By Kenneth Friedman: Saul Canelo Alvarez will be sitting down with his promoters at Golden Boy this week to decide who his next opponent will be for September, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. There isn’t a front-runner for Canelo at this point.
Former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and his promoter Tom Loeffler were very vocal this past Saturday night in calling out Canelo after GGG’s fourth round knockout win over fringe contender Steve Rolls, but that doesn’t mean that the fight will happen for them.
Canelo has already fought Golovkin twice in contests that ended in a controversial draw in the first fight, and a 12 round majority decision win in the rematch last September. Loeffler insists that the boxing public is “demanding” the third fight between GGG and Canelo. That may not be the case. It’s a mixed bag.
Some fans have mild interest in seeing Canelo and Golovkin fight again, whereas as others are officially sick of the rivalry. They want to see the two stars face other fighters. Golovkin hasn’t helped his case any by fighting lesser guys in Steve Rolls, Kell Brook and Vanes Martirosyan. It would have helped Golovkin’s case if he had an excellent fighter last Saturday night instead of Rolls. The casual and hardcore boxing fans had never heard of Rolls, and they underwhelmed by what they saw from him and GGG. Neither guy looked good last Saturday.
“Spoke to Golden Boy president Eric Gomez yesterday. Said the Golden Boy Boxing team will meet with Canelo about opponents this week, likely Thursday. Added there is no frontrunner right now, said Chris Mannix on his Twitter.
GGG has DAZN’s big contracts working in his favor
The big money that DAZN is paying Canelo and Golovkin means that they’re going to want the trilogy fight between them to take place in September. That works in GGG’s favor, because Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions don’t sound particularly excited at making the Golovkin trilogy fight at this time. It’s not that they don’t want the fight. It’s more of a case of GGG not doing his part to redeem himself after his loss to Canelo last September. To make the third Canelo vs. GGG fight a huge one, both guys need to take on the best.
Canelo fulfilled his part of the bargain by defeating Daniel Jacobs and Rocky Fielding in back to back fights. For his part, GGG took off nine months, and then picked out an unknown fighter named Steve Rolls with a ranking at #15 with the WBC. Golovkin won the fight against the fringe level Rolls, but he looked vulnerable and not impressive. Many boxing fans saw Golovkin “looked old.”
“Golden Boy can sing whatever tune they please. This is posturing. Canelo-GGG 3 deal is a formality for September 14. It will get done,” said Mike Coppinger on his Twitter.
There’s no way of knowing whether the Canelo vs. Golovkin trilogy fight will get made in September. This writer doesn’t buy that Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions are just posturing when it comes to the trilogy fight with GGG. There’s not much motivation for Canelo to fight a guy that he just beat. That may be kind of hard for some boxing fans to understand, but that appears to be the reason why Canelo and Golden Boy aren’t excited about the fight. If Golovkin had fought someone good like Demetrius Andrade, Callum Smith, Jermall Charlo or Rob Brant.
Golovkin did the minimum, and DAZN was fine with that apparently. That can’t make Canelo happy seeing Golovkin take a lazy approach to building up the third fight by picking the low hanging fruit rather than reaching up to take on the best. Since Golovkin is going to act like he has a sense entitlement to the third fight Canelo due to DAZN wanting the fight, it’s not motivating for Alvarez or Golden Boy to make that fight.
DAZN wants the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight in September
With DAZN being the real boss now, it puts Golden Boy, Canelo and Golovkin in a position where they need to please them. They’re the one that are paying them the huge nine-figure contracts. DAZN would obviously like nothing better than to have Canelo and Golovkin fight each other in September, and then have Anthony Joshua face Andy Ruiz Jr. in a rematch in November. Those two huge fights taking place in back to back months would bring in a massive amount of subscribers to DAZN. It would be a huge influx of money. If Canelo chooses to stall the third fight with Golovkin until May or September 2020, the money would still come in for DAZN. It just wouldn’t be this year.
DAZN likely wants the money to start sooner for them rather than later. Further, DAZN likely are hoping that Canelo and Golovkin fight each other fourth and fifth time. DAZN would be maximizing the value that they would be getting out of the contracts to GGG and Canelo. Golovkin has five fights left in his nine-figure contract with DAZN. If three of the last five fights of that contract for Golovkin are matches against Canelo, DAZN would be quite pleased. It might not be a good thing for Canelo though. If he keeps beating Golovkin, then the interest in each subsequent fight against him will likely be less, because the fans will already know who’s going to win.
