By Keith Idec
A deal for boxing’s biggest fight of 2018 is near completion.
Eric Gomez, Golden Boy Promotions’ president, told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday that Canelo Alvarez has agreed to contractual terms for a rematch against Gennady Golovkin. Assuming the contracts are finalized, their second middleweight title fight will take place May 5 either at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas or Madison Square Garden in New York, according to Gomez.
Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) fought to a debatable draw in their 12-rounder September 16 at T-Mobile Arena. There was not a rematch clause in their contracts for that fight, but Alvarez, 27, and Golovkin, 35, have indicated since their draw that their rematch is the fight they want next.
There isn’t a rematch clause in their contracts for this second showdown, either. Nevertheless, Gomez indicated all that’s left to complete the deal for this HBO Pay-Per-View event is for Golovkin and his handlers to sign off on their end.
“We’ve exchanged contracts,” Gomez told the Los Angeles Times. “We’ve gone through three revisions. I’m hoping for the last revision [Thursday night or Friday] and we’ll see. All the major points have been worked out. There’s some details that are important, but they’re not the major points.”
As for not having a rematch clause again, Gomez added, “It’s going to be another great fight, so it’ll likely be a natural to do another rematch. But it’s not in the agreement. We want to concentrate on getting this [second fight] done and then we can talk about a third fight later.”
As you might expect, Gomez believes Alvarez will win their rematch convincingly to take Golovkin’s IBF, IBO and WBA titles. Golovkin also owns the WBC title, but Alvarez isn’t expected to pay a sanctioning fee to fight for it due to his well-documented dispute with the Mexico City-based organization.
“I know Canelo’s going to win,” Gomez said. “I think Canelo figured him out in the last three rounds. Look at the fight. Canelo handled [Golovkin] those last three rounds. And this time around, Canelo’s going to have an easier time with him. Not an easy fight, but he has the experience now and he wants this fight.”
The venue for their rematch will be determined once both boxers agree to terms. They’ll likely return to T-Mobile Arena, but Gomez expects Madison Square Garden officials to make a strong bid, just as they did for the first fight.
Golovkin has fought three times at Madison Square Garden and twice in The Theater at Madison Square Garden over the past five years.
“It is expensive being in New York – the overhead, the hotels,” Gomez said. “But those are the two leading contenders and once we get the contracts signed, we’ll get to work.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.