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Gomez: Canelo has plenty of options; GGG must decide if he wants the fight

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez insists that Saul Canelo Alvarez has “many options” for his next fight in September if the rematch with IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin doesn’t take place. Gomez says they still want the fight with Golovkin, but it’s up to him to decide whether he’s willing to agree to the terms set for the purse split from May 5.

Gomez states that Canelo won’t wait on Golovkin, as they have to decide which fighter from this list will face him on September 15: Billy Joe Saunders, Jermall Charlo, David Lemieux, Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, and Daniel Jacobs. Gomez says Golovkin will have to fight little known IBF mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko if the fight with Canelo doesn’t get made.

Gomez has already contacted the promoters for Daniel Jacobs and Billy Joe Saunders’ promoters about matching them against Canelo. Gomez doesn’t need to contact the promoters for O’Sullivan and Lemieux, because he promotes them both, as they’re signed with Golden Boy.

“Saul’s options are many, you have left, there is Daniel Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders, who will defend in June but they are willing, we already talked to Frank Warren, brother (Jermall) Charlo, and obviously (David) Lemieux, is (Gary) O’Sullivan,” Eric Gomez said to ESPN Deportes.

Gomez is correct that Canelo does have a lot of options compared to GGG for his fight on the Mexican Independence Day holiday on September 15. Golovkin has to fight his IBF mandatory Sergey Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) if he wants to keep his IBF middleweight title, and he clearly does. Golovkin is so close to unifying the middleweight title. He just needs to get Saunders to face him. However, Golden Boy could take that option away from Golovkin by negotiating a fight against Saunders for Canelo.

If Canelo beats Saunders, then Golden Boy can use that title as bait to get GGG to agree to the 65-35 percentage split that they were hoping to have him agree to for September. If Golovkin wants the WBO badly enough, he’ll agree to the 65/35 split for the Canelo rematch, and Golden Boy will make a bundle off the fight like they did last September.

This might be the last time that Canelo is able to make this kind of huge money in his career, as there aren’t any big stars in the middleweight division for Golden Boy to match against him to bring in the huge money they’re getting from the Golovkin fights. It’s obviously not a great deal for Golovkin to have to agree to the smaller money when he’s the world champion, and he seen as the winner of the previous fight. Canelo arguably had a lot of things tilted in favor with that fight. You had the controversy about whether Canelo actually made weight or not. Then there was the hand-wrap issue with Canelo’s hands being wrapped in a way that Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez said was ‘stacking’ tape over tape to make into a cast. Canelo later tested positive for clenbuterol in February after he was training for the May 5 rematch. A lot of things worked against Golovkin, and it looked to some boxing fans like he was fighting an uphill battle all the way. Golovkin’s decision to ask for a 50-50 equal purse split looks the end result of all things that happened to him in dealing with Canelo and Golden Boy. I think Golovkin had enough of it and he decided that with all the things that he went through, he deserved a 50-50 split. If you look at it from the angle of Golovkin winning the first fight, he would have been able to ask and likely receive a 50-50 purse split in the rematch as the winner of the first fight. The judges scoring it a 12 round draw really hurt Golovkin in the pocketbook, since it enabled Golden Boy to use almost the same purse split for the rematch as they had in the first fight. Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler was once again behind the eight ball in negotiating with Golden Boy. When you look at it in total, it was a bad deal all around from start to finish for GGG.

”GGG has a choice, make the mandatory with the Russian (Sergiy Derevyanchenko), who has 12 fights, if that’s what he wants to do, fight with the IBF rival that nobody knows is fine, but we are not going to wait for it,” Gomez said.

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It goes without saying that Golden Boy Promotions won’t wait for Golovkin to get his mandatory defense out of the way against the 32-year-old Derevyanchenko in August. If Canelo is going to fight in September, Golden Boy can’t wait and hope that Golovkin will be able to take the fight with him in September.

Golovkin is still in a better position than Canelo in excelling in the middleweight division against all the top fighters that Gomez mentioned as potential opponents for Canelo. Golovkin has the size, reach, power, boxing skills and most importantly the stamina to beat all of those fighters. Canelo doesn’t. He’s a short 5’8” fighter, who fights in spurts, and who needs frequent rest breaks. Canelo’s draw against Golovkin was suspect in the eyes of the boxing public, as was his 12 round split decision victory over Erislandy Lara and 12 round unanimous decision over Austin Trout. If Canelo fights Jacobs, Charlo or Saunders, he may not have the size, stamina to beat those fighters. Right now, if Canelo is given another controversial draw or additional decision wins, it’s going to hurt his career in a major way and make him look like a fake that is being propped up. It might be better if Canelo moves to a division he can live in without the need of controversial decisions, because right now I don’t see him beating GGG, Jacobs, Saunders or Charlo.

“@Canelo will continue forward, the only way he can face @GGGBoxing in September is in the same terms we agreed upon after the first fight,” Golden Boy CEO Óscar De La Hoya said on his Twitter.

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De La Hoya sounds like he’s really trying to put the pressure on GGG to get him to agree to the low 65-35 split that they want for the rematch with Canelo. We’ll have to see how mentally strong GGG is because he’s walking away from a lot of money by not agreeing to the lopsided split. But then again, Canelo and Golden Boy are throwing away a ton of money as well by not giving GGG fifty percent of the purse for the fight. Canelo is not going to see $35 million fighting Jacobs, Saunders, Charlo, O’Sullivan or Lemieux. Canelo will be lucky to make one-third that total against those guys, because none of them have the visibility needed in the U.S to bring in huge PPV numbers. Let’s look at those guys:

Billy Joe Saunders – he’s from the UK and he’s a complete unknown with the U.S casual boxing fans. The hardcore fans in the U.S know of Saunders, and they’re not overly impressed with him. Saunders is not a PPV attraction in the UK. It’s possible that Golden Boy will select Saunders because he’s the least dangerous fighter of the top middleweights on Golden Boy’s hit list for Canelo. But Saunders is also a very good boxer, who is slick and knows how to make his opponents look bad. With Saunders, you just don’t know what you’re going to get. Sometimes he can look really good like he did against David Lemieux and O’Sullivan. Other times, Saunders has had problems against Atur Akavov, Willie Monroe Jr. and John Ryder. Those fights weren’t that long ago. If Saunders is firing on all eight cylinders, he’s capable of beating Canelo or making it so close that it would be a toss-up to decide the winner.

Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan – He’s from the UK as well, and not well known by U.S fans. The hardcore fans know of O’Sullivan, and they remember well how easily he was beaten by Chris Eubank Jr. several years ago. Eubank Jr. dominated O’Sullivan in stopping him in the 7th round.

Daniel Jacobs – Despite giving Golovkin a close fight last year losing a 12 round decision, he’s not a popular fighter. Jacobs is starting to look like a shot fighter as well, as he almost lost his last fight against Maciej Sulecki last April on HBO. Jacobs won the fight after scoring a 12th round knockdown. That was the difference in the fight. Canelo isn’t going to make a lot of money by fighting Jacobs.

Jermall Charlo – Canelo might bring in decent PPV numbers against Charlo, but only because the boxing public will see him as an underdog and they’ll tune in to find out if he gets blasted out.

“Right now there is no fight,” Gomez said about the Canelo vs. Golovkin II rematch. “If you had asked me on Monday, I would have said we are close, just a few details, but since they answered us yesterday (asking for a 50-50 split), there is no fight. For now there is no fight and we have seen other fighters,” Gomez said.

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