Arum: “Golovkin isn’t the best middleweight in the world; Canelo is”
By Dan Ambrose: Top Rank Boxing promoter Bob Arum says Gennady Golovkin is no longer the best middleweight in the world, Saul Canelo Alvarez is. Golovkin (38-1-1 34 KOs) lost a razor thin 12 round majority decision to Canelo last September in a fight that was decided by the 12th round, which a lot of fans felt should have gone to Golovkin. In other words, the fight would have been a draw.
In the previous fight between Canelo and Golovkn in 2017, boxing fans felt that GGG deserved the win. The fight was scored a 12 round draw.
Top Rank didn’t sign GGG, but DAZN did and there’s a big rematch between Golovkin and Canelo that’s expected to come this September on the streaming platform. It’s going to be a big fight. Too bad Arum didn’t sign Golovkin, because he would have had the opportunity to put that fight together. Of course, some boxing fans would agree that it wouldn’t be a good idea for Top Rank to sign Golovkin for big money if the only names that they have to offer him are Rob Brand, Ryota Murada, Gilbero ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez and Jesse Hart. GGG’s career would drain away without him being involved in another major fight if he were left with just those guys to fight on ESPN
Top Rank recently signed former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to a five-fight contract for big money. Some boxing fans question that move, as Fury isn’t popular in the U.S, and he wasn’t particularly exciting to watch in his recent 12 round draw against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Fury was knocked down twice by Wilder, and he appeared to be unconscious the second knocked down in round 12. The way Fury fought against Wilder, it would seem like it would have been a smarter move for Top Rank to sign Golovkin than Fury. GGG is popular in the U.S. Fury is an unknown with the casual boxing fans, and his style of fighting doesn’t stand out among the other heavyweights in the division. As Wilder said, Fury is a “good talker,” but he’s “boring” to watch.
“He met with us and with ESPN, and it was decided by ESPN, and we agreed that what he was asking for didn’t fit our program, and therefore we passed [on signing GGG],” Bob Arum said to Fighthub.
Arum doesn’t say what Golovkin asked for in terms of money and such to sign with Top Rank to fight on ESPN.
“Tyson Fury is in my opinion the best heavyweight in the world, and he’s in his 20s,” Arum said when the the interviewer asked him why he signed Fury, who isn’t as popular in the United States as Golovkin. “Tyson Fury is in my opinion the best heavyweight in the world, and he’s in his 20s. Golovkin is well into his 30s, and he’s no longer the best middleweight in the world. Canelo Alvarez is clearly.”
A lot of boxing fans would disagree with Arum’s remark about Fury being the best heavyweight in the world. WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder appeared to have Fury knocked out in the 12th last December in Los Angeles, but the referee gave a count instead of waiving the fight off the way a lot of referees would have done when they saw a fighter on his back with both eyes closed after being knocked down. Fury was knocked down twice by Wilder. The best heavyweight isn’t supposed to be knocked down twice. Fury might not even be the fourth best heavyweight in the world. There are a lot of fans that would pick Joshua, Wilder, Dillian Wyte, Luis Ortiz and Jarrell Miller to beat Fury. Adam Kownacki, Alexander Povetkin, Joe Joyce, Dominic Breazeale and Oscar Rivas would have a decent chance of beating Fury as well. Signing Fury is a HUGE gamble for Top Rank. If they match Fury up with Wilder and Joshua, as part of the five-fight contract they signed him with, he could lose both fights. If Top Rank is going to put Fury in with mediocre heavyweights, hoping that his popularity will grow with each fight, it could be a big mistake. There’s already a lot of promoters that are matching their fighters against weak opposition, and it doesn’t seem to work well in helping them become popular. The way to become popular is for a fighter to be matched against the very best guys like we saw with Mikey Garcia facing Errol Spence Jr. last Saturday night. Spence-Garcia was well received by the boxing public in the U.S, because it was a great fight on paper.
“They [ESPN] didn’t go for whatever he was asking for,” Arum said about ESPN not being willing to sign Golovkin for what he was asking for. “He’s entitled to ask for anything he wants, because he’s a free agent, but it doesn’t fit the ESPN program. It’s not his attitude, because he’s a nice guy, Gennady,” Arum said.
Arum previously said that ESPN felt that Golovkin “was not worth the trouble”, and they didn’t like his attitude. That’s what Arum last month in an interview with Thaboxingvoice below.
“ESPN decided at one point that Golovkin was not worth the trouble,” Arum said to Thaboxingvoice. “There was a meeting held at the ESPN offices. They determined that they didn’t like Golovkin’s attitude, and they cut off all negotiations,” Arum said.
Arum says GGG won the first fight with Canelo “easy”. What changed from the first fight between Canelo and Golovkin and the second fight to make Arum believe that Alvarez is suddenly the better fighter? Canelo was suspended for five months after testing positive for a banned substance, and then beat Golovkin in the rematch last September by a controversial 12 round decision. Two of the judges gave Canelo the 12th round in a round that a lot of boxing fans felt Golovkin should have won.
”GGG won the fight EASY! I had it 8-4. And what the hell was (judge Don) Trella watching in the 7th round,” said Bob Arum.