Canelo Alvarez wants to unify 160 lb division in 2019
By Aragon Garcia: Saul Canelo will be fighting twice in 2019 and looking to unify the middleweight division, according to sources from ESPN. Canelo (51-1-2, 35 KOs) wants to win all four of the world titles in the 160 lb weight class in 2019, starting with the IBF belt held by Daniel Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) on May 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The venue has already been booked ahead of time by Golden Boy Promotions for Alvarez.
The second fight for Canelo in 2019 will be in September against WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade or whoever holds that belt by that time. There’s a chance that Gennady Golovkin could put himself in position to get the Canelo fight in September by facing Andrade for his WBO strap. That would setup a trilogy fight between Canelo and GGG in September 2019. Golovkin, 36, will need to do his part to earn the third fight with Canelo by beating the tall 6’1″ unbeaten southpaw Andrade to win the WBO belt that he’ll use as bait to get the Mexican star to face him.
Without the WBO 160 pound belt, Golovkin’s chances of getting the trilogy fight that he so craves against Canelo will drop dramatically. Canelo is interested in moving up to super middleweight to go after possibly main WBA 168 pound champion Callum Smith at Wembley Stadium in London, England. If GGG doesn’t give Canelo a reason to fight him again by snatching up the WBO middleweight title before then, it could mean that the two fighters will never face each other a third time.
Jacobs, 31, is a great option for Canelo’s May 4, and he should make for a excellent opponent on DAZN. As long as Jacobs comes to fight, it could be the same kind of fireworks that boxing fans saw last Saturday night in the phone booth war between Canelo and Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden in New York. Beating Jacobs will make Canelo a three belt champion in possessing the IBF, WBA and WBC titles at middleweight.
The last title that will be out of Canelo’s grasp at that time is the WBO strap held by Andrade. Again, the WBO belt could be in GGG’s hands by September of 2019 if his promoter Tom Loeffler negotiates a fight with Andrade in the first quarter of 2019. It’s a risky fight for Golovkin, but all the top fighters at 160 are risky fights for the Kazakhstan fighter. GGG needs to prove that he still possesses the talent to fight at the top rung of the middleweight division after his two off performances against Canelo Alvarez, and his controversial win over Jacobs.
Last weekend, Canelo, 28, won his third division world title in making history in destroying a game but limited 31-year-old WBA World super middleweight champion Fielding (27-2, 15 KOs) on DAZN. It was shocking fight to watch how easily Canelo dispatched a fighter with a tremendous size advantage of 5 inches. However, the fight was too one-sided for the likes of many boxing fans, who felt that it was more of a set-up level contest due to how easily Fielding went down on one knee three times during the match.
The smile that Fielding had on his face when he was on the canvas had some people thinking he was just playing around, and not really trying to fight. The fans want better than this from the opponents that Canelo faces. Fielding looked like the same limited fighter last Saturday that Callum Smith knocked out in the first round in 2015. Canelo now needs a solid fighter in Jacobs to make the boxing public forget the horrible image of a smiling Fielding taking a knee three times, and not even putting in any effort to try and win the fight.
There’s a possibility that one of Canelo’s fights in 2019 could take place in Mexico. It would be a large stadium fight, possibly at Estadio Azteca. It would be an ideal location for Canelo’s September fight for the WBO belt, as long as his promoters at Golden Boy don’t book the T-Mobile Arena for both of his fights in 2019. They’ve already booked the T-Mobile Arena for his May 4 fight.
Golovkin’s status for 2019 is up to him, as he’ll need to sign with DAZN and defeat Demetrius Andrade to win the WBO middleweight title to increase his chances of meeting Canelo for a third fight. The World Boxing Organization title would then be on the line from GGG’s side, and the IBF, WBA & WBC belts would be up for grabs from Alvarez’s side. If Golovkin chooses not to sign with DAZN, then his fate will be sealed and the door for a third fight with Canelo will be closed for all intents and purposes. GGG will have made his decision by not signing with DAZN, since that’s clearly the only way that he’ll be able to fight Canelo in the trilogy fight that he wants. Canelo is less eager to make the third fight obviously, since he he already beat Golovkin in a convincing manner last September in their rematch.
