By Michael Rosenthal
Golovkin vs. Alvarez: So the Triple-G-Canelo rematch is supposedly in jeopardy.
And, of course, the trouble is money-related. Alvarez reportedly wants a 65 percent-to-35 percent split of the purse while Golovkin wants it divided evenly for the proposed superfight targeted for September 15.
They both have their arguments and they both have reasons to compromise, which is probably what will happen.
Golovkin points out that he’s the titleholder (IBF, IBO WBA and WBC), he won the first fight in the court of public opinion and Alvarez screwed up the original rematch – set for May 5 – by testing positive for Clenbuterol.
Also working in Triple-G’s favor is the damage to Alvarez’s reputation after the failed drug test, which some believe can only start to be remedied by facing Golovkin again.
All of that is true but none of it carries much weight.
Golovkin is the titleholder: Who cares? Titles aren’t as important as many believe they are. He deserved the nod in the first fight: So what? It was officially a draw. The original rematch was scuttled because of Alvarez: ancient history.
The most compelling reason for Alvarez to compromise with Golovkin relates to his reputation: Taking the toughest fight possible would send a strong, positive message to any fans he has alienated.
Even that argument has its limitations, though. Purse splits are divided based on drawing power. And the fact remains that Alvarez is a bigger draw than Golovkin, regardless of what happened in the first fight and the drug test.
Alvarez fans will pay to see him – no matter what. No one bargains from a stronger position.
Plus, Golovkin needs Alvarez more than vice versa from a business standpoint. The Kazakhstani can make $30 million or more for a rematch with Alvarez, far more than he could make against anyone else.
So if Golovkin is as smart as I think he is, he’ll put aside this notion of a 50-50 split – which he knows isn’t realistic – and try to convince Alvarez to accept a compromise, somewhere around 60-40 in favor of Alvarez. That’s better than the 70-30 split of the first fight.
If that doesn’t work for Golovkin, Alvarez has other options that will generate very good money. Daniel Jacobs? Jermall Charlo? Billy Joe Saunders? And assuming Alvarez continues to win, his recent issues will begin to recede into the past.
Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-1, 20 KOs) easily outpointed fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan (14-4, 9 KOs) in a dull fight to retain his IBF junior bantamweight title for the fifth time Saturday in Fresno, California. Ancajas, 26, has carved out a nice career so far but he needs to step up his opposition if he wants to take the next step in his career. The winner of the proposed rematch between Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Juan Estrada is one possibility. Another is WBA titleholder Kal Yafai. Those are type of matchups that stir the masses and make youn stars. … Yafai stole the show in Fresno, putting an overweight David Carmona (21-6-5, 9 KOs) down four times and stopping him in the seventh round in his third defense. I think Yafai is one of the most dynamic fighters in the sport but he also needs a big-name opponent to grow as an attraction. Roman Gonzalez has been mentioned as a possible foe. Love it. … David Lemieux (39-4, 33 KOs) bounced back from his one-sided decision loss to Saunders by easily outpointing French journeyman Karim Achour (26-5-3, 4 KOs) in Quebec City. We’ve seen Lemieux’s limitations – most recently in lopsided losses to Golovkin and Saunders – but he remains one of the more entertaining fighters and is a good second-tier opponent for any middleweight.
Michael Rosenthal is the most-recent winner of the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Nat Fleischer Award for excellence in boxing journalism. He has covered boxing for almost three decades.