Canelo vs. Golovkin II: Interesting idea to solve negotiations stalemate
By Dan Ambrose: Gennady Golovkin and Saul Canelo Alvarez are stuck at a stalemate in the negotiations for their September 15 rematch. As the A-side fighter, Canelo (49-1-2, 34 KOs) wants most of the money with a 65-35 split, which is only a slightly better deal for GGG than their previous match last September. Golovkin took the short end of a 70-30 split. Golovkin now wants a 50-50 split due to Canelo testing positive twice for clenbuterol, and then pulling out of their fight on 3 weeks’ notice, which left GGG not enough time to find a popular fighter for his May 5 fight.
With Canelo likely to be stubborn about sticking with the 65-35 split for the GGG rematch, the only real chance the fight has in getting made is for them to compromise. However, without the venue changing to a neutral city like New York, it may not make any sense for Golovkin to agree to a 50-40-10 split. If the fight is in Vegas again, it puts Canelo in the driver’s seat if the fight goes to the scorecards.
Instead of Golovkin receiving a $20 million payday last May, he made approximately $1 million to defend against Vanes Martiroyan, who he knocked out in the 2nd round. Dan Rafael of ESPN has floated the idea that Canelo should receive 50% of the revenue with Golovkin 40 percent, and then the other 10% going to the winner. So, if Golovkin wins, he would ultimately get 50 percent, and it would end up being the 50-50 deal that he’s asking for right now. If Canelo wins, he would get the 60-40 split, which is probably what his promoters at Golden Boy are willing to agree to for the September 15 rematch.
The basic problem that Rafael doesn’t point out is that the venue for the Canelo-Golovkin fight will almost surely be hand-picked by Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy. What this means is the rematch is almost guaranteed to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s where the previous Canelo vs. Golovkin fight took place last year on September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. As everyone knows, Golovkin appeared to win the fight by four to five rounds, and yet the judges scored it a 12 round draw. One judge was so far off with her 118-110 [10 rounds 2] for Canelo, and another scored it 114-114 after giving round 7, GGG’s best round of the fight, to Canelo. Having a purse split of 50-40 in Canelo’s favor with the last 10 percent going to the winner of the fight only works if the fight is fought in a neutral venue with quality judges that don’t have a history of odd scoring of fights. If all those are in play, I think it’s a great idea. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible to have any of those things.
If there is going to be a rematch, it’s very likely to take place in the venue that Canelo chooses, which will undoubtedly be back at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As far as the judges go, it’ll be up to whoever the Nevada State Athletic Commission decides. The contract for the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight will have already been signed by the time the judges are selected for the fight, so there’s probably not much Team GGG is going to be able to do when the Commission names the three judges for the rematch. The judges obviously won’t be the same three that worked the previous Canelo vs. Gennady fight last September, but the venue will still favor Alvarez in a huge way.
Canelo ALWAYS fights in Las Vegas nowadays, and he helps the city out each time he fights by bringing in a massive amount of boxing fans to his fights. Having the rematch in Vegas greatly favors Canelo and puts Golovkin at a huge disadvantage, again. So, while it’s a compelling idea for Golovkin and Canelo to agree to a 50-40-10 split, it doesn’t work out so well if you’re GGG. If Golovkin agrees to the deal, he’ll get a slight bump up in pay from the horribly bad 65-35 purse split that his management agreed to for the cancelled May 5 fight, as he’ll be guaranteed a minimum of 40 percent of the revenue. But I don’t think there would be too much risk of Golovkin being on the losing end of a controversial decision if he’s unable to knockout Canelo and that means the 10 percent will go to Canelo. The Mexican star will end up with a 60-40 deal, which is what it likely will be without the 50-40-10 split. To be brutally frank, I don’t think Canelo or Golovkin would ever agree to the 50-40-10 split anyway.
Canelo doesn’t believe that Golovkin deserves parity, so he’s not going to agree to give him 40 percent with 10 percent hanging in the balance. Canelo has to know after watching his previous fight with Golovkin that he probably won’t beat him the rematch. Golovkin was the better fighter with the much better engine of the two. If this was 5 to 7 years later, you could see the rematch as potentially legitimately, without controversy, swinging Canelo’s way, but not with only year having gone by.
Golovkin didn’t take punishment in his last fight against Vanes Martirosyan in quickly knocking him out in the 2nd round. If anything, Golovkin looked better in that fight than he did in his two prior bouts against Canelo and Danny Jacobs. Golovkin used his old fighting style that he’d abandoned against Canelo and Jacobs, and it worked well for him in obliterating Martirosyan in 2 rounds. It’s doubtful that Canelo believes he can beat Golovkin without the same type of judging as last time. So, why would Canelo agree potentially give Golovkin a 50-50 deal after the smoke clears, when he can have his promoters at Golden Boy workout a 60-40 deal in his favor? I think Canelo will just sit and wait for Golden Boy to hammer out a favorable deal for him rather than him having to earn the 60-40 deal by beating Golovkin to get it. If this was another easy mark for Canelo, like Liam Smith, Amir Khan and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., then I think he’d quickly agree to a 50-40-10 split. That’s not the way this is though. This is Golovkin, and Canelo was beaten by him in the view of most boxing fans. The way the fight played out, it looks Golovkin is the only one that can improve in the rematch by attacking more, and fighting more aggressively than he did last time.
Canelo can make a lot of money without Triple G fighting other guys that Golden Boy picks out for him, but not the kind of cash he can make against GGG. Golden Boy’s likely backup for Canelo’s next fight in September is Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, a good safe pick, but one that the American boxing fans will be disinterested in paying to see. The problem that Canelo has is he’s short for the middleweight division, so if he faces Jermall Charlo, Billy Joe or Daniel Jacobs, he stands a good chance of losing to them. It means Golden Boy must be extremely careful in how they match Canelo, because he’s on the razors edge against fighters with talent. He arguably lost to Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara, on top of his clear loss to Golovkin last September.
Canelo finally volunteered to the VADA drug testing that Golovkin was insisting that he agree to for him to fight him. That was a good start for Canelo. It’s too bad it took Canelo one month to finally agree to the testing, as he was under huge pressure from the boxing public to agree to it. Canelo, 27, is still under a 6-month suspension handed down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission last April after testing positive twice for clenbuterol. The suspension ends on August 17. Golovkin missed out on a big payday because of Canelo getting positive for clenbuterol. This wasn’t GGG’s fault that Canelo tested positive. That was on him. Canelo waiting until 3 weeks before the May 5 fight to pull out, it left Golovkin out to dry. If Golovkin and his management had known that Canelo would pull out well ahead of time, they could have setup a lucrative fight against WBA ‘regular’ champion Ryota Murata. There’s interest from Murata’s side to making a fight against GGG. With only 3 weeks to look for an opponent, Golovkin ended up facing Vanes Martirosyan on May 5 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Golovkin looked great in destroying Martirosyan in 2 rounds.