By Andreas Hale
In a recent interview, a clearly miffed Gennady Golovkin suggested that the highly anticipated rematch with Canelo Alvarez — which was postponed after Alvarez failed drug test — now has a “10 percent” chance of happening.
Apparently, GGG doesn’t believe that Canelo is a clean fighter and wants to ensure something like this doesn’t take place again. Canelo has been suspended for six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the appearance of Clenbuterol in his system and both he and his team maintain that the failed drug test came as a result of ingesting bad meat.
Accidental or not, Canelo pulled out of the rematch with Golovkin due to what was expected to be a suspension and is aiming for a return this September. His opponent should be Golovkin, but according to GGG, it’s not likely.
Golovkin will step into the ring with late replacement Vanes Martirosyan instead of Alvarez on May 5th at the StubHub Center in California and look to tie Bernard Hopkins record for middleweight title defenses at 20. But that’s not as important to the boxing world as a Canelo rematch is. It’s the biggest fight that can be made in boxing today. Yet, Triple G is only giving the fight a puncher’s chance of taking place?
Is he serious?
To be honest, that 10% is more like 90% because there’s almost no way that both sides can’t come to an agreement to make this fight happen. But the agreement is the most important part. In the interview with Yahoo’s Kevin Iole, Golovkin addresses the “concessions” that he had to make in order for this fight to happen. He didn’t explicitly say what they were, but one can guess that it had to do with the money split.
“I think 10 percent is high; it’s bigger than it should be,” Golovkin said. “I made 99 percent of the concessions for the fight with Canelo on May 5. Ninety-nine percent of them were by me, and now he’s the one not here.”
Ah, there it is. It’s posturing. Golovkin isn’t here to be nobody’s sucker to be duped. Although Canelo is the bigger draw, Golovkin isn’t going to sit back and make the same concessions he did for the rematch now that his Mexican foe is at fault for the fight being cancelled to begin with. He’s making it very clear that he and his team aren’t just happy to fight Canelo and want a bigger piece of the pie.
They deserve it.
Whatever was asked by Golden Boy Promotions, Golovkin must have agreed to in order to have the rematch set for a fight that many onlookers thought he won. The first fight was an electrifying affair that has only built hype to the rematch. There’s too much money on the table for the fight not to be made, but Golovkin isn’t going to accept pennies given what recently transpired. When the two sides sit down and handle the negotiations for the rematch, it appears that Golovkin is going to draw a line in the sand and dare Golden Boy to cross it. He knows just as well as everybody else that there is no other opponent for Canelo that will draw the numbers like Golovkin would. So, why not play hardball with the guilty party when it comes to negotiating a potential rematch that could happen as early as September?
There’s no reason to think that the rematch won’t happen but this is a smart play by Golovkin and his team. Although Golden Boy president Eric Gomez did say that making the rematch happen is his #1 priority, it’s imperative for GGG to make sure he’s not shortchanged in any aspect. Whether that means money or details pertaining to the fight, Team GGG isn’t going to just allow Canelo to run roughshod over him with the negotiations.
“The Golovkin fight is option No. 1 for Canelo, and we’re going to do everything we can to get that fight made,” Gomez told Yahoo Sports. “But if Golovkin doesn’t want the fight, we’ll move on and fight a different opponent. Canelo has done everything that has been asked of him and I think he’s proven to the commission and everyone else that he is a clean fighter and these tests were a mistake [and that he ate contaminated meat].”
Wrong answer. Although it is understood that Team Canelo shouldn’t be held captive, there really is no acceptable opponent to move on to. Although there is Jermall Charlo and Daniel Jacobs hovering about the middleweight division, neither fighter gives you as much as Golovkin does in a rematch of a fight that was clouded in controversy. Golovkin wants the fight, but he just wants a bigger portion of the pie.
Boxing fans should take GGG’s suggestion with a grain of salt. The people who should be worried about it are those at Golden Boy. Sure, Canelo is still the bigger star and will command a larger piece of the pie. But that gap should narrow due to Canelo’s failed drug test. And it would be wise for Golden Boy Promotions to acquiesce to those demands as long as they aren’t too damaging to their bottom line. Regardless of whether they believe Canelo knowingly used Clenbuterol or not, the fact remains that a massive payday on a huge Mexican holiday went up in smoke. They need to make it right with GGG and do whatever it takes to make sure this fight happens in September.
Hopefully it doesn’t become some ongoing mess and the two sides can come together and negotiate a deal.