By Sean Jones: In a move that has surprised a lot of fans, the World Boxing Council has ordered interim WBC interim middleweight champion Jermall Charlo to defend against the recently beaten former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin, and Saul is allowing Canelo Alvarez to take a voluntary defense for his next fight.
This is a real zinger the WBC has pulled, as it was thought that Canelo, as the NEW WBC middleweight champion, would be ordered by the WBC to defend against Charlo, who is his mandatory challenger. But instead of the WBC doing that, they’ve ordered Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) to defend his interim WBC 160 pound title against Golovkin with the winner of that fight then facing Canelo after he makes a voluntary defense on December 15 against possibly former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux.
The move by the WBC to have Golovkin take the hard fight against the 28-year-old Charlo has the look of the sanctioning body protecting Canelo from having to take a potentially difficult fight against the unbeaten Jermall. The WBC having Golovkin do the hard work for Canelo by fighting Charlo and getting him out of the picture possibly is seen by some boxing fans as the sanctioning body doing Golden Boy Promotions and Alvarez a HUGE favor.
It works either way for Canelo and Golden Boy. If Charlo beats Golovkin, then Canelo doesn’t need to worry about fighting GGG again, because he arguably lost to him twice in the view of many fans. Supposing that Golovkin beats Charlo, then he gets a very difficult opponent out of the way for Canelo, who then wouldn’t have to fight Charlo for a long, long time if ever. It works out well for Canelo and Golden Boy.
The WBC has really done Canelo a huge favor in ordering Charlo to defend his interim WBC title against Golovkin instead of making him, as the new WBC 160 pound champion, defend against him. You would never think that Golovkin would be the one having to fight Charlo rather than Canelo, because he’s coming off of a loss to Alvarez from last September 15. It doesn’t make sense for the WBC to order Charlo to defend against GGG rather than them ordering Canelo to make his mandatory defense of his WBC 160 pound belt against Jermall.
“Interim titlist Jermall Charlo was ordered to make a mandatory defense against Golovkin, with the winner becoming Alvarez’s WBC mandatory challenger,” said Dan Rafael of ESPN.com.
This is a major setback for Golovkin and his promoter Tom Loeffler, who were hoping that the WBC would order Canelo to make an immediate rematch with GGG without being allowed to make a voluntary defense in December. Loeffler felt that due to the controversy of Canelo’s recent 12 round majority decision win over Golovkin on September 15, the WBC would order an IMMEDIATE rematch between them. The fact that the WBC not only didn’t order a Canelo-GGG rematch but instead ordered WBC interim 160 lb champion Charlo to defend against Golovkin, it’s seen as a real gift by the sanctioning body to Canelo and Golden Boy. They basically set Canelo in the easy chair in letting him make a voluntary defense against whoever his promoters at Golden Boy choose, and they put Golovkin in the tough position of having to take care of Canelo’s mandatory challenger Charlo for him, even though he’s no longer the WBC middleweight champion. It’s a backwards way for the WBC to do this, but it works out well for Canelo though, you have to admit. In theory, the WBC champion is the one who must defend against his mandatory challengers, not the interim WBC belt holder. Charlo is already the WBC mandatory challenger after earned that position 15 months ago in stopping Jorge Sebastian Heiland in the 4th round in their WBC middleweight title eliminator in July 2017. Charlo has been waiting ever since then for his WBC mandated title shot. But instead of finally getting that fight, Charlo needs to defend against former WBC champion Golovkin, who is coming off of a loss to Canelo. It’s totally backwards the way the WBC set this up, and it seems to favor Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions to the extreme.
This isn’t what Charlo and his manager Sampson Lewkowicz wanted, according to Fight News. They were hoping the WBC, at the 56th convention, would order Canelo to defend against Charlo. However, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman proposed that Charlo defend against Golovkin, and Canelo be allowed to make a voluntary defense. Sulaiman’s proposal was approved by the WBC by a unanimous vote, according to Fight News. As such, Golovkin will need to beat Charlo for him to earn the rematch against Canelo.
Golovkin and his promoter Loeffler haven’t yet said whether they’ll go along with the WBC’s wishes of fighting Charlo to earn the mandatory spot for a rematch with Canelo. Considering that the results of GGG’s last two fights with Canelo were highly questionable, it would seem like punishment for Golovkin to have to fight Charlo to earn a third fight with Canelo. Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo need to decide whether they want to fight Golovkin in a trilogy fight. Canelo and Golden Boy also need to decide whether they want to keep the WBC title. WBC making Golovkin make the defense against the WBC mandatory Charlo instead of Canelo probably isn’t going to work. It’s highly doubtful that Golovkin will take the fight with Charlo. It’s not that he’s afraid of fighting him. It’s more of the principal of the thing. Golovkin isn’t the WBC champion, Canelo is. He’s the one who should be defending the WBC belt against his mandatory challengers, not Golovkin. If Golovkin rejects the WBC’s order of Charlo facing him, then the sanctioning body will need to work down the list of contenders in their top 15. Depending which of these fighters want to fight Charlo next, he’ll be facing one of these guys:
2. Martin Murray
3. Willie Monroe Jr.
4. Jason Quigley
5. Kamil Szeremeta
6. Gary O’Sullivan
7. Jack Culcay
8. Yamaguchi Falcao
9. Luis Arias
10. Hugo Centeno, Jr.
It’s safe to say that these guys aren’t going to make Charlo disappear from the radar screen to keep him from continuing to breathe down Canelo’s next. If Golovkin doesn’t agree to the WBC’s order of facing interim WBC champion, then the sanctioning body will need to find someone else to take the fight. In the meantime, Canelo will need to decide whether it’s worth it to be the WBC middleweight champion or not if he doesn’t want to fight Charlo, which appears he doesn’t want any of that work.
Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions haven’t said for sure whether he’ll fight on December 15 or not. David Lemieux is the only one that has been mentioned as having a possibility to fight Canelo. Before September 15, Lemieux and Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan were the only contestants for the Canelo lottery. Lemieux knocked O’Sullivan out in the 1st round, and that removed him from the running for the fight. Although Jermall was mentioned by Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya as one of the options for Canelo to fight, it’s not going to happen. The WBC ordering Charlo to fight Golovkin makes it crystal clear that Canelo won’t be fighting Jermall. The WBC wants Golovkin to be the one that takes care of Canelo’s mandatory Charlo.
Golovkin will likely ignore the WBC now, and move in the direction of facing the winner of the Billy Joe Saunders vs. Demetrius Andrade fight on October 20. Golovkin can fight the winner of the Saunders-Andrade fight in the first quarter of 2019. Canelo will probably take the Lemieux fight on December 15, and then decide whether he wants to risk fighting Golovkin in May of 2019. The WBC has no power of forcing Golovkin to fight the guys that they want him to for him to get a third fight against Canelo.