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Golovkin prefers Kamil Szeremeta over Canelo trilogy

Image: Golovkin prefers Kamil Szeremeta over Canelo trilogy

By Barry Holbrook: Canelo Alvarez was hoping to finish his rivalry with Gennady Golovkin by facing him this September in a trilogy match on DAZN. Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) threw a whammy in Canelo’s plans by stating that he prefers to defend his IBF middleweight title against Kamil Szeremeta.

It’s a mistake for Golovkin not to take the third fight with Canelo now because he’s not the A-side, and there’s no telling whether he’ll be given the option again. Canelo isn’t used to fighters turning down a fight against him, and he may just move on permanently after this snub from GGG.

This move by Golovkin to take on a soft opponent could backfire on him because he’s virtually put himself in a no-win situation. If Golovkin loses to the light-hitting Szeremeta, it’s game over for him. There’s no way that Canelo will fight Golovkin with him coming off of a loss to Szeremeta.

If Golovkin looks bad in winning against the Polish fighter Szeremeta, then that’s not going to help him either.

Image: Golovkin prefers Kamil Szeremeta over Canelo trilogy

It’s a no-win situation

An easy blowout win for Golovkin will result in boxing fans trashing him for taking a weak opponent that no one has ever heard of. Unknown to a lot of fans is the fact that Golovkin’s IBF mandatory wasn’t due yet. He wanted to take this fight for some reason. Was it because it’s an easy money match on paper? DAZN perhaps should have stepped in and rejected this fight.

With Golovkin choosing to take the easy title defense against the obscure Szeremeta, Canelo may end up fighting WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in September. It’s not a great fight, but it’s arguably much better than Golovkin’s opponent.

Canelo and his promoter Oscar De La Hoya both wanted the Golovkin fight in September, and they were ready to give it to him on a silver platter. It’s a surprising move on Golovkin’s part to choose NOT to fight Canelo because that’s the fight that he’s been after.

Now all of a sudden, after his GGG’s win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October, he’s changed his mind. So what gives? Was Golovkin’s lackluster performance against Derevyanchenko the reason why he’s not willing to accept Canelo’s challenge to fight him in September? I don’t know.

Before that fight with Sergiy, Golovkin had been after another battle with Canelo like mad.

GGG prefers Szeremeta fight over Canelo

“Golovkin has publicly expressed a preference to face Kamil Szeremeta, who he was scheduled to fight pre-pandemic. Alvarez has long expressed a desire to keep his May/September dates, when possible,” said Chris Mannix on his Twitter.

Golovkin preferring to fight Szeremeta over Canelo, has a lot of fans seeing this a duck job on his part. How do you prefer to take a fight against a guy that even hardcore boxing fans have never heard of over a third match with Canelo? It doesn’t make sense at all unless it’s a situation where Golovkin lacks the confidence to take the fight with Canelo. Then it makes all the sense in the world for him to be fighting Szeremeta.

What we do know is Golovkin’s decision to face little known Kamil Szeremeta in September or October won’t sell on DAZN. It’s not a fight that fans are interested in seeing.

Image: Golovkin prefers Kamil Szeremeta over Canelo trilogy

Is Golovkin’s confidence gone?

The fact that Golovkin is choosing the smaller fight and the lesser payday against Szeremeta suggests strongly that Derevyanchenko may have knocked the last bit of self-confidence out of him. A lot of boxing fans thought Golovkin lost that fight.

Before Golovkin fought Derevyanchenko, he was making it known that he wanted the Canelo fight. Something changed after GGG fought Derevyanchenko.

Golovkin got a 12 round draw against Canelo in their first fight in 2017. This writer thought Golovkin edged it, but the judges weren’t thrilled by GGG’s unwillingness to mix it up with Canelo. If Golovkin had been willing to throw power shots instead of staying on the outside jabbing, he probably would have won.

In the second fight with Canelo in 2018, Golovkin lost. The judges gave Canelo a 12 round majority decision. Canelo deserved the win because he pushed the match and dominated the first six rounds.

Although Golovkin did come on late to hurt Canelo, he didn’t do enough to make up for the first half of the match. Golovkin looked bad, while dominated with his fast start in rounds one through six. GGG did come on late in the bout, but it wasn’t enough for him to make up for his bad start.

Golovkin wants to keep his word

“I made a commitment before all this situation with coronavirus happened,” Golovkin said to Sports Illustrated. “I’m talking about my fight with Szeremeta. I intend to keep my word. Once the situation changes, as soon as everything is back to normal, I intend to have this fight first.”

“They avoided this fight in September. They didn’t want to fight in May of 2020. So I went my way. I have my own career, and I figured: How long should I wait?” said Golovkin about Canelo.

Golovkin wanted an immediate rematch against Canelo after his draw with him in 2017, but that couldn’t happen after the Golden Boy star failed a drug test. They did eventually fight in September 2018, and GGG lost.

“Should come as no surprise, but the third fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin will NOT happen in September, sources close to both fighters told @SInow,” said Chris Mannix.

“The fight is still likely to happen, but…the trilogy fight will be pushed back.”

There’s no way of knowing if the third Canelo vs. Golovkin fight will take place after this. Canelo has a long list of famous fighters he can face, and he doesn’t need Golovkin. It’s the fan and DAZN that want Canelo to fight him. But after this, maybe they won’t.

Additionally, if Golovkin looks dreadful against Szeremeta, then he’ll have given Canelo the reason he needs to walk away. Canelo is more popular and done a lot more in his career than Golovkin. He doesn’t need the Kazakstan fighter for him to do well.

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