He may not care to ever again do business with him, but Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez still takes an interest in the career of his old ring rival Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin.
The reigning World middleweight champion was an interested observer for Golovkin’s return to the title stage, where he began a second title reign following a hard fought 12 round decision over Ukraine’s Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Their Oct. 5 bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City was for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) title Alvarez wrested from Kazakhstan’s Golovkin last September—among the other titles at stake in their HBO Pay-Per-View rematch—but which he was forced to relinquish after failing to reach terms earlier this summer for a title defense versus Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10KOs), his mandatory challenger.
“What happened is what happened,” noted Alvarez during a recent media conference call to otherwise discuss his Nov. 2 showdown with three-time and reigning light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1, 29KOs). “Unfortunately, I had to give up my title, it wasn’t what I wanted but it’s ultimately what transpired.”
His loss was the gain of the participants for last weekend’s Fight of the Year-level war at MSG. In the end, Golovkin—who scored an early knockdown and withstood a hellacious mid-rounds surge by Derevyanchenko—claimed a 12-round unanimous decision, though an unpopular verdict with many observers believing the judges got it wrong.
Objectively or otherwise, count the reigning lineal middleweight champion among the latter crowd.
“To me, Sergiy Derevyanchenko clearly won the fight,” Alvarez insisted. “I gave everyone the (blueprint) to beat him and that’s hurting him to the body. That is wha we saw take place on Saturday.”
The disputed outcome drew parallels to each of Alvarez’s two fights with Golovkin, fighting to a highly questionable 120-round draw in their Sept. 2017 clash which many felt should have been ruled in favor of the Kazakhstan boxer before claiming a narrow majority decision in their rematch last September. A third fight meaning big business for all involved, particularly sports streaming platform DAZN to which Alvarez and Golvokin enjoy lucrative long term contracts. DAZN aired last weekend’s thriller, along with Golovkin’s knockout win over Steve Rolls in June. Alvarez-Kovalev will air live on DAZN, as did the Mexican icon’s wins over Daniel Jacobs and Rocky Fielding.
The Over-The-Top (OTT) media service very much has Alvarez-Golovkin III high on its wish lists of fights to make in 2020, one they hoped which would have already taken place.
Even with Golovkin once again possessing a title, it still isn’t a priority for his lone conqueror.
“Like I said and will once again repeat—to me, that fight doesn’t present any new challenges,” claims Alvarez. “We fought 24 rounds already, I beat him last time and have moved on with my career.
“What (Golovkin) does represent, though, is good business. And if they offer me something good, then maybe that third fight between us will happen. Until then, it’s not a fight that interests me.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox