By Manouk Akopyan
Golden Boy Promotions might be putting the final touches on Canelo Alvarez’s next contract, widely believed to be a light heavyweight showdown against Sergey Kovalev.
But one Canelo counterpart who’ll always be looming in the near distance as a palatable opponent is Gennadiy Golovkin.
Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya is not shying away from making a much-desired trilogy a reality one day even though his star fighter has his sights set on becoming a four-division champion.
“A Golovkin fight is bound to happen, but obviously on Canelo’s terms,” De La Hoya told BoxingScene.com. “The middleweight division is the hottest division out there right now. We’re excited to be steering and directing the Mack Truck that is Canelo.”
One of the previous terms that’s been called to question from Golovkin is staging a fight outside of Nevada. Golovkin believes he cannot win a decision in the state, and has been vocal about having a fight in New York at Madison Square Garden or Dallas at AT&T Stadium instead of Sin City.
Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs), meanwhile, has turned his attention to other opponents after a back-to-back affair with Golovkin in 2017 (split draw) and 2018 (majority decision) that was hotly contested—and disputed. Both bouts took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, a location Golovkin wants to stay away from due to controversial judging by officials appointed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Only one out of six judges scored a fight for Golovkin in the pair of matches that many can argue he both won.
The 29-year-old Mexican superstar leveraged his showcases into a 10-fight, $365-million deal with DAZN last year, and Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) promptly followed to DAZN to pave a clear path in making a third fight possible. However, Alvarez and Golden Boy have maintained their position in the driver’s seat, declaring that the only person that would benefit from a third fight is Golovkin, and that Alvarez has nothing to gain from another meeting with his Kazakh contemporary.
“Back in the day when I would fight, you’d have to earn your spot once again. Canelo has so many choices and GGG has to earn his spot again, and climb up the ladder,” said De La Hoya. “I strongly feel that if he does that, than a Canelo-GGG is bound to happen.”
De La Hoya said Canelo’s career is not tied to the hip of Golovkin. Demetrius Andrade and Billy Joe Saunders “are worthy fighters as well” that Golden Boy is considering as future foes, he noted
“Nowadays when you throw a fighter's name out there, it makes it impossible to negotiate. That fighter then thinks that his stock climbed like there’s no tomorrow. There’s so much money now in boxing being thrown around to fighters that you have to be careful who you mention,” said De La Hoya. “It’s like playing poker while showing your hand. It makes it impossible. Canelo is the cash cow, and everyone knows of the deal I got him with DAZN, the richest sports deal in history. It makes it a little more difficult. That’s why we don’t go after one opponent, but several at the same time. Whoever wants to take the deal and make history to fight Canelo, then we have fighters to choose from.”
Golovkin kicked off his three-year, six-fight deal with DAZN and promptly ran through Steve Rolls in June.
Next, he’ll fight Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1-0, 10 KOs) in October for the IBF middleweight title that Alvarez was forced to vacate after a deal with Derevyanchenko could not be reached.
Should Golovkin win and climb up that ladder like De La Hoya desires, a date with Alvarez on Cinco De Mayo in 2020—he’ll be 38-years-old by then—for the middleweight title that was Alvarez’s to begin with would likely be the last ideal time to settle the score once and for all.
Manouk Akopyan has been a member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011 and has written for the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Guardian and Philadelphia Inquirer. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at [email protected].