You want it, you are likely to get it, but you will have to wait.
You may not like it, it might irk you, but this is the boxing business, and it makes most business sense, I think, to do the marination thing, and have both Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez take one fight each, against other people, before signing on the fight each other.
I saw a column yesterday which saw the writer screaming to high heaven about this development, in which all parties decided to go the marination route. And while I get the desire to see the best fight the best, ASAP, I think it’s wise for us to always bear in mind that this is the boxing BUSINESS. And the prudent business decision, in the minds of the deal-makers, which include Canelo’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, the Golden Boy boss, and Tom Loeffler, head of K2, who promotes Golovkin, is to proceed thusly.
We can debate the merits of that, and debate we shall if this marination move goes off the rails and, say, Canelo gets beat his next time out…or the same happens to Golovkin. But my guess if neither man will be matched against King Kong in his next tangle, and both win, and then face off in the fall.
So, this leads us to next question..who and when and where will the 33-year-old Golovkin fight next? And who and when and where will Canelo fight next?
First, Golovkin (34-0); he holds the IBF and WBA 160 belts, while Canelo (46-1-1; age 25) holds the WBC and Danny Jacobs holds the WBA’s junior version. Andy Lee (34-2-1) holds the WBO’s strap, which he puts up for grabs Saturday, in England, against BJ Saunders (22-0).
From my perch, I think it possible we see Golovkin butt heads with Bahamanian banger Tureano Johnson (19-1 record; age 31). Johnson, promoted by Golden Boy, is rated No. 1 by the IBF, so common sense suggests he gets the gig. He’s made it clear he wants it. What about it, Tom Loeffler, do we see Golovkin versus Johnson next?
Alvarez, you likely know, last fought Miguel Cotto, and beat the Puerto Rican with relative ease. That is his signature win to this point; he was ranked No. 1 by the WBC, and behind him was Jorge Sebastian Heiland.
Would maybe Heiland get the call to fight Alvarez? I posed that to Golden Boy exec Eric Gomez. (For those unware, Golden Boy owns RING magazine and this website, for the record.) “First, Canelo versus Golovkin is I think the next mega-fight in boxing,” Gomez said. “Canelo does want it…it will happen. And next for Canelo? May 7 is the date. As far as opponent goes, Canelo is on vacation. We’ve agreed we’ll all meet up the second week of January to discuss that.”
Checking the WBC rankings, I see Jorge S. Heiland is No. 2, Arif Magomedov 3, Michel Soro 4, Ryoto Murata No. 5, Chris Eubank Jr six…any of those guys stand out as being maybe top of a list? “Every and all of them we will consider,” Gomez said. “We will take our time, go through the list with due dilligence.”
OK, we got date, and foe is TBD..what about site. vegas and Texas and LA will be considered. And NYC, as well. Golden Boy will meet up with the Madison Square Garden brass next week to see if maybe Canelo is a fine fit to show off his stuff in the media capital of the universe. I’d vote for NYC, myself, as the media buzz he will attract here would be incalculably beneficial top his buzz factor.
Also, for those sulking because we don’t get Canelo vs. Golovkin next, I’m reading in between the Golden Boy lines, you have to ask, OK, if Canelo fights Golovkin and wins, what does he do? Who’s there for him? There are no really fabulous logical options. So it makes sense for some time to pass, allow some other options to emerge, and please, remember this bottom line…this is the boxing business…and decisions will almost always be made with factor one being how much revenue can be grossed. That’s a truth, you don’t have to agree with it or like it, but it is what it is.
Tom Loeffler will also be sifting, as part of Team Golovkin, the wisest course of action for his fighting pride of Kaakzstan. I spoke to Loeffler on Tuesday; he’s in Panama, for the WBA annual convention.
He said that yes, ideally, next fight would be GGG vs. Canelo, but he gets it why others want to let it marinate. “It makes sense business-wise to wait for one fight,” he said. “Gennady knows his career is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Sometimes, it’s a give and a take situation. if it was two years, then thats one thing. But this is less than a year.
As the fight will likely be a mandatory situation, with Canelo defending his title, it would be contested at 160, proper, so that’s one upside.
It only makes sense, as on fight nights, Canelo has of late been coming in weighing more than Golovkin, the promoter said.
So, in the interim…will Golovkin fight Tureano Johnson in February next? Or maybe play the wait and see, see how the Lee vs. Saunders bout plays out? “Tureano is certainly possible,” Loeffler said. “Our goalis the biggest fights. Lee-Saunders winner would be a priority, because we want to unify.” Hey, what about that fierce young gun Danny Jacobs? “We met Danny last night at the convention,” Loeffler said. “He’s a great guy, a great champion, with a great story. Has there been an offer made to (his advisor, Al Haymon)? Not yet..but we have no problem doing business with Al, that would also be at the top of our list. Golovkin versus Danny in New York would be huge. I have a good relationship with A and with promoter Lou DiBella (who promoted the Jacobs win over Quillin).”
Botton line, then? “The priority would be the WBO belt,” said Loeffler, so we should all be watching the Lee-Saunders bout extra hard.
“The middleweight division is very hot, and Triple G is the hottest boxer in the sport, so we are looking forward to another big year!”