Why Cotto-Golovkin is Not Viable This Year


“Gennady will only be measured by his competition and the better the competition, the better he’ll be,” explained a very exuberant Tom Loeffler, the managing director of K2 Promotions after his fighter Gennady Golovkin dispatched Daniel Geale in 3 rounds this past Saturday in the big room at Madison Square Garden.

Golovkin derailed Geale after Geale landed his best punch flush. It was an off balance punch thrown by Golovkin that sent the Australian to the ground and Geale seemingly didn’t want to continue after he landed his best shot and he was the one that ended up on the ground after it.

And that was it, the mystique and aura of a fighter continues to grow without yet facing a name brand. So who will be the next in line to tangle with Golovkin? Not many are lining up but if Loeffler and Golovkin had their way, it would be Miguel Cotto.

“Cotto had a great performance against Sergio Martinez and won the WBC middleweight champion. It’d be a unification bout and there no bigger fight to make here in Madison Square Garden,” stated Loeffler. “Gennady can be the B side or the C side. With Gennady’s crowd and Cotto’s proven crowd here at MSG, it will be huge.”

It would be a sold out crowd at the Garden and yes it would be a big fight here in New York. It’d be the HBO pay-per-view number 2 draw in Cotto vs. the HBO premium cable franchise in Golovkin. Golovkin would probably be the big time favorite if it ever happens, but if you’re Cotto, do you take such a high risk fight? Loeffler thinks there is value in the bout.

“Cotto’s looking for a fight. Cotto would make a lot of money fighting Golovkin,” said Loeffler.

Cotto would probably make a lot of money fighting Golovkin. But there are a few issues in regard to that. First, it’s the return date. Loeffler has stated that he would like Golovkin to return in October or November of this year. Cotto is locked in to a December date at Madison Square Garden according to promoter Bob Arum, who promoted Cotto’s last bout. While Cotto is technically not tied to one promoter he has said that he will finish his career working with Top Rank.

Although Golovkin would move his date for sure, the second issue is the dollars involved making this fight for this year. When speaking to Bob Arum regarding a possible Cotto-Golovkin bout, Arum explained his reasoning for it not being able to happen this year. “Listen Golovkin is a hell of a fighter but I don’ think we can make that fight this year. That isn’t a regular HBO fight, it’s a pay-per-view quality fight,” explained Arum. “If we look at this year, trying to follow a Mayweather and Pacquiao pay-per-view, it doesn’t make business sense. There isn’t enough dollars to go around making it profitable this year.”

Arum is absolutely correct. Cotto-Martinez followed a Canelo headlined pay-per-view; A Pacquiao headlined pay-per-view, and a Mayweather pay-per-view. The outcome was a very disappointing 315,000 buy rate for Cotto-Martinez, the lowest of the four pay-per-views. In fact, Arum is on record stating that had it not been for the crowd that Cotto-Martinez brought in to the Garden in June, the fight may not have been profitable.

More and more it seems like the Cotto-Martinez lackluster numbers has at least brought some concern to one promoter in Bob Arum. The pay-per-view market has been watered down and from our conversation it seems like Cotto’s next fight likely ends up on a World Championship Boxing Telecast, rather than an HBO pay-per-view. Unless one of the parties wants to be severely underpaid, Cotto-Golovkin doesn’t end up on regular HBO programming.

Thirdly, it’s real easy to see that all sights are set on making a Cotto-Canelo clash next year which will net Cotto an 8 figure pay day. It’s the biggest makeable fight to be made and the second biggest fight in the sport of boxing as Arum stated, “The eye on the prize is Cotto-Canelo in May.”

So what does Golovkin do in the interim? Easy, keep being active and having moments like he did this past Saturday. He brought a crowd of 8,500 plus without the backing of an ethnicity or a major local attraction on the card. The ratings numbers did take a backwards step only averaging 984,000 views, peaking at little more than a million. Regardless of the excuses of why the number could have been lower, a number like that would give Cotto’s handlers a reason to say, “He’s not in the big leagues yet,” as Cotto’s advisor Gaby Penagaricano has already said.

Golovkin and his team can’t force guys to fight them like Loeffler has said. But it’s clear who HBO’s number 1 priority is right now, and that’s Golovkin. Golovkin and his team would make concessions to fight Cotto like they did to fight Chavez to land a major pay-per-view fight. But the onus is on HBO. Just like they paid an unknown Curtis Stevens upwards of $400,000 to fight Golovkin, and they paid an unknown Daniel Geale $650,000 to fight Golovkin, they’re going to have to pay good money for bigger named opponents to fight Golovkin. For Golovkin, he has just has to keep winning like he has been so the big names can’t ignore him anymore.