Almost everyone has a certain something or someone that will make them go out of their comfort zone for the promise of riches and fame. For Gennady Golovkin should that someone be Canelo Alvarez and his status as lineal middleweight champion?
On Saturday, it was announced that the WBC was extending the Friday deadline it had proposed to make a unification bout between Alvarez, the newly crowned WBC middleweight champion, and Golovkin, the interim WBC champion as well as mandatory challenger, until after the weekend in hopes that the two sides can get past some of the issues that at currently holding the fight up.
With negotiations for a potential mega fight between the two set to hopefully conclude Monday in Los Angeles, all indications are that the two fighters are ready to brawl but one thing is still holding an agreement up; weight.
Canelo Alvarez has fought his last four fights at a contracted catch-weight of 155 pounds including last months middleweight title bout with Miguel Cotto.
Alvarez has not hesitated to give his opinion that he is not a true middleweight and has said he would use any advantage he can obtain going forward in regards to negotiations with any fighter not just Golovkin. A lesson he learned from Floyd Mayweather Jr. when boxing’s pound for pound king used his “A” side status to have the 23-year-old Canelo drop down to 152 pounds for their fight back in September 2013.
Canelo, proving he is indeed the “A” side with his fight with Cotto doing 900,000 PPV buys, plans to take full advantage of his elite status.
When asked about the potential showdown with Golovkin after the Cotto fight, Canelo responded, “if we do fight it’s going to be at my [natural] weight class (of 155 pounds). I’m the champion. I don’t have to do what he wants.”
Golovkin and his team have been consistent in their claims that the middleweight superstar wants to stay in the division and unify all titles at 160. The appeal by fight fans for Golovkin to move up in weight to take on Andre Ward at 168 had fallen on deaf ears and with Ward’s recent move up to the 175-pound division has become a mute point.
Erislandy Lara has called out Golovkin in the past for a fight at 154 with Golovkin resisting, continuously repeating his priority to unify the middleweight titles, but Lara does not provide the riches a Canelo fight will present Golovkin or the name that will help catapult Golovkin’s brand to the top of boxing’s elite among casual fans. Perhaps Canelo Alvarez is the one person that can change Golovkin’s plans?
The bigger question is will Golovkin be willing to meet Alvarez’s demands and agree to a 155-pound catch-weight?
There’s no denying there are enough financial reasons for Golovkin to drop the weight, but is it worth making himself vulnerable to go for the gold so to speak?
Gennady Golovkin has been an absolute terror at 160 pounds, but we have seen before where a fighter that sheds pounds prior to a fight can loose enough power and speed where they are just not at full strength.
Golovkin would also be giving up a huge psychological advantage over Canelo by not fighting at 160 pounds and making Canelo doubt whether he can stand up to the bigger Golovkin.
Legacy can also play an important part in Golovkin’s decision to drop down in weight or not. Besides recently retired Floyd Mayweather Jr. and perhaps Manny Pacquiao, who is one last fight away from retirement, no other name in boxing right now carries as much weight behind it as Canelo.
If GGG decides that he wants to be remembered as more than just the champion of a weak division than it may be worth it to surrender to Canelo’s demands to get the name on his resume.
In the past, Golovkin has said he would cut weight to 154 pounds in order to fight Mayweather should he come out of retirement. Apparently the opportunity to dethrone Floyd Mayweather and take his crown as boxing’s best would be too good to resist so does the same now apply to Canelo now that he is the most recognizable face in boxing and regarded as one of the best?
It almost is a no win situation for GGG. Stay firm about fighting at 160 and get called a ducker if the fight fails to happen or fight Canelo at 155 and if victorious get accused of beating a smaller man. Even if somehow Canelo concedes to make the fight at 160, GGG detractors will point out that Canelo has never been a real middleweight.
It’s safe to say that the negotiations between the two camps can go in many different directions, but the outcome may become extremely significant to how boxing’s landscape unfolds over the next several years.