By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Gennadiy Golovkin is counting on one acronym to make sure he gets his third fight with Canelo Alvarez next.
And it’s not the IBF. Or the WBA. Or the WBC.
It’s DAZN, the streaming service with which Alvarez and Golovkin signed nine-figure deals following their middleweight championship rematch September 15. Golovkin feels DAZN will have the influence in discussions for their third fight ensure that Alvarez doesn’t attempt to fight someone other than him September 14.
Alvarez and his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, have said recently that Golovkin would need to win a middleweight title to make their third fight worthwhile for Alvarez.
The 28-year-old Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) took the WBA and WBC middleweight titles from Golovkin when he won a majority decision over the Kazakhstan native September 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Alvarez added the IBF belt that was stripped from Golovkin a year ago when the Mexican icon out-pointed Daniel Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs) in their title unification match May 4 at T-Mobile Arena.
John Skipper, DAZN’s executive chairman, is expected to push for an Alvarez-Golovkin fight next to help justify the company’s enormous investments in them. Golovkin discussed this “situation” with reporters this week while promoting his fight against huge underdog Steve Rolls on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
“If Canelo talks about [the belts], I don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” Golovkin said through his translator. “He’s just a boxer. If Oscar talks about that, it just shows that he’s not very professional. Because what we have right now, we don’t have a relationship with the belts. We have a relationship with the broadcaster, DAZN. DAZN is my partner and DAZN is their boss, and that what is the most important thing, that we have a relationship. I don’t care what Oscar said. In fact, I can tell you much more than that than Oscar because DAZN is my partner and is their boss. So, that’s the situation.”
DAZN committed more fights and money to Alvarez than Golovkin when the two sides agreed in October to a five-year, 11-fight deal that could become worth $365 million. The contract Golovkin finalized with DAZN in March is for three years, six fights and reportedly is worth slightly more than $100 million.
Meanwhile, Golovkin, 37, doesn’t think they’re serious when Alvarez and De La Hoya mention Golovkin’s need to win a middleweight belt before they can fight again. Golovkin would have to defeat Demetrius Andrade (27-0, 17 KOs), the WBO 160-pound champion, if he were to address Alvarez’s demand.
“It’s a strategy when they’re talking about the belts,” Golovkin said. “They like to attract some attention for some of the federations, for some of the sponsors. That’s why they’re talking about the belts. In fact, they don’t care about the belts. They’re trying to get more attention, to get more sponsorship money, not attention from commissions and federations.”
Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) is listed by most Internet sports books as a 50-1 favorite over Toronto’s Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.