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Teddy Atlas: Canelo vs. Golovkin 3 ‘is TOO late’

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Barry Holbrook: Teddy Atlas says it may be too late for the long-awaited trilogy fight between superstars Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin to be taking place this year.


Atlas feels that the 37-year-old Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) is now over-the-hill after watching his last fight against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, and he believes that the boxing public thinks the same thing.

The fans not going to be as eager to see Canelo and Golovkin fight in the past after the way GGG looked in his last fight in October against Derevyanchenko.

Atlas says the third Canelo-Golovkin fight is agreed, but it’s not official yet, but he believes that it’ll take place. In Atlas’ mind, Canelo’s lack of interest in fighting the 14-year professional Golovkin suggests that he’s not motivated properly to face him again, being that he already thinks he got the better of him.

Atlas: DAZN relieved Canelo fighting Golovkin again

“If you heard a giant sigh of relief somewhere it was coming from John Skipper and the other executives when finally – we think – that third fight is done,” said Atlas to THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas on the Canelo vs. GGG 3.

“When they gave $360 million to Canelo, they needed to get a third fight with GGG, and when they gave $100 million dollars to GGG, they definitely didn’t give him $100 million if they didn’t think there was a Canelo fight. They were getting nervous, and now, it’s not done, maybe they got the fight.

Maybe it’s going to save a few people’s jobs over there that they have it if they actually do have this fight hungered down, and it actually does happen. So that’s the good news. Here’s the bad news. The bad news is it’s too late. That’s just my opinion, but it might be too late,” said Atlas on the Canelo vs. Golovkin trilogy fight. “Time has passed, people have moved on,” said Atlas.

With the money that DAZN is paying Canelo and Golovkin, it’s shocking that they didn’t fight in 2019 for their trilogy. While GGG wanted to fight Canelo last year, the Mexican star had other ideas, choosing to face Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Kovalev.

Those were good fights, but the boxing public was less than excited about both of those matches. Kovalev was viewed as a shot paper champion at 175, who was coming off of a hard fight with Anthony Yarde last summer. Jacobs was a guy that had already been beaten by Golovkin and Dmitry Pirog.

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

Interest not there for Canelo-Golovkin 3

“I don’t know that interest is there anymore for that fight,” said Atlas in questioning whether boxing fans want to see a third Canelo vs. Golovkin fight. “If you haven’t noticed, in the [Sergiy] Derevyanchenko fight, GGG’s last fight, a fight that quite honestly, I think he [Golovkin] probably lost that fight.

“He showed the heart of the warrior that he is. He wasn’t right. Was it because he was sick, was it a fluke, was it an anomaly, was it that or was it what he [Golovkin] is now? An older fighter, a higher that has left parts of himself in the ring, and parts of himself from the first two Canelo fights.

“In the second Canelo fight, he looked spent at the end. I thought he won both of those fights, but that’s the past. We’re talking about the present, and we’re talking about now, what’s relevant now,” Atlas said of GGG.

“I thought those fights [against Canelo] took a lot out of him, and I think 400 amateur fights take a lot out of you. And I think when you’re at the age he’s at,” said Atlas on GGG.

What could potentially take away interest from boxing fans in a third contest between Canelo and Golovkin is the way the Kazakhstan fighter looked in his last bout against Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) on October 5 in New York.

Golovkin was a questionable decision that was loudly booed by the fans at ringside. The judges gave it to Golovkin by the scores 115-112, 115-112 and 114-113. Golovkin looked tired during the fight and was hurt on a couple of occasions.

Golovkin looked SHOT against Derevyanchenko

“What is he now? 38? He’s getting up there towards that number 40,” Atlas continued about Golovkin. “We’ll get the numbers. We’ve got our crew working, and we’ve got all our producers and directors and stats people working right now. I always say you don’t judge a fighter’s age in this tough business chronologically. You judge them by the tough fights they’ve been in.

“The amount, the amount of fights they’ve been in, and the amount of punches they’ve taken,” said Atlas in talking about all the fights Golovkin has had. “And again, in the Derevyanchenko fight, his [GGG] last fight, he looked like a shot fighter. Yeah, I said it. I said it, you people that want to get your knives out now and your bow and arrows ready. ‘How dare you say that about my guy.’

“Listen, I also say he’s been terrific just like your guy Bobby Orr. But there came a time when Bobby Orr was shot. There came a time when Bobby Orr wasn’t Bobby Orr anymore.  A sad day for Boston, but it comes. It’s called Father time, it’s called nature, it’s called aging, and it comes to all of us, but we all don’t have to fight for a living.

