Whenever someone is at the top of the sport of boxing, there are plenty of fighters who try to throw their hat in the ring to challenge them.
Jermall Charlo has recently done just that in calling out a number of middleweight competitors. Included in that list was Gennady Golovkin, who Charlo said did not want to fight him. Charlo is right in that regard, although Golovkin doesn't want to fight Charlo for reasons different than Charlo may think.
Charlo With Much To Prove
Charlo made these comments among others about the middleweight division while attempting to stake his claim to being one of the best in that weight class. He is correct that GGG does not want to fight him, but the major reason that Golovkin wants to avoid Charlo is not that he is scared of losing to the up and comer. Rather, Golovkin just has better things to do than fight someone who is not on his level.
In his 27 career fights, Charlo has won them all with 21 coming via knockout. That record is impressive, but when you look at the quality of opponents he has faced it is clear that record is not everything it looks to be. Only one fighter that Charlo has faced in his career had fewer than two losses. Most are obscure names from his early days. If you say you can beat GGG, you should beat someone comparable to him first.
That isn't to say that Charlo is a bad fighter. He took down Austin Trout at one point, who has a championship under his belt in his career. But Austin Trout is no Gennady Golovkin, and there should be an in-between step between fighters of those levels for Charlo, even if he thinks that nobody can do what he can in a boxing ring.
GGG With Bigger Prizes In Mind
As for Golovkin, he has much better things to do than waste his time with Charlo. His priorities need to be focused almost exclusively on a second bout with Canelo Alvarez. Negotiations for that fight have hit a snag, with Golovkin wanting a bigger piece of the purse than he got for the first fight. Canelo got $5 million for that fight before gate and pay-per-view money, while Golovkin got just $3 million. Golovkin also got a 40% split of the revenue despite the first fight being a draw. Given the issues Alvarez has had after being busted, Golovkin will surely see a better payday this time around and deservedly so.
Charlo, meanwhile, is not a seven figure fighter yet. He lacks the star power that others at the top of his division have. Only continuing to win fights against respectable opponents will change that, but he just isn't there yet.
— Gennadiy Golovkin (@GGGBoxing) September 11, 2018
Some have said that Golovkin is past his prime, but that wouldn't stop the WBC middleweight titleholder from being the favorite in a fight against Charlo. A great parallel to that situation is Manny Pacquiao vs Matthysse. At 2 odds, Pacquiao is favored over Lucas Martin Matthysse at -200 as of June 5, 2018. Pacquiao is in far worse shape at this point in his career than GGG, which bears out in the numbers when you remember that GGG outlanded Canelo in 10 of 12 rounds during their first fight. A fight against a less skilled opponent would be even more of a mismatch, so there is no reason for Golovkin to take part in it just yet.
It will be interesting to see how Charlo progresses from here. A fight with Daniel Jacobs would be fun, and a logical step for him on his way to fighting some of the elites in the sport. Of course, the problem with a fight like that is that it is challenging enough to possibly result in a loss, but not impressive enough to make him an instant title contender.
Charlo's best route would be to take on Alvarez after Alvarez and GGG finally settle their issues in the ring. He could then establish himself as a legitimate contender in the division with a win over Canelo, assuming that GGG remains unbeaten against Alvarez. If Charlo managed to beat Canelo, he could then justify demanding a fight against the clear class of the division at the moment.