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Canelo vs. Kovalev: Golden Boy to move on if no deal today

Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev

By Barry Holbrook: Saul Canelo Alvarez’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions have let Sergey Kovalev’s management at Main Events now that if they don’t make a deal today that they plan on moving on, according to @SIChrisMannix. Golden Boy likely doesn’t want to make Kovalev’s promoters at Main Events feel rushed, but they need to wrap this deal up because they don’t have a lot of time to find an opponent for Canelo to fight on September 14.

It’s imperative that Golden Boy get the contract signed with Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) right away to salvage the date. If Main Events calls Golden Boy’s bluff, they could wind up with no Canelo fight. Kovalev would then defend his title against his WBO mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde on August 24 in Russia, as previously scheduled. That’s a fight that won’t bring anywhere near the same money for Kovalev that a Canelo fight would.

Main Events waiting for improved offer for Canelo fight

“Radio silence the last few hours between Golden Boy and Main Events on Canelo-Kovalev. Golden Boy has told Main Events they will move on if no deal today, per source. Main Events is waiting for an improved offer. Fight on the brink of falling apart,” says @SIChrisMannix.

Main Events wants a bigger offer for WBO light heavyweight champion Kovalev than the $6 million from Golden Boy Promotions offered him. They’re looking for a $12 million deal for the Canelo fight, according to Mannix. One way of getting the money for the fight to get made is if Kovalev is given a three-fight deal with DAZN. Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn would help get the deal done to bring Kovalev over to DAZN for an additional two fights.

Canelo’s options beyond Kovalev

Canelo has two approved opponents for his September fight in 36-year-old Kovalev and Gennady Golovkin Since he doesn’t want to fight Triple G right now, it means it’s important that Golden Boy sticks it out to make the fight with Kovalev. If DAZN is willing to be flexible to give Canelo some leeway to fight other opponents for his September 14 fight with them, then he can possibly one of these guys:

  • Demetrius Andrade
  • Gennady Golovkin
  • Callum Smith
  • Billy Joe Saunders

Andrade (28-0, 17 KOs) is a good Plan-B option for Canelo to fight in September, but it would need DAZN to agree to the fight.

Kovalev best known light heavyweight with casual fans

If you’re one of the many boxing fans that are asking why Canelo is trying to setup a fight against a faded fighter like Kovalev rather than the arguably more talented champions in the 175 pound weight class, the reason is this is more about Golden Boy looking to get the attention of the casual boxing fans. The casual fans have little understanding of who the better fighters are in the light heavyweight division today. So for many of them, they only know of Kovalev due to the many fights of his that have  been shown on U.S television in the past six years. They’ve seen Kovalev fight the likes of Jean Pascal, Nathan Cleverly, Andre Ward, Gabriel Campillo, Bernard Hopkins, Cedric Agnew and Blake Caparello.

Kovalev has had a lot  of his fights shown in the U.S in the last six years, and that’s made a name for him. However, he’s clearly not the fighter that he once was though, as his 3-3 record in his last six fights would indicate. There are now better fighters at 175 like Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol, but those are fighters that Canelo would likely lose to. Kovalev is beatable, and that’s the main reason Golden Boy Promotions are interested in matching Canelo against him.

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