“When the truth comes to you in the ring, the truth can hit you, bang, hard and fast. And again, maybe his [Golovkin] last fight, maybe it was indicative, GGG, of getting old. Maybe it was just a bad night. Okay. I don’t buy that, but the good news is the executives at DAZN are laying out all this money, $360 million to Canelo, $100 million to GGG,” said Atlas.

It wasn’t the type of performance Golovkin needed to get fans excited about him facing Canelo again.

Canelo Alvarez Gennady GolovkinCanelo vs. Golovkin trilogy is Too late

“They didn’t think they were going to get this fight. It started to look dicey and now maybe they have it,” said Atlas on DAZN with the Canelo vs. Golovkin 3 fight. “The bad news is it might be too late.

“It might be too late just like the Pacquiao-Mayweather was a little too late, but that’s different. That still made money. That was too late athletically, and that was too late as far as the prime of the two fighters giving their best performance.

“But this one might be too late the fans have let it pass by. They’re no longer interested after seeing the last fight wight GGG. Fans aren’t stupid. I know that X-factor. Canelo brings that great Latino audience, but they’re smart too. They’re real fight fans. They see what I see, what I’m talking about, that GGG didn’t look like GGG in his last fight.

“A lot of time has passed by, maybe they’ve gotten old. And Canelo himself, he didn’t want this fight for the longest. He sounded like a guy that wasn’t interested, who had gotten past that. ‘I’ve been there, done that.’ He sounded like that guy, that he didn’t see it as competitive anymore.

“I know the people out there that love GGG, ‘Well, Teddy, that might have just been that he [Canelo] wanted to avoid him for a third fight. He really lost the first two, and he wanted to avoid a third fight because he was scared.’ Okay, I don’t think so,” said Atlas.

It’s never too late for a third fight between Canelo and Golovkin. Given the names that Canelo is interested in fighting, Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith, GGG is far better.

Canelo no longer motivated for GGG fight

“Some athletes get to the point where they need to be motivated,” said Atlas. “I don’t think that’s there anymore for Canelo. There has to be something that pushes them. Canelo saw in his last fight, that GGG gave everything he had, and then he saw the Derevyanchenko fight. ‘I don’t see the challenge.

“I don’t think I can get myself up the way I did in the first two times when it was a real challenge, a real risk.’ There’s a danger there where he’s [Canelo] not taking a guy like this seriously, you can have a problem. You feel it and you know it. ‘I can’t get up for this guy anymore.’ So he was kind of telling us that.

“He was acting that way. Canelo said it. You see stories where he documented that. ‘I beat him, there’s nothing else to do. This fight doesn’t interest me no more.’ That could be a problem. And the most important problem is money. The people at DAZN gave all this money,” said Atlas on the money DAZN gave Canelo and GGG for their huge contracts.

Canelo was motivated for his mismatch against the over-the-hill Kovalev, a weight drained Jacobs and his fight with Rocky Fielding. If Canelo was motivated for those fights, then he should be amped up for a third match with GGG. If not, then Canelo could pay the price and take a beating.

Golovkin will likely change his game for the third match against Canelo by throwing more punches like his trainer Johnathon Banks wants him to do. If GGG does that, he has a good shot of beating Canelo, as long as the judges score the bout in a logical way.

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

DAZN hoping Canelo vs. Golovkin 3 makes money

“Yeah, they finally got the fight, okay,” continued Atlas on DAZN getting Canelo and Golovkin to agree to a trilogy in September. “That’s half of the equation. The other half is, ‘It better make money.’ Yeah, you got it. Maybe you got it now, but it better make money. That’s what DAZN is hoping for, but it does come down to money.

“Will they do the numbers? I don’t think they’re [boxing fans] going to subscribe in the numbers that they need to make this what it needs to be, to make all that money they put out there make sense. From a business point of view, I don’t know if it can do that. We have something to compare it to with the Fury-Wilder fight.

“Bob Arum and Top Rank, they told ESPN and the executives, they age $100 million dollars to Fury. Again, the same thing. The reason why signed Fury was to get the rematch with Wilder. But the next part of it, the most important part of it was to make money. It did not do the numbers, and it didn’t even come close. They gave the money to Fury.

“Only half the job was down. Now you’ve got to make sure it makes money. Arum predicted it was going to do 2 million buys. They needed a million to get their money back, to make it fiscally successful to break even. But it didn’t do that. If I remember correctly, it did 870,000 [buys]?” said Atlas.

One problem with the Canelo vs. Golovkin 3 fight is it could take place at a bad time for the U.S. If the coronavirus is still causing problems by September, then boxing fans might not have the money to subscribe to DAZN in large numbers to see the Canelo-Golovkn 3 fight.


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