By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Canelo Alvarez’s refusal to fight for the WBC middleweight title will lead to a peculiar scenario if he beats Gennady Golovkin.
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin will defend his WBC title, in addition to his IBF, IBO and WBA championships, against Alvarez, despite that Alvarez won’t pay a sanctioning fee to fight for the Mexico City-based organization’s 160-pound championship. Alvarez can win the three other titles Golovkin owns, but the WBC championship would become vacant if Alvarez wins their HBO Pay-Per-View main event.
According to the WBC’s rules, Golovkin must defend his title against Alvarez because they’re participating in a title fight at the 160-pound middleweight limit. Tom Loeffler, managing director for K2 Promotions, explained the unusual situation to BoxingScene.com on Tuesday.
“Gennady’s defending all four of his titles,” said Loeffler, whose company promotes Golovkin. “It’s clear that Canelo’s not fighting for the WBC title and it’s clear that Gennady’s defending his WBC title. If, for some reason, Gennady were to lose, then it would be a vacant title because Canelo can’t win the title.
“And Gennady has to defend it as a champion. For him not to defend it, they’d have to fight over the weight [160 pounds] because you can’t fight under the weight and not defend it as a champion. If he fought at 165, then we could ask for an exception and say it’s over the weight.”
Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) won’t fight for the WBC title because he remains angry that the WBC gave him 2½ weeks after his knockout of Amir Khan 16 months ago to complete a deal to fight Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs). Alvarez gave up the WBC’s middleweight title the week before the WBC’s deadline and instead moved down to 154 pounds to fight England’s Liam Smith.
Alvarez knocked out Smith in the ninth round last September 17 to win the WBO super welterweight championship at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Alvarez won the WBC middleweight title by out-boxing Miguel Cotto in their 12-round fight in November 2015 at Mandalay Bay Events Center.
If Golovkin wins Saturday night, he’ll be contractually obligated to a rematch with Alvarez. If the 35-year-old champion continues to win, he’ll also have to eventually make multiple mandatory title defenses.
Houston’s Jermall Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) is the WBC’s No. 1 challenger for Golovkin’s title. Russia’s Sergiy Derevyanchenko (11-0, 9 KOs) is the IBF’s No. 1 contender for its middleweight title.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.