Hearn talks strategy for Canelo to fight Golovkin in September
By Matt Lieberman: Eddie Hearn says there’s a clear strategy for Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) to face Gennadiy Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) in the second half of 2020 in September. Before the trilogy match can happen between the two stars, Golovkin must make a defense of his IBF middleweight title against his mandatory Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5 KOs) in March.
For his part, Canelo will be fighting in May on the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend. Hearn says he’s hearing that Canelo’s opponent for May will be one of the super middleweight champions. He specifically mentions WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders and WBA champ Callum Smith, as the two are on Canelo’s short list of opponents for his next fight.
Hearn promotes both, so it’s a winning situation for him either way. It won’t be a big plus for American boxing fans, because most casuals have never heard of Callum and Saunders.
Hearn expects Canelo vs. Golovkin 3 happens in 2020
“They’re big fights, and big paydays, but obviously, Canelo wants to fight on Cinco de Mayo,” said Hearn to SI Boxing with Chris Mannix. “It’s now December, and it’ll be January soon. They’ve got to make their move. I think there’s a clear strategy for Canelo to fight Golovkin in September, and I really believe [it]. And I just feel like you’re going to see that fight in 2020.
“I think coming off the [Sergiy] Derevyanchenko fight, and needing to fight his mandatory, I think the [Kamil] Szeremeta fight slots in for him in March, Golovkin, and I think he’s happy to fight Canelo in September,” said Hearn. “I’m happy with that, because it also opens up a May fight [with Canelo] for one of our other guys [Callum or Saunders]. So, Golovkin is in a good place,” said Hearn.
DAZN wants the Canelo vs. GGG trilogy fight, since there’s still a lot of fans that want to see them battle again. The timing for a third fight isn’t great right now, as Golovkin is coming off of a controversial 12 round decision win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October.
The 37-year-old Golovkin looked old in that fight, and was lucky to get a decision. After being on the receiving end of two questionable decisions against Canelo, Golovkin finally got the judges on his side in winning a controversial victory over his B-side opponent Derevyanchenko. After the way GGG looked in that fight, a lot of the hardcore boxing fans have less interest in seeing a third Canelo-Golovkin match.
It’s good that Golovkin will be defending his IBF 160-lb title against his little known mandatory Szeremeta in his next fight in March, but it’s bad that this guy isn’t a big name. For Golovkin to redeem himself from his last performance against Derevyanchenko, he needs a quality opponent.
Golovkin being written off by people now
“He was in a ‘Fight of The Year’ contender [against Derevyanchenko], that wasn’t expected to be a Fight of the Year contender,” Hearn said about GGG and his fight against Derevyanchenko last October. “Maybe people are writing him [Golovkin] off a little bit, and I think he feels good. He’s going to come back firing in 2020.
“You can’t knock Canelo’s 2019, because he boxed Danny Jacobs and boxed Sergey Kovalev,” Hearn said. “In 2020, he’ll probably box Callum Smith or Billy Joe Saunders, and then Gennadiy Golovkin. And again, his resume is top drawer, isn’t it? But he is in a position where you have to wait for the call, and when it comes, you have to negotiate and hope you can get it done,” said Hearn on Golovkin.
GGG wasn’t letting his hands go in his fight with Derevyanchenko, and he didn’t look improved from his two fights with Canelo. Golovkin’s new trainer Johnathon Banks talked before the Derevyanchenko fight that he was going to throw more punches, and be a different fighter.
Instead of doing that, Golovkin didn’t throw a lot of shots, and he let Derevyanchenko be the busier fighter in most of the rounds. Additionally, GGG was hit with a ton of shots, and he did a poor job of defending. Afterwards, Banks revealed that Golovkin was sick for the fight, but he didn’t want to use that as an excuse.
“Getting sick effects anybody. I thought it was horribly bad, but it’s not something to talk about now because he chose to fight,” said Banks about Golovkin to IFL TV.
Callum and Saunders looked HORRIBLE in last fights
Saunders and Smith are coming off of dreadfully poor performances in fights against beatable opposition, but they were both exposed. If DAZN has anything to do with it, they might gently attempt to persuade Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) not to fight the British super middleweights Callum and Saunders, because they looked so bad in their last fights.
Besides that, neither fighter is well known in the U.S. I mean, Canelo might as well be fighting Rocky Fielding again if he’s going to schedule a fight against Saunders and Callum, because they’re about as well known to American audiences as him.
If Canelo wants to fight Callum or Saunders, he needs to build the match up first before facing one of them. Let one or both of those champions fight in the U.S a couple of times against quality fighters before they face Canelo.
Canelo may need to abandon his fight dates if Mayweather comes back
It might not work out for Canelo if he chooses to fight on both Mexican holidays in 2020 in May and September, since Floyd Mayweather Jr. is planning on coming out of retirement. He could take both dates, and leave Canelo having to scramble for a different month to fight.
Obviously, Canelo could choose to be stubborn about it, and insist on not getting off of his May and September dates, but then his numbers would wind up being far less. Although Canelo is as popular fighter in North America, he’s still not at the level of Mayweather.
Callum and Saunders waiting on Canelo to pick them
“I was laughing with [Callum Smith’s trainer] Joe [Gallagher] today, and he’s like, ‘Any news from Canelo?’ and I’m like, ‘Look, what I’m hearing is his next opponent will be Callum Smith or Billy Joe Saunders,’ but it’s not a conversation where you can call Canelo and Golden Boy and say, ‘Guys, we really want to know,” said Hearn.
“You just have to wait until we’re told, ‘You’ve got the Willie Wonka ticket,’ that’s it,” said Hearn on Saunders and Callum waiting on Canelo fight. “And that’s what Callum is doing and Billy Joe is doing, just waiting. If we have to wait too long, they’ll fight each other, and they’ll unify for a 168-lb belt, but everyone wants to fight Canelo, just like everybody wants to fight Anthony Joshua.
This would be a step down for Canelo to fight Saunders or Callum in his next fight, and it might not be worth it. If Canelo’s personal goal is to collect titles for the sake of it it, then fighting Saunder or Callum makes sense. Legacy-wise, it’s a waste of Canelo Alvarez’s time and career to fight either of those two British fighters. Further, it won’t help DAZN increase their subscription rates to fight either of those guys.
Canelo needs to fight these guys to help his legacy and DAZN next May:
- Artur Beterbiev
- Dmitry Bivol
- Gilberto Ramirez
- David Benavidez
- Caleb Plant
- Sergiy Derevyanchenko
- Jermall Charlo
- Jermell Charlo
- Terence Crawford
- Oleksandr Gvozdyk