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Sulaiman wants GGG to face Charlo, winner gets Canelo

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

by Dan Ambrose: WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman thought he was solving a big problem this week at the WBC’s 56 convention by ordering Jermall Charlo and Gennady Golovkin to face each other in an eliminator bout with the winner getting a title shot against WBC middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez.

Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler says he’s going to take with him about whether he’d be interested in fighting Charlo next in order to earn a third fight with Canelo. Loeffler went to the WBC’s 56th annual convention with the purpose of requesting that they order a third fight between GGG and Canelo.

The WBC heard Loeffler’s request and then decided to order Golovkin to fight Canelo’s WBC mandatory Charlo, who he should be fighting himself as the WBC middleweight champion. With the way the WBC is playing it, Golovkin is the champion and having to take care of his old mandatory Charlo. The WBC’s decision at the convention is to allow Canelo to take a voluntary defense in his next fight. So, the end result is Canelo will likely fight David Lemieux next, while Golovkin faces the unbeaten Charlo if the two agree to the fight.

This isn’t only a hardship for Golovkin having to take a smaller money fight against Charlo, but it’s also a bad deal for Jermall. He would likely make more money fighting Canelo than he would facing Golovkin. Canelo is the PPV star, so the money for Charlo is fighting him, not Golovkin. Given that Golovkin is seen as the winner of the two fights with Canelo by the boxing world, Charlo would have the harder fight against him than he would against Canelo, who is short at 5’8″, with arms that would have a tough time connecting against the 6’0″ Jermall. Golovkin has the size, power and chin to give Charlo a lot of problems. Canelo is clearly the better match-up for Charlo.

Charlo is Canelo’s mandatory challenger, but Golovkin wanted to step in front of him to get a trilogy fight due to the controversy over the scoring in the second Canelo-GGG fight last month in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, Jermall Charlo’s management wanted him to get a title shot against Canelo, because he’s been waiting 15 months for his mandatory title shot.

Since both Charlo and Golovkn wanted to challenge Canelo for his title, Sulaiman put put it to a vote with his sanctioning body at the 56th convention and they voted to have Golovkin fight Charlo instead of Canelo being the one to defend his own WBC title. The winner of the Golovkin-Charlo fight would get the title shot against Canelo. By Charlo and Golovkin fighting each other, it would eliminate one of Canelo’s problems, because there’s a good chance that he would lose to both fighters with good judging.

“We have the requests of GGG and the interim champion [Jermall Charlo] to face the [WBC middleweight] champion [Canelo Alvarez],” Sulaiman said via ESPN Deportes. “I spoke with Óscar de la Hoya (Canelo’s promoter at Golden Boy Promotions) and his request is to allow Canelo to make a voluntary defense,” said Sulaiman to ESPN Deportes. “I would like to ask the government board to order Charlo and Golovkin to fight, Canelo will volunteer and then go with the winner of Golovkin and Charlo.”

The next move by Sulaiman was to put it to a vote with the board members, who voted for GGG to fight Charlo instead of Canelo. It was an odd move by the WBC to make Golovkin fight Canelo’s mandatory challenger Charlo instead of him simply taking care of the responsibility himself, but that’s the decision the sanctioning body came up with.

Golovkin wanted the WBC to have a say in the judges being assigned to a third fight against Canelo if they had ordered the Mexican star to fight him. Golovkin feels that he beat Canelo twice already, but the Nevada judges failed to give him the victories. He wanted the WBC to select the judges for the trilogy fight with Canelo, according to ESPN Deportes. But instead of the WBC doing that, they ordered Charlo and GGG to face each other. This is what you call tough love on the WBC’s part in giving Golovkin and Charlo the hard work, and Canelo the easy job in letting him take a voluntary defense against the opponent of his choosing. The WBC making this move likely saved them from Canelo vacating his WBC middleweight title, because if the sanctioning body had ordered him to fight Charlo, there’s a good chance that he would reject that fight even though he’s supposed to defend against mandatory challengers from time to time as a champion. Canelo already vacated the WBC title once before when the sanctioning body attempted to get him to fight his mandatory challenger GGG. This came after the WBC allowed Canelo to defend against welterweight Amir Khan in a fight that ended in a frightening manner with Alvarez knocking his lighter and weaker opponent out cold in the 6th round. Canelo then vacated the WBC title when the sanctioning body attempted to get him to face Golovkin, who was 33 at the time and looking invincible.

Loeffler will speak to GGG and see which direction he wants to go in with his career. If Golovkin likes the idea of fighting Charlo to earn a third fight with Canelo, then he’ll take care of the Mexican’s mandatory challenger for him. Golovkin would be doing Canelo a favor because Charlo would have a very, very good chance of beating him because of his speed, power and explosive jab. Charlo’s jab is so good that he could stand on the outside all night long and make dominate Canelo in a way that Golovkin couldn’t on the outside. Charlo’s jab is more like a power punch, and he’s devastating when he’s controlling his fights with that weapon.

The WBC are helping Canelo by ordering Golovkin to take care of Charlo for him, because is such a bad fight for the short Mexican star. He does not match up at all with the likes of Charlo, and it’s likely that his promoters at Golden Boy realize that. If they thought Canelo could beat Charlo, they would be making that match. The only guy in the middleweight division with any chance of beating Charlo is Golovkin in the view of a lot of boxing fans, and that’s only because Golovkin has the chin, power and size to last long enough to land one of his big shots to take him out. Canelo couldn’t do that because he’s the type of guy that Charlo destroys. Charlo does well against short, stocky guys with a limited reach like Canelo. Cornelius Bundrage is built a lot like Canelo. Charlo destroyed the much shorter Bundrage in a 4th round knockout in 2015. The top Golden Boy brass likely still remember how well Charlo dealt with Bundrage, and they might figure that nothing good can come with letting Canelo mix it up with Charlo. Canelo might end up being Bundrage 2.0 if he faces Charlo.

Golden Boy can make sure that Golovkin takes care of their Charlo problem by telling him that the only way he’ll ever get a third fight with Canelo is if he faces him. Without Golden Boy pulling that move, Golovkin will probably not bother facing Charlo. If Golovkin is going to get the fight with Canelo anyway, why would he bother fighting Charlo? It doesn’t make much sense.

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