By Keith Idec, photo by Tom Hogan/Hoganphotos
NEW YORK – Gennady Golovkin and his handlers hope Canelo Alvarez and Oscar De La Hoya liked what they saw Saturday night.
And by like, they mean Alvarez and his promoter saw enough vulnerability in Golovkin to entice the Mexican superstar to agree to fight Golovkin in September. Golovkin and Alvarez still would need to win a fight apiece before their highly anticipated showdown would become a reality, but Golovkin’s promoter thinks Golovkin going the distance for the first time in nearly nine years might make Alvarez more comfortable agreeing to face Golovkin.
Daniel Jacobs lost a unanimous decision to Golovkin on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, yet provided the stiffest competition for Golovkin at least since the middleweight champion made his debut on American television in September 2012.
“If Canelo sees this fight and thinks that Gennady’s punching power isn’t as big as everyone says because he didn’t stop Jacobs, then maybe we can make the Canelo fight,” said Tom Loeffler, managing director for K2 Promotions, which represents Golovkin. “So I’ll definitely be sitting down with Golden Boy next week to see what they have to say.”
However those discussions go, Loeffler reiterated that he won’t allow a potential eight-figure payday against Alvarez prohibit him from finalizing a deal for Golovkin to first fight WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders on June 10 in Golovkin’s native Kazakhstan.
If Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) passes a seven-figure purse to face England’s Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs), it’s a significant risk because Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs), though a heavy favorite, could lose to Mexican rival Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs, 1 NC) in their super middleweight fight May 6 in Las Vegas.
“We can’t really finalize anything for Canelo because he’s got a fight coming up in May, just like we had the fight [against Jacobs],” Loeffler said. “But certainly, we would do our best to make that fight if it was possible.”
However, Loeffler cautioned, “There’s no guarantee he’s gonna fight in Kazakhstan. There’s no guarantee Canelo’s gonna fight [Golovkin]. And look, if Chavez wins, then that’s a great matchup against Chavez at 168 pounds.”
Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer, hopes his fighter gets the opportunity to fight Saunders and Alvarez.
“We hope to be in the ring again in June,” Sanchez said, “and Tom sets up that fight in September, so that we can really see who the best middleweight in the world is.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.