By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – A middleweight championship unification fight against Miguel Cotto probably is the most unlikely of Gennady’s Golovkin’s potential options to actually materialize.
Golovkin versus Andre Ward seems to be a close second. While Ward and Golovkin both have said that they’ll fight each other, Golovkin’s promoter made it clear in the aftermath of Golovkin’s third-round knockout of Daniel Geale on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden that the dollars might not make sense for Golovkin or Ward.
Golovkin would have to move up from 160 pounds to 168 to make the fight, but that’s not what truly concerns Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions.
“That’s a fight that’s going to be tough to make, if only because of the financial situation,” Loeffler said. “Gennady would go to 168. Carl Froch sold 80,000 tickets in Wembley Stadium. That’s a testament to his marketability. Chavez is a proven pay-per-view star. Andre Ward is a terrific fighter and we have a lot of respect for his boxing ability.
“But the finances for that fight doesn’t make sense for Gennady to go up to 168, when there’s so many big names at 160. Andre’s going to want a big chunk of that money. And for Gennady to move up, he’s going to want a big chunk of the money, just like he was going to get to fight Chavez. That was a pay-per-view financial structure, and the money was there to make that fight.”
Neither Golovkin nor Ward has headlined a pay-per-view show, but that would be the only path HBO Sports could pursue to satisfy the monetary demands of Ward and Golovkin for embracing such a risk.
Golovkin (30-0, 27 KOs) is more likely to fight on HBO in October or November, perhaps against IBF champ Sam Soliman (44-11, 18 KOs, 1 NC). The 40-year-old Australian out-boxed Germany’s Felix Sturm (39-4-2, 18 KOs, 1 NC) to win a unanimous decision and take Sturm’s IBF 160-pound crown May 31 in Krefeld, Germany.
When Ward (27-0, 14 KOs) will return to the ring, and against whom, is anyone’s guess. A shoulder injury and a continual battle with promoter Dan Goossen have limited the 2004 Olympic gold medalist and lineal super middleweight champion to just one fight since he dominated then-light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson on his way to a 10th-round knockout in September 2012.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.