GGG ranked #1 WBO, is Demetrius Andrade future target?
By Sean Jones: In the World Boxing Organization’s new rankings, they’ve installed Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin at #1 as the top contender to WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade in what appears to be a move by the sanctioning body for them to get these two to face each other for their belt. The previous #1, former WBO 160 lb champion Billy Joe Saunders, is moving up to 168 to fight Shefut Isufi for the vacant WBO super middleweight title on April 13 in London, England.
This isn’t a surprising move by the WBO in making former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) as their number 1 contender to Andrade, as there’s been talk of DAZN offering Triple G a two-fight, $45 million deal in which the first fight would be against Demetrius for the WBO title. The unbeaten Andrade (27-0, 17 KO) is promoted by Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn, and he’s with DAZN. If Golovkin signs with DAZN for a 2-fight contract, then the talked about deal would be for him to face Andrade, 30, in his first fight, and then followed by a match against Saul Canelo Alvarez in the second fight, which would likely take place this September or in May of 2020 on DAZN.
Golovkin beating the 6’1″ southpaw Andrade will put him in a better position to negotiate a third fight against Canelo in a unification match. Canelo is fighting IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) next on May 4. If Canelo beats the 32-year-old Jacobs, he’ll possess the IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles. The only belt that Canelo will need to complete his collection of all the middleweight belts is the WBO, which could by that time be in Golovkin’s possession if he’s able to beat Andrade to win the strap.
It’s up to Golovkin, 36, whether he feels it’s necessary for him to challenge Andrade for his WBO middleweight title or not in order to use the belt to get a better deal for the Canelo trilogy fight. Golovkin might be a little too proud at this point for him to take on another champion before he gets his trilogy fight, considering that he feels he’s already beaten the Mexican star twice in their two fights that took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fact is, Golovkin will need to fight someone good before he faces Canelo if he wants to get a better deal. It won’t look good for GGG or the promotion, for him to be sitting inactive until getting the third fight with Canelo in September. At this point, Golovkin needs to beat a good fighter like Andrade to dispel the notion that he’s a shot fighter. Golovkin hasn’t won a fight since his second round knockout win over junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan last May. The last win for GGG against a top middleweight came two years ago in his 12 round decision win over Daniel Jacobs. As long as GGG isn’t too proud to face Andrade, he can take that fight and potentially pick up the WBO belt to use that to get a better financial deal against Canelo this September.
It’s unclear whether Golovkin has been training all this time since his loss to Canelo in their rematch last September. If Triple G can get back into the ring, there’s no reason why he can’t be ready to face Andrade by May or June. However, GGG will likely need to sign with DAZN for the fight with Andrade to take place. If Golovkin doesn’t sign with DAZN, then he’s probably looking at inking with Premier Boxing Champions, who will want him to face unbeaten middleweight contender Jermall Charlo. Signing with Top Rank Boxing puts Golovkin against WBA secondary middleweight champion Rob Brant. It’s pretty clear from looking at the options for GGG, he can get three really good fights if he signs with DAZN in facing Andrade, Canelo and Jacobs.
In the final analysis, Golovkin needs to sign with the network platform that will pay him the most, and have the best fights available to him. If GGG signs with DAZN, then he’s got some good fights with that platform. With that said, the trilogy fight for Golovkin against Canelo will likely wind up in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena. That’s a given. That’s where Canelo fights all his tough fights now. GGG needs to realize that he’s going to have to probably go back to Las Vegas for a third fight with Canelo if he signs with DAZN, and that could mean that he won’t get the decision. Golovkin will need to fight a lot harder, and take more risks than he did the first two fights if he wants to beat Alvarez. He’s not going to beat him by standing on the outside, jabbing like he did in his first fight with Canelo in 2017. Likewise, Golovkin won’t get the decision over Canelo if he backs up and gives ground constantly like he did in their second fight. Those were big mistakes that Golovkin made.
If it was GGG’s trainer Abel Sanchez that told him to fight that way against the superstar Canelo, then he needs to boot him, and get a trainer that understands what needs to be done to defeat an A-side fighter like Alvarez. You hate to say it, but it might be time for Golovkin to change out Abel Sanchez in favor of someone like Buddy McGirt. He’s an intelligent trainer, who knows what he’s doing, and he would make sure that Golovkin came into the triogy fight with Canelo with the best game plan possible. If things weren’t working out with the initial game plan, McGirt would give GGG the proper instructions for him to make the adjustments needed for him to beat Canelo. Sanchez looked lost in both of Golovkin’s fights with Canelo. McGirt would have the right things for Golovkin to do for him to take over the fight. The job that McGirt did with Sergey Kovalev recently was impressive. He was able to turn rejuvenate Kovalev’s career with his training. It’s possible McGirt can do the same thing for GGG.