Canelo won’t fight Daniel Jacobs; too risky says GGG promoter
By Sean Jones: Promoter for Gennaddy Golovkin, Tom Loeffler, says he doesn’t see Saul Canelo Alvarez taking a risky fight against IBF middelweight champion Daniel Jacobs in May of 2019 after he deals with his next opponent WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding on December 15.
Jacobs has the size, power and the boxing skills to beat the 5’8″ Canelo. Loeffler is one of many who see Jacobs as being all wrong for Canelo.
Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions haven’t made a peep about matching him against Jacobs. The fighter that is clearly being angled for Canelo’s opponent next May is David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs), who Golden Boy has fighting in the co-feature on the Canelo-Fielding card on December 15. Lemieux, 29, will be fighting 2008 Olympian Tureano Johnson (20-2, 14 kOs) on that date. Lemieux destroyed Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan by a 1st round knockout on the Canelo-GGG2 undercard two months ago on September 15 in Las Vegas. Before getting crushed by Lemieux, Spike was being groomed by Golden Boy as one of the opponents for Canelo.
Lemieux ruined those plans, but obviously not permanently. You can bet that O’Sullivan will eventually be matched by Golden Boy against Canelo, but not until they build him up with three fast wins against lower level opposition before they make the Canelo-O’Sullivan fight. But in the meantime, Lemieux is almost surely going to be the guy that faces Canelo on May 4, 2019 in Las Vegas. It’s not expected to be Jacobs and definitely not Golovkin. Loeffler is reading the tea leaves in looking at how Golden Boy is putting all the ducks in a row for Canelo in putting him in winnable fights where he can look good with decisive wins rather than the controversial decisions he’s been repeatedly involved in while fighting in Las Vegas.
It’s easy to see why Loeffler has doubts about Canelo (50-1-2, 34 KOs) taking a risky fight against Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) on May 4 of next year. Canelo just signed a huge 5-year, 11-fight, $365 million contract with DAZN. With that kind of money, there’s no real pressure for Canelo to fight dangerous opposition. The money is going to roll in for the Mexican star, and he doesn’t need to take risky, talent-draining fights against the likes of the 31-year-old Jacobs next May. That’s not to say that Canelo won’t eventually face Jacobs at some point. It’s just that it’s in Canelo’s best interest to wait two or three years before he eventually does face him. Jacobs will be older, and less of a fighter than he is right now. Since his loss to Golovkin in 2017, Jacobs has looked increasingly worse in each of his last three fights against Luis Arias, Maciej Sulecki and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. At this rate, Jacobs should be vulnerable enough for Canelo to face him in a year from now after three more fights. It’s the business of match-making. Wait until a risky fighter is old and depleted before you fight them. We saw that with Golden Boy Promotions opting not to match Canelo against Golovkin until after the Kazakhstan fighter turned 35-years-old. After Canelo and Golden Boy found out that Golovkin was still explosive even at 35, they waited 12 months before they made the match with a 36-year-old GGG last September. As you would expect, Canelo did a lot better. The trilogy fight between the two is expected to take place next year in September when Golovkin is 37-years-ol.
Loeffler notes that Golden Boy Promotions is matching Canelo against a non-threat in Fielding for his next fight, and he doesn’t expect that the Mexican star will be put in with a better opponent like Jacobs when he fights in May 2019.
“I’ll go on record: I don’t think there’s any way Canelo fights Jacobs in May,” Loeffler said to Fighthub. “That’s just my opinion…I just don’t think Canelo’s going to choose to fight him in May. If he does, look, that’s a great fight too. I don’t think Canelo’s going to take that risk to fight a guy like Danny Jacobs in May, but if he does then we give out hats off to him. I just think if you look at a Rocky Fielding type of opponent — not to take anything away from Fielding — but, you know, I don’t think that’s going to be a challenging fight for Canelo,” Loeffler said.
The wildcard in the situation is if Canelo fails to bring in huge ratings on DAZN for his fight against Fielding in December, and in his May 2019 fight. If DAZN is unhappy with the number of subscribers that Canelo brings in for his mismatches against Fielding and Lemieux, they might give him a subtle hint that he needs to face better opposition. After all, Canelo is getting a lot of money from DAZN for his five-year, 11-fight contract. They won’t be able to maximize the amount of subscribers that they can bring in if Canelo is going to take on soft touches like Fielding and Lemieux.
The boxing public in the U.S wants to see Canelo fight opposition that has a chance of beating him like Jacobs, Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, Jarrett Hurd, Billy Joe Saunders, Erislandy Lara, Callum Smith, David Benavidez and Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez. Those are the fighters that Canelo needs to be fighting for him to bring in massive amounts of subscribers to DAZN, not Fielding, O’Sullivan and Lemieux. It’s quite possible that Canelo might wind up being matched against those three fighters in his next three fights rather than talented opposition that would interest the U.S boxing public. If GGG does get a chance for a trilogy fight with Canelo in 2019, it’ll be in September, and likely in Las Vegas rather than in a neutral venue.
If his DAZN contract isn’t guaranteed for Canelo, which GGG’s trainer Abel Sanchez believes to be the case, then they could opt out if Alvarez fails to bring in the subscribers they were hoping he would when they signed him to the big money 5-year contact. When these platforms pay fighters big money, they do it expecting them to bring in the boxing fans. If they don’t do that due to them being matched against mediocre or little known opposition, then it makes it difficult for them to attract subscribers. You have to wonder why Golden Boy Promotions are choosing to put Canelo in with Fielding. Perhaps they feel that with the attention Canelo got from his two fights with GGG, he’ll be able to passively bring in tons of subscribers to DAZN for his fight against Fielding on DAZN without them having to match him against a talented and well-respected fighter. It’s a gamble for Canelo and Golden Boy. If it pays off, then Golden Boy can continue to match Canelo against lesser fighters to bring in subscribers without putting him in risky fights. It obviously is a bad way of matching a fighter because it limits their growth, but its a way of extending their careers due to the not taking punishment and not needing to face quality opposition that might beat them. If that’s the model that Golden Boy will be following with Canelo, then you can forget abut Jermall Charlo and Demetrius Andrade getting a fight against Canelo. Golovkin will obviously get a third shot against Canelo, but he’ll likely need to wait until next year in September, and he’ll almost surely need to agree to fight in Las Vegas. Some boxing fans feel that Canelo is unbeatable while fighting in Las Vegas.