LAS VEGAS – Gennadiy Golovkin laughed when he was asked to address persistent speculation regarding his supposedly imminent retirement.
The 40-year-old middleweight champion plans to continue his career after he encounters Canelo Alvarez for the third time Saturday night, no matter the outcome of their 12-round, 168-pound title fight at T-Mobile Arena. Golovkin reminded a small group of reporters Wednesday at MGM Grand that retirement rumors have swirled around him since 2019, yet he remains an effective, marketable boxer.
“I retired three years ago, before the pandemic,” a smiling Golovkin said, “and right now I’m still here.”
While his career won’t end Saturday night, Golovkin confirmed that this third showdown with Alvarez will mark the conclusion of his exclusive contract with DAZN. Golovkin and DAZN announced a six-fight agreement in March 2019 that was supposed to pay him more than $100 million, but it will end after his fifth appearance with the streaming service Saturday night.
Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) would welcome a fourth fight against Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs). He noted, however, that he’ll have “many options” once he and his Mexican rival complete their trilogy in the main event of a DAZN Pay-Per-View show that’ll cost subscribers $64.99 and non-subscribers $84.99.
“You stay in boxing when you’re still in demand and when there are offers for fights, of course,” Golovkin said. “I have certain plans, without any doubt, regardless of the outcome of this fight, and whether it’s going to be a draw. [If] the fourth fight is going to be offered, I would say, ‘Why not?’ – if people want it. And you should not forget that I have three belts at 160 still.”
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin owns the IBF, IBO and WBA middleweight titles. If he wanted to try to fully unify boxing’s 160-pound championships after facing Alvarez in his 168-pound debut, Golovkin would have to work with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. and ESPN to battle WBO champion Janibek Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8 KOs) or Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime to box WBC champ Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs).
Golovkin obviously has more pressing business at hand entering a high-profile fight that’ll afford him the opportunity to become boxing’s fully unified super middleweight champion.
Alvarez, who edged Golovkin by majority decision in their 12-round rematch four years ago at T-Mobile Arena, is eight years younger than him and is undefeated in five fights at the super middleweight limit. Most sportsbooks thus list Alvarez as at least a 5-1 favorite to beat Golovkin in their fight for the Guadalajara native’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 168-pound crowns.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.