By: Eric Lunger
The sequel to September’s already-classic middleweight clash between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is close to becoming a reality, according to recent reporting by Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times. Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions told the Times that the parties were working on the final details, and that he (Gomez) was just waiting to hear back from Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Had fellow Golden Boy fighter David Lemieux won the WBO belt on Saturday night, there might have been an argument for putting Lemieux in the mix, before an Alvarez-Golovkin rematch. But Saunder’s masterclass against Lemieux, who looked oddly one-dimensional, put that argument to rest.
I think Alvarez vs. Golovkin II is the most exciting fight in boxing, and here’s a few reasons why.
Canelo is a major superstar in Mexico, and the fight will be on Cinquo De Mayo weekend. Canelo embraces his hard-scrabble origins in Guadalajara, but he has evolved into a composed, thoughtful, and humble representative of the proud Mexican boxing tradition. Golovkin, on the other hand, is a cross-cultural phenomenon with fans from all segments of the boxing public. Rising from the hard streets of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, the always smiling Golovkin has embraced a “Mexican” style, has embraced the Mexican-American fan base in southern California, and has a Mexican-American trainer. The story-lines in the fight are just so interesting and real.
If, and it’s still a big if, Saunders could fight Jacobs at Barclays Center in Brooklyn in April (as Jacobs has a date there already locked in, according to recent social media chatter), then we could see a valid middleweight unification tournament. The winner of Alvarez-Golovin against the winner of Jacobs-Saunders would crown the undisputed, unified middleweight champion of the world.
Unlike so many fights that are allowed to marinate too long — and I hate the term “marinate” – Alvarez vs. Golovkin is still a competitive athletic event. Yes, Golovkin will turn thirty-six in April. While that might be the upper limit for an elite boxer’s career, the Kazakh fighter is still at his prime, especially given his famous work ethic and the rigors of training with Abel Sanchez up in the mountains in Big Bear Lake. He certainly was fit to go twelve in the first fight. Alvarez, for his part, has grown as a fighter every time a top-level opponent is put in front of him. What new weapons will he have in his arsenal for the second bout?