Canelo has a lot of great options for other fights
Since Canelo is clearly more willing to take riskier fights than Golovkin, that opens up a lot of great fights for the Mexican star. Canelo is interested in fighting these fighters:
– Callum Smith
– Sergey Kovalev
– Demetrius Andrade
– Errol Spence Jr.
Golden Boy Promotions are quite interested in making a fight between Canelo and Spence, Kovalev or Callum in September. Spence has already said he’s interested in the fight. What’s telling is that Spence hasn’t signed a contract for a unification match between him and WBC champion Shawn Porter for August, even though Porter already signed. It’s believed that Spence is waiting on Canelo to see what he’ll do. It’s a bigger fight between Spence and Canelo than it would be for Errol to face Porter.
Spence is new name that Canelo has never fought. He’s also unbeaten. Canelo would gain a lot more attention fighting Spence right now than he would in facing Golovkin, who appears to be just playing out his tring, and only interested in either fighting Canelo or weak opponents. In other words, Golovkin is no longer taking chances with his career. He’s treating his career in a similar way as former welterweight champion Kell Brook in fighting soft opponent, and then looking for a big payday.
GGG’s options aren’t great
With Golovkin no longer showing the willingness to face the best when not fighting Canelo, he’s got fewer options available to him if he can’t get the fight with Alvarez in September. Golovkin made it clear at the post-fight news conference last Saturday night that he’s not interested in fighting Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo or Daniel Jacobs. Golovkin spoke of wanting to the young undefeated top contenders at middleweight rather than fight Andrade, Charlo or Jabs.
Unfortunately, the name that Golovkin would be looking to face is likely Kamil Szeremeta, and he’s not considered by the boxing public to be one of the elite level fighters at 160. He’s just a guy with an unbeaten record that was built on weak opposition. If Golovkin doesn’t get the fight with Canelo next, he’ll almost surely fight Szeremeta. That’s another safe pick for GGG. Szeremeta is like Rolls 2.0. There’s not much difference in the talent level of the two fighters. Golovkin will have picked out another unknown fighter with an unbeaten record filled with obscure opposition.
“Steve came to fight. He wasn’t backing down. He hit Gennady with some pretty clean shots, but you could see Golovkin was using his strategy,” said Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler at the post-fight news conference. “He was breaking him down, hitting him with body shots. When he landed that massive left hook, Rolls was out before he hit the canvas. It was another trademark knockout for an undefeated fighter [Golovkin]. That’s the plan [for Golovkin to face Canelo in trilogy fight in September].”.
“I know DAZN signed GGG to make the best fights. That would be a major fight for their lineup,” said Loeffler. “They’re in the business of not only putting on boxing, but putting on the biggest fights. Anthony Joshua fought here [Madison Square Garden] just last week. When you have Anthony Joshua and GGG back to back, not only at Madison Square Garden, but back to back on DAZN. They’re really changing things in the world of boxing. They made it clear when he [Golovkin] signed, they would put on the biggest fights of his career,” said Loeffler.
Canelo might not have realized that when he signed his massive $365 million deal with DAZN, Golovkin would follow him over to the streaming giant, and sign with them to. By Canelo signing with DAZN, he’s put himself in position where he would need to fight Golovkin potentially again and again. As long as DAZN is paying Canelo, and they want him to continue to fight GGG, he could be stuck doing that.
It’like musician signed to play at a venue, and the owners of the venue wanting him to play a certain song four or five times a night. That musician would have to please the people that are paying him regardless how bored and tired he is in being stuck playing the same song repeatedly. The problem for Canelo is he might end up stunting his career by fighting an aging guy in GGG with diminishing skills numerous times.
If Canelo is stuck fighting GGG three to four more times in order to please DAZN, he’ll miss out on the more interesting matches against guys like Callum Smith, David Benavidez, Demetrius Andrade, Sergey Kovalev, Errol Spence Jr., Jermell Charlo, Jermall Charlo and Jarrett Hurd. Canelo is boring fighting the same repeatedly, and now he could be stuck facing GGG repeatedly just because DAZN wants to see the fight. DAZN should have arguably insisted that Golovkin fight a good opponent last Saturday night instead of Rolls.
Loeffler: Golovkin made a huge statement with KO of Rolls
“Canelo is his biggest fight just as GGG is the biggest fight for Canelo,” said Loeffler. “There’s no secret about that. They fought each other twice. GGG arguably won both fights, but the fans are demanding a third fight. We’ll do everything on our side to make the third fight. I know DAZN wants to make that fight. With that knockout here, it made a huge statement that the power hasn’t gone anywhere. whether Canelo wants to make that third fight, we’ll see. I’m hearing in the media, he [Golovkin] needs a belt. GGG fought Canelo when he had no belt. Frankly, GGG and Canelo are bigger than the belts that are around their waists now,” said Loeffler.
