By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Now that Canelo Alvarez has announced he won’t return to the ring until May, Gennady Golovkin’s handlers have their sights set on another former WBC middleweight champion.
Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter, said following Golovkin’s controversial draw with Alvarez on Saturday that night he would like to set up a Golovkin-Miguel Cotto fight for December. Cotto sat ringside to watch the Alvarez-Golovkin fight at T-Mobile Arena and said before their bout that he was interested in facing the winner.
Though there wasn’t a winner Saturday, Alvarez’s timetable won’t work within Cotto’s schedule. The four-division champion from Puerto Rico has repeatedly stated that he will retire by the end of this year and plans to fight for the last time early in December.
Loeffler, the managing director for K2 Promotions, hopes Cotto was serious when he said he would fight Alvarez or Golovkin.
Even in his three middleweight championship matches, Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) refused to fight at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds. Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) won’t box below the limit for the division in which he has competed throughout his career, thus the weight could be an issue.
“That’s another question, if Cotto will fight Gennady,” Loeffler told BoxingScene.com. “But Cotto said he wanted to fight the winner. I don’t know what he’ll do, but if Canelo’s not gonna fight until May, then it would seem like he’ll wanna fight Triple-G.”
The 36-year-old Cotto competed at 154 pounds in his last fight, a 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat of Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai on August 26 in Carson, California. Cotto won the vacant WBO super welterweight title by beating Kamegai (27-4-2, 24 KOs).
Before dominating Kamegai, Cotto hadn’t fought since Mexico’s Alvarez out-boxed him to win the WBC, The Ring magazine and lineal middleweight titles in November 2015 at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Cotto wants a rematch against Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs), but that seems unlikely if Cotto sticks to his retirement plan.
Fighting Cotto on December 2 or December 9, the dates Loeffler mentioned, would require quite a quick turnaround for the 35-year-old Golovkin, just 2½ months after a grueling fight against Alvarez. Golovkin obviously would prefer an immediate rematch against Alvarez, but the IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion doesn’t want to take that long of a break between bouts.
“We’ll sit down this week, but Gennady would like to fight in December,” Loeffler said. “So he would fight someone else and then if we try to do the rematch in May, it’s just like the first time, when the WBC ordered it [in May 2016]. We can’t force Canelo into fighting a rematch. I think he took this fight because of the public pressure and he realized this would be his biggest payday.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.