Boxing News 24

Kovalev front-runner for Canelo fight in September


By Barry Holbrook: Sergey Kovalev is now reportedly in the driver’s seat to be the next opponent for superstar Saul Canelo Alvarez to fight on September 14 on DAZN, according to Mike Coppinger and Chris Mannix. Gennady Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade and Callum Smith were in the running for Canelo’s fight in September, but it appears that the Mexican star and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions like Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) as the guy for that date.

Canelo vs. Kovalev would likely bring in a massive amount of subscriptions on DAZN. On social media, boxing fans are already highly interested in the Canelo-Kovalev fight. Kovalev brings a new element for Canelo, because he’s a huge puncher, and the WBO light heavyweight champion.

Canelo vs. Kovalev rumored to be fought at 170-pound catch-weight

There’s talk that Kovalev, 36, will need to melt down to 170 pounds to face Canelo at a catch-weight rather than the fight taking place at 175.  Having the Canelo-Kovalev match fought at a catch-weight of 170 would make it almost like a super middleweight contest rather than light heavyweight. 168 is the limit for the super middleweight division. There’s also rumors of a rehydration clause that would potentially be in play for the Canelo-Kovalev fight. This would limit how much weight both fighters can gain back after they make weight.

Obviously, a rehydration limit would hurt Kovalev far more than it would Canelo, who mostly fights at middleweight. A rehydration limit of 190 pounds would make it all but impossible for Kovalev to beat Canelo, especially if the fight involves a catch-weight of 170 pounds.

Coppinger said this on social media about Kovalev emerging as the front runner for Canelo’s September 14 fight:

“Sources tell @TheAthleticBOX Sergey Kovalev has emerged as clear front-runner to land fight with Canelo Alvarez this fall ahead of GGG and Callum Smith. Canelo-Kovalev would give DAZN a fresh, tantalizing matchup, and if all goes according to plan, Canelo-GGG 3 on DAZN in May ‘2020.”

If it’s academic that Canelo faces Golovkin in a trilogy fight in May 2020, then there’s no point in GGG fighting anyone halfway decent for his next fight in September or October. If DAZN is on board with Golovkin facing another tune-up level opponent for his next fight with them, then there’s a good chance that’ll happen. Golovkin recently inked a six-fight, nine-figure contract with DAZN. For his first fight, GGG defeated little known 35-year-old fringe contender Steve Rolls, who was picked from the bottom of the World Boxing Council’s rankings at #15. Rolls (19-1, 10 KOs) was unbeaten at the time Golovkin fought him earlier this month on June 8, but his resume was filled with poor names.

Rolls had never beaten anyone of note. DAZN let Golovkin fight him rather than balking, and telling him to go find a quality guy. It was a terrible match-up. The week of the fight, there was barely a peep being said about Golovkin fighting. There was literally no interest from fans in the GGG vs. Rolls fight.

GGG pushing back at idea of fighting Andrade

As for Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs), he has two options available to him: Demetrius Andrade and Jermall Charlo. However, Chris Mannix says there’s resistance from Golovkin’s side in taking a fight with the unbeaten Andrade (27-0, 17 KOs). This could mean that Golovkin doesn’t feel it’s necessary for him to fight Andrade in order to get a third fight or he simply doesn’t like the risk involved. GGG likely won’t fight Charlo, because he’s on the other side in fighting Showtime with Premier Boxing Champions. Golovkin is with DAZN, which gives him a ready made excuse to make in order not to have to fight him.

If GGG doesn’t want to fight Andrade or Charlo, it’s going to be interesting to see who he does face in his next match. DAZN can’t continue to let Golovkin take tune-up fights against obscure fringe contenders like Steve Rolls, can they? Golovkin said earlier this month after his victory over Rolls that he’s not interested in fighting Andrade or Daniel Jacobs. In speaking through an interpreter, Golovkin there are other highly

Andrade vs. Golovkin unlikely

“Golovkin’s side has pushed back on the idea of fighting Andrade,” said Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated on his Twitter. “Charlo would require crossing the political divide. But Charlo is running out of viable opponents at 160 on his side of the street. If Canelo moves ahead and challenges Sergey Kovalev, two options for GGG Boxing: Demetrius Andrade, who fights tomorrow on DAZN USA and Jermall Charlo, who fights Saturday on SHO Sports.”

Golovkin to face Szeremeta next?

It’s believed that the fighter that Golovkin will wind up facing next is Kamil Szeremeta. He’s ranked #3 with the WBC, but he’s not a puncher, and has never beaten anyone significant. Szeremeta is like another Steve Rolls. But it’s up to DAZN if they’re willing to let Golovkin fight guys like this rather than insist that he face higher rated fighters. A rematch between GGG and Jacobs would be a decent fight, but it seems that Golovkin isn’t interested in fighting him again judging by his comments at his post-fight news conference after his win over Rolls.

“You’re talking about fighters that are already passed them. There are a lot of new fighters, very highly rated fighters, let’s talk about them,” said Golovkin when asked if he would be interested in facing Daniel Jacobs or Demetrius Andrade . “I already answered the question. The young undefeated fighters should be the priority, not to come back to fighters we already know,” said GGG.

Since Golovkin isn’t interested in fighting Jacobs and Andrade, it kind of limits his options for his next fight, doesn’t it. We’re probably talking about Szeremeta being the guy that Golovkin and his team will try and push for with DAZN. If the management for DAZN aren’t aware that Szeremeta is a complete unknown fighter with the casual boxing fans in the U.S, then they might give Golovkin the green light to face him in the fall. It’s a fight that probably won’t bring in a lot of subscriptions on DAZN. Szeremeta  (19-0, 4 KOs) is a decent fighter, but he only has four knockouts on his resume, and a KO percentage of 21. That’s horrible. Golovkin would have no worries in charging right at  Szeremeta to quickly knock him out right away.

Oscar De La Hoya wants Golovkin to win a world title before fighting Canelo again

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya says he wants GGG to win a world title before he faces Canelo in a trilogy fight. That obviously is going to be a little difficult for Golovkin to do if he’s unwilling to fight the likes of Jermall Charlo or Demetrius Andrade.

It would be better for DAZN and Canelo if Golovkin fought one of these fighters in his next match: