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Canelo vs. Golovkin III targeted for May 2021

Image: Canelo vs. Golovkin III targeted for May 2021

By Barry Holbrook: Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin could be meeting up for their trilogy fight in May 2021 on Cinco de Mayo. Whether it happens in the first half of 2021 will depend on the situation with the pandemic. Canelo (53-1-2, 36 K.O.s) vs. Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 K.O.s) is too big of a fight for it to take place behind closed doors.

Eric Gomez, the president of Golen Boy Promotions, says both Canelo and Golovkin are interested in making the fight next year. First, IBF middleweight champion GGG needs to satisfy his IBF mandatory requirements by defending against Kamil Szeremeta in September. After that, Golovkin will be free to face Alvarez next.

Canelo can no longer afford to delay GGG trilogy

Golovkin will be turning 39 on April 8 next year, and he’s starting to run out of time. He almost lost his last fight against Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October, and he looked old. Unless Canelo wants to wait until Golovkin is entirely shot, he’s got to face him now.

Image: Canelo vs. Golovkin III targeted for May 2021

If Canelo strings it out another year,  Golovkin will lose to someone. At this point in GGG’s career, he’s susceptible to losing to almost anyone. The blueprint is already there in how to beat Golovkin by attacking his body, and you can bet everyone that faces him take advantage of that.

Canelo and Golden Boy realize now that they cannot afford to play games and delay the trilogy match without ruining it by waiting too long. If Golovkin loses to someone, then the interest from boxing fans in a third Canelo-GGG clash will nosedive.

The fans already think Golovkin lost to Derevyanchenko, so his popularity has arguably begun to deteriorate. Golovkin could have helped himself if he’d agreed to give Derevyanchenko a rematch so that he could clear up the controversy from their fight last October, but he chose not to.

“We have had some discussions about doing the third fight with Golovkin,” said Golden Boy president Eric Gomez to “He [Canelo] is willing to entertain that third fight. “Hopefully we can surprise everybody by getting that fight going next year.

“They both realize now that their events were very successful. For them, monetarily, it would be very beneficial to fight again. The fans are very interested. Both fights were very close and exciting. They are both open to the fight,” said Gomez.

Golovkin is ready for Alvarez

Gennady made it clear after capturing the IBF 160-pound strap last October against Sergiy Derevyanchenko that he was ready to face Canelo in May 2020. Unfortunately, Canelo turned up his nose at the idea of facing GGG in the first half of this year. Instead, Canelo wanted to take on Billy Joe Saunders, the WBO 168-lb belt-holder.

Canelo said this about Golovkin after his win over Sergey Kovalev last November:

“It’s not a challenge for me. We fought 24 rounds, and I beat him. But if it represents the business, then why not?”

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They were supposed to fight on Cinco de Mayo this year, but the pandemic made that impossible. When Saunders’ promoter Eddie Hearn attempted to revive talks for a match against Canelo in September, they discovered the money offer would be reduced for Billy Joe. That was the first problem.

The second was that Saunders had gained too much weight during the lockdown for him to take it all off by September 12, which is when Canelo plans on fighting next. Saunders wanted more time to lose the weight, which was impossible for Golden Boy to give. Maybe if Saunders was a famous fighter in the U.K. and U.S., Golden Boy might have given him what he wanted in terms of time and money, but he’s not.

If Golovkin looks poor in his next fight against little known Kamil Szeremeta, that could further hurt interest in the third contest with Canelo. That’s why it was a silly idea for GGG to chose to defend his IBF belt against Szeremeta early before the sanctioning body had ordered it.

GGG facing Szeremeta next

Golovkin’s IBF mandatory wasn’t due yet, but he and his management thought it would be a good idea to get it out of the way early. Some boxing fans believe the reason they did this is that the threat of losing to the light-hitting Szeremeta is much less than it would be if Golovkin fought one of the top contenders in the division.

With GGG’s contract with DAZN, he couldn’t just face any old fodder opponent for his next fight. DAZN would have expected a quality guy, as they’re paying Golovkin a lot of money for each match.

The problem with GGG facing a good middleweight is he might lose. Szeremeta is the equivalent of the type of guy that Golovkin would take if he were making a voluntary defense. In other words, Szeremeta is a more of a button rung-level contender rather than a true #1.

He’s a guy that was pushed up the rankings by the IBF after being obscure fighters in Europe. Szeremeta has never fought a world level fighter before, and here is the #1 with the IBF. It’s perfect for Golovkin because it’s a sure thing win.


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