters aside from Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Lara. Both guys beat Canelo, but only one of them was given a win.

Right now, Golden Boy and Canelo are only willing to give him a purse split of 65-35 for the September 15 rematch. That’s a grossly lopsided purse split similar to the 70-30 split that Team GGG made a huge mistake in agreeing to in the first fight on September 16 last year.

While Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions have repeatedly said they’re “moving on” and heading in another direction for Canelo’s next fight. That obviously isn’t true, because if they do move on, it’s going to cost Canelo massive amounts of money. For Golden Boy to give up on the negotiations now, it could lead Canelo losing out on tens of millions of dollars, especially if he faces a fringe contender like Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan on September 15. It’s assumed that the 33-year-old O’Sullivan is the only real backup for Canelo if Golden Boy isn’t able to get Golovkin and his promoter Tom Loeffler to agree to the 65/35 split for September.

De La Hoya and Golden Boy president Eric Gomez have mentioned these fighters as backup options for Alvarez: Jermall Charlo, Billy Joe Saunders, Daniel Jacobs and David Lemieux. The only fighter on that list with any real shot at getting the fight against Canelo is Lemieiux, and that’s only because he’s so beatable and Golovkin needs to be the guy that is driving his negotiations now with Canelo and Golden Boy. After seeing the 65-35 revenue split that was reportedly agreed to by GGG’s management for the May 5 rematch, it’s abundantly clear that they’ve been way too soft with Canelo and Golden Boy.

When you see a purse split that lopsided, it suggests they’re getting the worst of it by Golden Boy. Golovkin brought the fans for the huge pay-per-view numbers for the first fight, but then he didn’t get to share in the money equally that he helped bring in. 70-30 is not equal, and 65-35 isn’t equal either. It’s a crime that Golovkin’s team agreed to that figure because it’s so lopsided. Loeffler should have gotten a much better deal for Golovkin than 65/35 for the canceled May 5 fight. Golden Boy obviously loved that deal so much that they’re sitting on it, believing that this is the way it’s supposed to be. The colossal blunder for GGG’s team was to agree to the 65-35 purse split, as it was almost as bad as the 70-30 split they foolishly agreed to for the first fight. They should have negotiated no lower than 55-45 deal. That would have been a fair deal for the first fight, but after Canelo’s test positive tests for clenbuterol, 6-month suspension and then pulling out of the fight, 50-50 is the only split makes sense now. If you add in the controversial draw from the first fight, you can argue that Golovkin deserves a 55-45 split now. He doesn’t want to be greedy about the negotiations obviously, so he’s not asking for more, but I think he could justify deserving the bigger split.

Whether Canelo accidently tested positive for clenbuterol or not, the fact of the matter is he did test positive. The taint is now there, whether he wants to admit it or not. A lot of boxing fans believe that Canelo used clenbuterol to try and gain an advantage over GGG in the rematch. Those fans think Canelo is guilty as sin in testing positive for a performance enhancing substance last February with his 2 positive tests for clenbuterol. The fans don’t buy his meat excuse.

Golden Boy is going to have an extremely hard time if/when they try and negotiate a fight between Canelo and Saunders and Charlo, as their management are going to be very tough. Saunders is with Frank Warren and Charlo with Haymon. It won’t be easy negotiating a fight. I wouldn’t be surprised if Warren and Haymon are able to get a better deal for their fighters than Golovkin got. That tells you that Loeffler has been soft in the negotiations, because he really should have gotten nearly a 50-50 split for the first fight, and definitely 50-50 for the rematch. In light of Canelo’s two positive tests and the fact that he pulled out of the May 5th fight, the starting point in the negotiations should have been 60-40 in Golovkin’s favor. From there, they could have worked their way to a 50-50 deal.

De La Hoya and Eric Gomez are likely bluffing when they say that they’re moving on. Those guys obviously that this opportunity won’t come around again for Canelo, and if he passes it up, he could he crippling his own career by hurting his last chance for a tremendous payday. There’s nobody else around in the 147, 154, 160 and 168 lb. weight classes that can face Canelo to bring in the same kind of money that he’ll get facing Golovkin. There’s absolutely nobody. So, if Canelo does walk away from the negotiations and winds up fighting Saunders, Charlo, O’Sullivan, Jacobs or Lemieux, he’s not going to get anywhere near the same amount of money as he will fighting Golovkin. If Canelo stays at middleweight, he’s going to need to fight pretty much all those guys. I suspect Canelo will fight O’Sullivan next followed by Lemieux, because those two are easy marks and they’re both with Golden Boy. After Canelo fights them though, he’s going to be expected to begin fighting the other more talented fighters in the middleweight division. Canelo can’t keep fighting Lemieux and O’Sullivan repeatedly for no other reason that he doesn’t want to take risks.

De La Hoya has already said that O’Sullivan is a fighter that they’re thinking of matching against Canelo on September 15. De La Hoya wouldn’t say that if he wasn’t seriously interested in making that fight. It’s easy to predict what de La Hoya’s rationale will be for him choosing to fight O’Sullivan. It’ll likely be the same excuse that he made when he matched Canelo against Liam Smith in 2016. De La Hoya’s excuse for making the Canelo-Smith fight was he said Liam Smith was the best fighter in the 154lb weight class, which obviously hard to stomach, because the division had both Charlo brothers, Jarrett Hurd and Erislandy Lara. The fans wanted to know why De La Hoya didn’t at least put Canelo back in with Lara rather than matching him against a marginal fighter like Liam Smith, and his response was for him to say Smith is the best fighter at 154. I see De La Hoya doing the same thing. It’s going to make De La Hoya look really bad if he tries to tell the boxing media with a straight face that O’Sullivan is the best fighter in the 160lb division, but I think that’s what he’ll do in hopes that the casual fans buy into it. If De La Hoya repeats it enough, the casual fans could fall in line lock step and start repeating the same things to their fans about O’Sullivan. In doing that, De La Hoya will hurt Canelo’s popularity with the hardcore boxing fans, who know better. They know what O’Sullivan is, a fringe contender at best.

Getting back to the Canelo-GGG negotiations. Golovkin needs to involve himself more in the negotiations, and let Golden Boy know that they can’t drag this out for months, hoping that Team GGG will eventually revert to the way they negotiated the first two times and give Canelo whatever he wants. Golovkin needs to let Canelo and Golden Boy know they have a set time to agree to the take it or leave it 50-50 purse split that they’ve offered them. If they don’t accept it, then Golovkin must move on and fight Derevyanchenko.

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