Sergey Kovalev NOT fighting Canelo Alvarez next
By Tim Royner: Saul Canelo Alvarez will NOT be fighting WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev next, according to Michael Benson of TalkSport. Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) will be defending against his mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde in his next fight.
With Kovalev out of the picture for Canelo’s next fight, it pretty leaves only Gennady Golovkin as the last man standing, since Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says there hasn’t been any interest yet by Golden Boy Promotions for the Mexican superstar Alvarez to face Callum Smith or Demetrius Andrade. Callum is a huge fighter at 6’3″, and it would be a nightmare for the 5’8″ Canelo to deal with his size, power and range. Andrade is coming off of an incredibly boring decision win last Saturday night on DAZN against Maciej Sulecki. You can’t blame Canelo if he chooses not to fight Andrade.
These are the options for Canelo’s September 14th fight on DAZN:
- Gennady Golovkin
- Sergey Kovalev
- Demetrius Andrade
- Callum Smith
Now that Kovalev is out of the picture for Canelo’s next fight, it leaves just Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) as the only fighter remaining. That’s not surprising though, because GGG is the fighter that DAZN reportedly wants Canelo to fight next in September. They signed both fighters for a lot of money, and the main idea was for them to face each other in a trilogy fight in September. It’s possible that Golden Boy Promotions were floating Kovalev and Callum Smith’s names as potential opponents for Canelo in order to get GGG to easier to negotiate with.
It’s unknown whether DAZN expects Canelo and Golovkin to fight a fourth, fifth and sixth fight together, but it’s quite possible that they would be very interested in them facing each other until the boxing public grows bored with this rivalry and stops tuning in to see them fight. It would be hard on Canelo to have to fight Golovkin repeatedly, because he wants to fight other guys. GGG just seems to be only interested in fighting Canelo for some reason.
Would Kovalev pay Yarde to step aside to let him face Canelo?
Kovalev has his mandatory defense against #1 WBO challenger Yarde (18-0, 17 KOs) that he needs to take care of, but there’s always a possibility of a step aside arrangement can be made. If Yarde is willing to step aside so that Kovalev can defend his WBO title against Canelo, then that fight can still potentially take place in September. It would be up to Yarde whether he would be willing to agree to step aside payment. On the positive side, Yarde would get money, and still eventually fight for the WBO title. If Canelo beats Kovalev, there’s an outside chance that Yarde would face the Mexican star for the WBO title.
On the negative side, there’s a chance that Canelo would vacate the WBO 175 pound title if he were to beat Kovalev. In that case, Yarde would probably end up fighting former WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez for the vacant WBO 175 pound title instead of Kovalev. Ramirez is ranked #2 with the World Boxing Organization at light heavyweight. He’s not as popular as Kovalev in the U.S, and it wouldn’t be as big of a fight for Yarde. The 28-year-old Ramirez is a lot younger than the 36-year-old Kovalev, and he would be tougher in some ways for Yarde to try and beat. Yarde wouldn’t be able to attack Ramirez’s body the way he would Kovalev and expect him to fall apart.
Kovalev doesn’t handle body punching well, as we saw in his two losses to Andre Ward. That’s obviously a major reason why Canelo Alvarez is interested in fighting him, because he’s an excellent body puncher, and he would take advantage of Kovalev’s weakness in that area. Canelo wouldn’t be able to exploit the other light heavyweight champions – Dmitry Bivol, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Marcus Browne or Dmitry Bivol – in the same way; hence, Canelo has shown no interest in fighting any of those champions. Kovalev is clearly the weakest link among the 175 pound champions. He’s old at 36, tires easily after five or six rounds, and falls apart when he’s hit to the body.
Canelo vs. GGG trilogy fight looking likely for September
There will be a lot of disappointed boxing fans in the U.S if GGG is the opponent for Canelo’s next fight in September, because many fans have already grown tired of this rivalry. Their two previous fights were largely disappointing affairs in terms of excitement, and they both ended in controversy. They were both technical fights for the most part with a lot of jabbing, moving and defending. Surprisingly, Canelo was the one that made it interesting in the rematch last September when he attacked GGG, and backed him up the entire fight. Golovkin showed very little interest in wanting to slug with Canelo. Even GGG’s new trainer Johnathon Banks remarked recently that he didn’t like seeing him back up against Canelo. He felt he should have been the one that came forward.
Canelo-Golovkin rivalry getting old
Canelo and GGG have fought each other twice now with the first fight ending in a 12 round draw in 2017, and the second contest won by Mexican superstar last September. For a lot of boxing fans, they feel there’s no point in Canelo and Golovkin continuing to fight each other. Canelo already showed that he’s the better fighter of the two, and Golovkin is starting to look old now. He’s not getting better. In GGG’s recent fight on June 8 against little known 35-year-old fringe contender Steve Rolls, he took a lot of hard shots, and looked vulnerable before stopping him in the fourth round. Rolls wouldn’t have been able to do that if Golovkin was still in his prime.
Golovkin made a mistake in picking a poor opponent for him to fight after his loss to Canelo. When you lose a fight, the fans expect elite level fighters like GGG to come back against talented opposition. Golovkin did the opposite. He fought an unknown old guy with no experience, and limited ability in 35-year-old Rolls. GGG looked slow, beatable and faded.
DAZN doesn’t have a lot of options for interesting fights for Canelo unfortunately. WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade’s recent title defense last weekend against Maciej Sulecki was an incredibly boring contest, and it’s clear that Canelo would be wasting his time if he were to face the Rhode Island native. Other than GGG and Andrade, there’s no one that is out there for Canelo to fight unless he wants to face WBC champion Jermall Charlo. However, Charlo fights on Showtime for Premier Boxing Champions.
If Canelo were to face Charlo, the audience would be split between DAZN and Showtime. It’s better for DAZN if Canelo faces a fighter that is signed with them. That limits who Canelo can fight. He’s got Golovkin, Andrade and Daniel Jacobs. Canelo just finished beating Jacobs, so he’s out of the equation for his September 14 fight. Andrade just stunk up the joint with his boring performance against Sulecki last Saturday night on DAZN. There’s really only GGG left.