By Andreas Hale
As expected, the posturing between the camps of Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin has begun and threatens to put a proposed September rematch in jeopardy.
According to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, he is “moving on” from a proposed mega fight with Golovkin and will seek other options for Canelo’s return to the ring later this year rather than rectify the controversial draw that took place last September.
“It’s clear to us that Golovkin doesn’t want to fight Canelo,” De La Hoya said to The Ring. “It’s clear to us that after all the demands that they made, after Canelo having to do the hair follicle test, having to enroll in VADA, having to be tested by the Nevada State Athletic Commission randomly even before he was enrolled in VADA, it’s clear that GGG is afraid.
“So we’re going to move on and I’m going to start making phone calls to (Daniel Jacobs’) people, to (Billy Joe) Saunders’ people, start making calls to (Jermall) Charlo and (Spike) O’Sullivan.”
You shouldn’t be surprised by any of this considering what has transpired over the past couple of months. Alvarez pulled out of a May 5th rematch with GGG after a pair of failed drug tests surfaced. He was subsequently suspended while Golovkin opted to keep the date and made short work of Vanes Martirosyan earlier this month. Since then, Golovkin has insinuated that Canelo is a dirty fighter and even went so far as to suggest that there was a “10 percent” chance of the highly anticipated rematch happening.
In an effort to counter Golovkin’s claims, Canelo entered random drug testing with VADA to clear his name. But it’s less about being a clean fighter than it was a negotiating point. Regardless of whether or not you think Canelo was knowledgeable of the banned substance found in his system, the bottom line is that it cost Golovkin the biggest payday of his career. And because of this, Golovkin wants a bigger piece of the pie for the rematch than originally negotiated. After all, it wasn’t his fault the fight didn’t take place. However, with De La Hoya’s recent statements, they are willing to call Golovkin’s bluff and dare the unbeaten middleweight to find another opponent.
And, unfortunately for Golovkin, Team Canelo still has the upper hand, regardless of what happened.
What De La Hoya knows is that Canelo is still young and has a whole lot of time left in this sport. But Golovkin, at 36, should be exiting his prime soon and find his skills on the decline. The longer Canelo makes GGG wait, the better. Also, Canelo remains the pay per view draw and the A-side of this fight. And that’s what bears the most significance when you look at De La Hoya’s statement. He’s keenly aware that Canelo can face anybody from a high risk like Daniel Jacobs or Jermall Charlo to a lower risk fight against Spike O’Sullivan and still do pretty well when it comes to pay per view. He also knows just how close the first fight with Golovkin was and he doesn’t have to be in a rush to make the fight happen in September. To be completely honest, it would be a wise tactical move to force GGG to take another fight and revisit this next May.
This is bad news for fight fans who have been salivating over the Canelo-GGG sequel.
But if De La Hoya learned anything from his nemesis Floyd Mayweather, it’s that the fight will always be there and making GGG wait will only fan the flames for the rematch. Of course, there will be those who will say that Canelo is scared to fight GGG. But De La Hoya is willing to risk that minute segment of fans who won’t really affect the bottom line.
It’s all about posturing at this point. Team GGG believe they deserve more considering what they lost with the fight falling through while Team Canelo could care less what GGG wants because they know that they have the upper hand in time and popularity. And what better way to suggest other options for Canelo by saying that GGG doesn’t want the fight? It paints GGG and his promoter Tom Loeffler to be both greedy and nervous of what could take place in a rematch. Although both are untrue, it’s all about perspective. De La Hoya has the microphone so he’s going to say what he wants to try and goad GGG into the same deal they originally had for the rematch.
“It’s fine, go and deal with your IBF mandatory, whoever he is, I believe he has 11 fights, go deal with him, make a million-and-a-half and good luck,” De La Hoya said about GGG’s mandatory for his IBF in Sergey Dereyanchenko. “There’s no better deal for him out there for (a fight with) anybody.”
He’s right. But that doesn’t mean that GGG should lay down. Nevertheless, the Golden Boy CEO is going to make sure to paint Golovkin as money hungry and unwilling to give fight fans the rematch they have been begging for.
“He’s afraid to lose against Canelo, what else do we have to do to make the fight? He’ll make a 20-plus million payday. He’ll be able to redeem and maybe put a stamp on what happened in the first fight and give the fight fans what they want to see. What other hoops do we have to go through? We’ve complied with everything.”
Boxing negotiations stink. Rather than the best fighting the best for all the marbles, we get situations such as this one where the posturing will carry on throughout the summer until one side blinks. De La Hoya has drawn his line in the sand and is daring Team GGG to do something about it.