By Dan Ambrose: Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin is one of three opponents being considered for Canelo Alvarez’s May 2021 fight, as part of the Mexican star’s two-fight deal his manager/trainer Eddy Reynoso is working on with DAZN.
The first fight of the two-fight deal will see Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) defend his WBA/WBC super middleweight titles against his WBC mandatory Avni Yildirim on DAZN.
For Canelo’s second fight of the deal with DAZN, these are the three options:
- Billy Joe Saunders – WBO 168-pound champion
- Caleb Plant – IBF champ
- Gennadiy Golovkin
GGG in a good position to get Canelo fight
What Golovkin has going for him in potentially getting the fight with Canelo in May is the poor opponent that will be facing in February against Yildirim.
If DAZN agrees to show the Canelo vs. Yildirim fight, to make it worthwhile for them to stream that albatross, Golovkin would be the second part of the two-fight deal.
That’s the fight that DAZN has wanted from Canelo since they signed him in 2018, and it’s one that has been elusive to them.
Canelo has resisted the idea of facing Golovkin a third time, and it’s not surprising. Golovkin has arguably beaten Canelo twice and made him look bad in both fights.
It’ll arguably be a rotten deal for DAZN if Canelo’s two fights they’re negotiating come against Yildirim and Billy Joe Saunders. Neither of those guys will bring in a lot of subscribers, as the U.S boxing fans aren’t eager to see Canelo fight those guys.
The fight that the fans want to see is for Canelo to face Golovkin in a trilogy match, but it’s unclear if DAZN will be able to get their way. We’ll have to see if Canelo resists the negotiation of fighting Golovkin with this new two-fight deal.
If he doesn’t face Golovkin in 2021, DAZN will be getting two subpar fights. Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) is a decent fighter, but he’s not well-known to the average American boxing fan, and, of course, he’s not popular.
DAZN needs one quality fight from Canelo
If you’re DAZN, you’re going to want at least one of the two fights on the new 2-fight deal for Canelo to be against Golovkin.
Assuming DAZN lets Canelo have it easy facing Yildirim and Saunders for the new deal, that won’t do anything for them.
If Canelo wants no part of GGG in 2021, there are some substitutes that would work for DAZN if they can get him to agree to it.
Substitutes for GGG
These would excellent substitutes if Canelo drags his feet on the idea of facing Golovkin as part of his new two-fight deal:
- David Benavidez
- Demetrius Andrade
- Jermall Charlo
- Artur Beterbiev
- Dimitry Bivol
- Bektemir Melikuziev
Saunders isn’t even popular in his own country in the UK. He’s got some boxing fans, but he’s not on the level of an Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury when it comes to his fan base in the UK. Saunders is what you would call a ‘belt-holder,’ and that’s about as much as you can say about him.
Billy Joe won’t bring much to the table
Saunders won the vacant WBO title in 2019 with a win over Shefat Isufi, and he’s successfully defended it twice with wins over Marcelo Estaban Coceres and Martin Murray.
The lackluster opposition that Saunders has fought throughout his career has kept him from gaining a large following. But on the plus side, Saunders has stayed unbeaten due to the careful match-making that’s been done for him.
Canelo already beat a paper champion in former WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith on December 19th. DAZN letting Canelo face another weak paper champion so soon after the last one, it’s not a good deal for the streaming giant.
DAZN should put their foot down and let Canelo know that he can’t shove mismatches down the throats of boxing fans consecutively without at least having some quality fights in between.
As I mentioned earlier, if Canelo resists the notion of fighting Golovkin in May, Benavidez, Charlo, Andrade, or Bivol would be excellent substitutes. Beterbiev would be excellent as well.
Golovkin will need to move up in weight to 168, and he would have to successfully negotiate the fight with Alvarez. That won’t be easy obviously, as Canelo is the A-side and will want the better deal.
The potential venues for Canelo’s title defense against Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) Estadio Jalisco and Los Charros’ Baseball Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico, according to the LA Times.