Canelo has other ambitions, and he doesn’t want to tie himself down fighting the same guy over a long period of time. He wants to win more world titles, and also fight in the super middleweight division. Alvarez won’t be able to achieve his dreams if he faces Golovkin repeatedly. Canelo wants Golovkin to accept his loss from last September, and move on with his career. But as far as Golovkin’s chances for a third fight with Canelo, it will require for him to work for the right to face him again by beating Demetrius Andrade to win the WBO middleweight title.
The World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman says they plan on ordering interim WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo and Golovkin to fight each other in a final eliminator after next Saturday’s Charlo vs. Matt Korobov fight on December 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Golovkin shouldn’t waste his time with the Charlo fight, because it might not lead to the third fight that he wants with Canelo. Charlo also might beat Golovkin if he makes the mistake of taking that fight.
A win for Golovkin over Andrade in the first half of 2019 will setup a huge mega-fight between GGG and Canelo in September at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico. Estadio Azteca has a seating capacity of 87,000, and it would be sold out for a third Canelo vs. Golovkin fight in September of 2019 if both fighters do their part and win their matches in early next year to put them on a crash course. It would give GGG a chance to redeem himself against Canelo in a different venue than the first two matches between them. If Canelo can win all four titles at middleweight in 2019, he would make history by becoming the first Mexican fighter to unify the 160 lb weight class. This in turn would almost surely lead to Canelo being named the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, supplanting Vasyl Lomachenko from the top spot.
The question now is whether Golovkin will take the risk of fighting Demetrius Andrade, and whether he can beat him. If pride or fear gets in GGG’s way, then he’ll choose not to fight Andrade, and he’ll wind up sabotaging his own career with that decision. It’ll be a bad look on Golovkin’s part in not facing Andrade to earn a third fight with Canelo. It will make Golovkin look in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans like someone who feels he has a sense of entitlement. Sulking over a loss isn’t a good look for Golovkin. He needs to get over his defeat at the hands of Canelo from last September, and try and learn from the fight to improve his game. If this had been a game of chess that the two fighters had fought last September, GGG would probably be less resistant at accepting the defeat.
If Golovkin is able to defeat Andrade, then he can be ready to take on Canelo next September in Mexico in front of a huge crowd of boxing fans at the Estadio Azteca. It’s up to GGG ultimately whether he’ll be willing to challenge Andrade, and whether he can beat him. If Golovkin doesn’t take the risk, then it’s likely over with as far as him ever facing Canelo again. Canelo will move on after he defeats WBO champion Andrade next September, and then move up to 168 to take on the #1 champion with the World Boxing Association in Callum Smith from the UK.
Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez is already in favor of Canelo facing Smith for his WBA title, as long as the match takes place at the 90,000 seat Wembley Stadium in London, England. However, it’s also possible that Callum Smith would need to come to the United States to fight Canelo, as there is talk that the British fighter lacks the popularity to sellout Wembley Stadium with Canelo’s help. Smith is mainly popular in his hometown of Liverpool. A fight between Canelo and Smith in the smaller Anfield Stadium in Liverpool would be limited to 54,000 fans. If that’s the only stadium that Canelo vs. Smith could be counted on to sellout in England, then it’s best that they fight in the United States in 2019.
Canelo will need to let the WBA and WBC sanctioning bodies know soon whether he plans on returning to the middleweight division to defend the straps or stay at super middleweight to defend his newly won WBA ‘regular’ title that he won from Fielding.
Many boxing fans still want to see Canelo fight Golovkin in third fight. The match can certainly happen, but it will require Golovkin to make the right moves with his career to get the fight. He’ll need to sign with DAZN, then take the fight with Andrade and beat him. Right now it would seem to be too much for GGG. His pride will likely trip him up and prevent him from getting the third fight against Canelo.