Golovkin isn’t Canelo’s biggest fight anymore. The rivalry is played out like an oil well that has gone dry. There would likely be a lot more interest from boxing fans in a fight between Canelo and Kovalev, David Benavidez, Caleb Plant, the Charlo brothers or Callum Smith. Those would be interesting fights. Golovkin could help his own career if he were willing to take risks like Canelo does, but it doesn’t appear that he’s willing to do that. Golovkin’s fights against Rolls, Martirosyan and Brook in the last three years shows pretty clearly that he’s not a risk taker. You can’t count Canelo as a risk for GGG, because the money is so good for him that it’s a risk free fight.
Canelo vs. Golovkin third fight will be more exciting says Loeffler
Loeffler thinks the third Canelo vs. Golovkin fight will be more exciting. It’s anyone’s guess why it would be. Golovkin looked like the same fighter last Saturday night against Rolls as he was in his loss to Canelo. Golovkin was supposed to throw combinations, and throw with faster punches. We saw none of them from him against Rolls. It was the same GGG that Canelo beat. There’s no improvement in GGG. If anything, Golovkin looked worse against Rolls than he had in his two fights with Canelo, and in his matches against Jacobs and Brook.
“When the two forces collide with their bases, these are mega-events,” said Loeffler. “These are some of the biggest events that can be made in boxing. The second fight was more exciting than the first fight. Canelo actually stood his ground in the second fight, and built up his confidence. So now he’s going to have even more confidence. Maybe not after this knockout, but he’s going to have a lot more confidence than he did in the first two fights. I think the third fight will be even more exciting. There’s no question. That’s what Gennady wants, the third fight.”
“He was so frustrated at the decision [for the second fight with Canelo],” said Loeffler. “That one point from one judge could take away all the titles that he worked so hard to get. When the majority of the fans and the majority of the media that he had either won or had it a draw, there was a lot of frustration. A week after the fight, he didn’t even want to take about boxing. He took some time off. With his knockout power and his chemistry with Johnathon Banks, I think he signed a six-fight deal. I think you’ll see him fight those six fights, and possibly more with that kind of knockout power. That’s not going anywhere. Canelo is the biggest fight.”
The majority of the boxing fans didn’t see Golovkin as the winner of the second fight. They saw him losing or at best, getting a draw. They didn’t view it as a win for GGG. It’s possible DAZN will re-sign Golovkin when the last five fights of his contract with them expires.
“When they fought before, they had over one million pay-per-view buys,” said Loeffler. “They set records for the gate in Las Vegas. There was a big drop off a Canelo fight. That’s the priority. If that doesn’t happen, then we’ll sit down with the team. Golovkin makes the decisions at this point in his career. I don’t think there’s any reason to speculate about a different fight until the decision is clear. There’s going to be an incentive on DAZN’s side to fight GGG. Just like there is for Gennady to fight Canelo. It makes financial sense for both guys.”
The interest was high for the Canelo vs. Golovkin third fight, but GGG lost. He should have fought someone good to show that he’s bounced back from the loss. Good fighters do that. GGG chose not to, as he picked out a lesser guy in Rolls to fight.
“This is the fight the fan are demanding, and the media are demanding,” said Loeffler in repeating himself like a record. “It’s one of the biggest fights that can be made in the sport of boxing. We’ll sit down with the team. Naturally, DAZN is the common partner. When GGG signed with DAZN, John Skipper said, ‘that’s the clearest path to a third Canelo fight.’ So, John is going to do his thing to what he can work out with Canelo and Oscar. I don’t think it’s too hard. We made the two fights with Golden Boy, and there were a lot of road blocks and obstacles in making those two fights.”
There’s not much of a demand for the Canelo vs. Golovkin third fight as Loeffler thinks. There are a spatter of fans that still want to see them fight again, but a good portion want to see them fight other guys. Golovkin has stopped being a risk taker, and that hurts the third fight with Canelo.
Loeffler: Golovkin has done his part to get Canelo fight by beating Rolls
“There were a lot of concessions on GGG’s side,” said Loeffler about Golovkin in taking about the negotiations he had with Canelo in the past for their two fights. “Since they fought each other twice, I don’t think there will be too many issues in making a third fight unless Canelo doesn’t really want to get in the ring a third time. If a fight like that is made, you want as much lead time as possible to promote a fight like that. I’d rather have a shorter promotion and make the fight than a longer promotion and not make the fight. I think a lot will be discussed this week now that GGG has done his part against Steve Rolls. I think Steve Rolls performed better than people were expecting,” said Loeffler.