Loeffler says GGG could move to 168 to face DeGale after Canelo rematch
By Dan Ambrose: Promoter Tom Loeffler says Gennady Golovkin may move up to super middleweight to take on the likes of former IBF 168 pound champion James ‘Chunky’ DeGale (24-2-1, 14 KOs) in the near future if he beats Saul Canelo Alvarez in their rematch on September 15. Loeffler says GGG would come to the UK, and he believes it would be a big deal.
DeGale, 32, recently vacated his IBF title this month on July 4 after the International Boxing Federation ordered him to defend it against his mandatory Jose Uzcategui. DeGale chose to give up the belt so that he could seek out bigger money fights against the winner of the George Groves vs. Callum Smith fight.
“Charlo is a great fight,” Loeffler said to IFL TV about who Golovkin can fight after his September 15 rematch with Canelo. ”The winner of the Derevyanchenko-Jacobs and so is the winner of Saunders-Andrade. The 168 pound division is heating up with [David] Benavidez and James DeGale. That would be a great fight for Triple G. (Gilberto Zurdo) Ramirez is there. Triple G would fight DeGale. He would have no problems coming to 168. He likes coming over there (UK). He fought Kell Brook at the O2. Triple G had a good time in the UK. If he would come back, it would be sensational,” Loffler said.
Golovkin might not get to DeGale before he’s beaten by one of the other fighters at 168. DeGale has looked like a shot fighter in his last two fights against Caleb Truax. DeGale blamed his loss to Truax in their first fight December on him coming off shoulder surgery. However, DeGale looked little better in their rematch on April 7 in winning a close 12 round unanimous decision.
The way DeGale looked against Truax, he’s not going to be coming back to the fighter that he once. DeGale looks totally shot. For GGG to fight DeGale, it would be purely a business fight and nothing more. You can’t call a fight between those two as a sporting fight due to how over-the-hill DeGale is looking. It would be too much of a mismatch favoring GGG. That fight should have taken place two years go before DeGale was looking shot. The fight taking place now would make GGG look like he’s cherry-picking. DeGale looks like he’ll be completely done as a fighter within his next two fights depending on the opponents he faces. If DeGale fights anyone remotely good, he’ll lose badly.
“The rematch is so much bigger than the first fight,” Hearn said of the Canelo vs. GGG 2 rematch on September 15. ”Both guys after everything that happened, Triple G doesn’t like Canelo anymore. All the respect and everything from the first fight has went out the window, and Canelo is pissed off because of all the things Triple G said. I think you’ll see a lot of fireworks this time because Triple G doesn’t want to leave it in the judges’ hands,” Loeffler said.
What Loeffler isn’t saying is GGG should have known better than to try and beat a popular fighter like Canelo by decision in his own venue in Las Vegas in their first fight. Loeffler needed to ask Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez what the game plan was for the fight so that he could have clued them in that he wouldn’t likely beat Canelo by a decision at the T-Mobile Arena. If Loeffler had known what the game plan was, he could have told GGG to forget about trying to win a decision and instead focus on taking the three judges out of the equation. That was Golovkin’s mistake. He falsely assumed that he could win a decision over Canelo in the same way that Floyd Mayweather Jr. did in 2013. The difference is
Mayweather was more popular than Canelo, and Las Vegas was HIS home city. Canelo wasn’t going to beat a fighter as popular as Mayweather with him fighting at home. Golovkin has learned his lesson from the Canelo fight, and he’ll be looking to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistake in he rematch.
”The first fight, he started out kind of slow in the first couple of rounds,” Loeffler said of the Canelo vs. GGG fight last September. ”He’s going to come out of the gates fast. Canelo is promising a knockout. The Mexican fans were disappointed in how he fought the last time because he promised a knockout and Triple G was the one coming forward pressing the action and Canelo was the one going side to side. Canelo is promising a knockout, and Triple G is going to be more aggressive. It’s going to be a great fight,” Loeffler said.
Golovkin started out too slow last time against Canelo, and he gave up the first two rounds by not doing enough. Some boxing fans think GGG lost the first three. It looked like Golovkin did enough to win the third round, but he still wasn’t pressing the fight nearly as much as h needed to for him to win it in a decisive manner.
Loeffler says he was working on a deal to match Golovkin against WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders if he had failed to negotiate the September 15 rematch against Canelo Alvarez. Loeffler notes that the Golovkin vs. Saunders fight wouldn’t have been as commercially successful as a rematch with Canelo, but it was an important fight due to the World Boxing Organization title being up for grabs.
”All the terms were agreed upon,” Loeffler said of a fight between Golovkin and Saunders. ”Triple G was just as happy fighting Billy Joe to unify. Golovkin wants to be the unified champion. It wouldn’t have been as commercially as big as Canelo fight. The fans want to see the Canelo fight. I told Frank if the fight doesn’t happen, let’s go ahead with the unification fight,” Loeffler said.
It would have been a case of Golovkin going after a meaningless belt in facing Saunders for his WBO title. The U.S boxing fans don’t care to see Golovkin fight Saunders. Once the Canelo rematch is done, the boxing fans want Golovkin to face former middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs, Jermall Charlo or Demetrius Andrade. Those are the fights that are in demand by the fan in the States. Saunders would be a waste of time for GGG to fight.
”Right now, he wants to take it out of the judges’ hands,” Loeffler said. ”He’s in more of the seek and destroy mode than he was the first time around, so we’ll see a great fight. Unless someone beats him, they’re not the real champion. You know how Donald Trump says fake news; they’re going to be the fake champion,” Loeffler said about the winner of the Sergey Derevyanchenko vs. Daniel Jacobs fight for the vacant IBF middleweight title. ”Unless they beat Triple G, they’re not going to be a real champion. I know the IBF has their rules and we got the stick because the WBC was ordering the mandatoryy. The IBF was ordering a mandatory. Canelo tested positive. Everyone acknowledged the Canelo fight was supposed to go forward. All of a sudden the IBF made the ruling. Instead of saying you can fight on May 5th and then fight the mandatory after that, which would have allowed us to make it against Derevyanchenko. The winner of the September 15th, if Triple G beats Canelo a second time, he’ll be considered the best middleweight champion,” Loeffler said.
Golovkin will be considered the best middleweight in the world if he beats Canelo, but he’ll still need to keep proving himself by beating Jermall Charlo and the winner of the Daniel Jacobs vs. Sergey Derevyanchenko fight. If Golovkin can beat those guys, he’ll be looking good when he eventually moves up to 168 to face DeGale, Gilberto Ramirez or George Groves. It would be a wrong move on Golovkin’s part if he were to go up to super middleweight to fight DeGale before he faces Charlo and the winner of the Jacobs-Derevyanchenko fight.