Canelo-GGG: The Art Of Marination
By: Sean Crose
The much anticipated super fight between Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin has been pushed back to 2017 – if not longer. Reports of this development – which has infuriated boxing fans – arrived yesterday and the fight world has been abuzz since. Team Golovkin has made it clear that it’s not really happy with this latest calendar retreat by team Canelo, but nonetheless seems to be taking it in stride.
Give team Canelo this – it’s honest. Golden Boy, which promotes Canelo, apparently made it clear to team Golovkin that it wants this fight to marinate more – a lot more – in order to make it as popular and as financially successful as possible. Whatever Golden Boy honcho Oscar De La Hoya has said about pleasing the fans, it looks like he may literally have been referring to fans of other sports rather than boxing – the kind that nonetheless will cough up good money to watch a big fight on pay per view because it’s the thing to do that weekend.
F. Scott Fitzgerald once claimed that action is character. And he was right. It’s our actions that define us. And De La Hoya’s actions make it clear that, despite what he may indicate, he doesn’t care about pleasing boxing’s fan base. If he did, Canelo-GGG would go down in the fall, or next spring at the latest. At the moment people are asking aloud if the fight will go down at all. I suspect it will, when the deck is stacked as much in Canelo’s favor as possible. The fact that Golovkin, whose no kid, may start showing signs of wear and tear in the near future would, I assume, please team Canelo.
Still, it’s good to keep in mind that boxing is a business. It’s should be more sport than business, but it’s still a business and team Canelo has mouths to feed, mortgages to pay, etc. Golden Boy Promotions undoubtedly employs more than a handful of people, after all. That line of thinking – and empathy – only goes so far, however, when you realize that Golden Boy is in the combat sport business, and it’s not giving combat sport fans the fight they want when they want it.
Pleasing the customer clearly has no place in the business of modern boxing.
With that in mind, it’s been suggested that boxing fans look to the bright side, and that honestly doesn’t seem like a bad suggestion. The bright side, of course, is the fact that there’s good fights being made out there. Interesting fights that are actually relevant. Thurman-Porter, Fury-Klitshcko II,Crawford-Postol, Kovalev-Ward…with matches like this around the corner it’s hard to say boxing is having a terrible year.
And while it’s true none of these fights may attract casual fans to the sport, people like The Sweet Science’s Frank Lotierzo make clear that Canelo-GGG might not be that competitive a fight anyway. By virtue of the eye test, it might simply be all GGG.
Perhaps fans should just let Oscar and Canelo do their thing – which might be to draw in casual fans without taking too much of a risk. Let team Canelo stick to its side of the street while fans stick to theirs. There’s good fights out there, after all. Besides, team Canelo may end up being too smart by half. Using the same tactics Floyd Mayweather was accused of can work if you’re the insanely talented Floyd Mayweather. When your talent level indicates high quality rather than greatness, however, chances are you may end up less like Floyd and more like Adonis Stevenson.