The Big Drama Show: Starring Triple G and Canelo
By: Kirk Jackson
Gennady Golovkin 37-0 (33 KO’s) is the unified middleweight champion. He is undefeated, a power puncher, possessing an action-packed, crowd-pleasing style; typically creating a dramatic show inside the ring.
His last fight against cancer survivor Danny Jacobs 32-2 (29 KO’s) was no exception.
But instead of the typical dominant fashion Golovkin generally displays, the man from Kazakhstan struggled against the ‘Miracle Man’ from Brooklyn.
Jacobs not only ended Golovkin’s knockout streak, but took Golovkin to deep waters going the full 12 rounds in their championship clash.
Some spectators believe Jacobs won the fight. That is subjective, but the three judges scored the fight for Golovkin.
But in victory, doubts were created by some and beliefs were confirmed with others.
Enter Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 49-1-1 (34 KO’s). The torch bearer of boxing, the “Golden Boy” – post the original “Golden Boy” (Oscar De La Hoya) and post the Floyd Mayweather era.
Alvarez, Mayweather, Miguel Cotto are some of the SMALLER fighters Golovkin is in pursuit of amidst his middleweight reign.
Alvarez, who prior to this Cinco de Mayo weekend never fought above 155lbs., destroyed long-time rival Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at a 164.5lb.catch-weightmarketed as a Mexican Civil-War.
This appeared to be a strategic move planned by Team Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions in preparation for Golovkin; acclimating Alvarez to the higher weight class, destroying a long-time rival while reeling in a ton of cash.
This is chess, not checkers.
As an observer, I always assumed the highly discussed bout between Alvarez and Golovkin would take place September of 2017.
Rather corny WWE-themed entrance and announcement of the fight, but alas we finally have our fight.
Leading up to the fight with Chavez Jr., Alvarez mentioned staying in the middleweight division, suggesting a fight with Golovkin was in the making.
“Look, I’m not a current world champion at middleweight. I have been in the past, but I’m not now,” said Alvarez.
“And as far as the weight, after this fight, I’m not looking past this fight. I’m focused 100 percent on this fight, but I’m now staying at middleweight. I’ll stay at 160 pounds.”
But with boxing or any sport, business is always involved and there is a process to creating the biggest events.
Negotiations have to take place, the element of doubt is important, creating a greater demand of want or desire for the bout. In essence there is a cinematic element in and out the ring.
Apparently Alvarez’s teampitched an offer to Golovkinin September of last year,after his ninth-round demolition of WBO super welterweight champion Liam Smith.
Golden Boy made a number of proposals to Tom Loeffler (Triple G’s promoter) for a fight the following fall and he “didn’t accept.”
There were rumored discussions of a $15 million dollar purse for Golovkin and Golden Boy promoter De La Hoya portrayed Golovkin’s camp as reluctant to take a lucrative deal to face Canelo in 2017.
“I didn’t want to talk about any other offers that we had made to anyone else,” De La Hoya said. “I know you know what I’m talking about.”
“So 30 days ago I made an offer to Triple G and his people. I made an eight-figure offer. I believe it’s an offer that was two, three, four times what he’s ever made and haven’t heard back. And that’s the bottom line.”
In response, Loeffler told RingTV.com after the fight that Golden Boy’s offer wasn’t substantial enough, but remains committed to make a fight with Canelo.
“There were some preliminary discussions with Golden Boy,” Loeffler said. “But nothing of substance that was turned down.Golovkin would have fought Canelo [Alvarez] last May if that would have been possible (before Canelo vacated the title to his mandatory Golovkin).”
If the offer from Golden Boy was indeed valid, may regret refusing the offer, overestimating their worth – considering the fight purses earned in the past.
Golovkin vs. Jacobs = $2.5 million
Golovkin vs. Brook = $5 million
Golovkin vs. Lemieux = $2 million
These are Golovkin’s biggest fights to date and the prize money earned pales in comparison to the $15 million dollar offer.
The question now is what changed from a negotiation standpoint from last year to this year? Or perhaps nothing changed; this was just a ploy all along.
Even with recent news regarding Golovkin cancelling a proposed match with WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders 24-0 (12 KO’s) due to injury.
Golovkin mentioned unifying the middleweight division and capturing all the belts numerous times in the past; perhaps the proposed match-up with Saunders was a negotiation chip in attempt to seize some form of leverage.
On every other level Team Golovkin lacks leverage; views, pay-per-view buys, popularity, money earned, opposition faced.
But, Golovkin has leverage in the form of public perception. In the eyes of many, “Triple G” is one of the most avoided fighters in recent memory.
Public perception paints Golovkin as a “Boogeyman” due to his punching power and the reluctance of a few fighters willing fight him.
Although public perception alone can’t force a fight, each party involved can play to the demand of the fight and work the desire to their favor.
We’ve occasionally witnessed from Team Alvarez teasing the audience, or flat-out downplaying the fight with Golovkin.
Part of the drama associated with Alvarez and Golovkin falling through was the issue revolving around the WBC belt.
Alvarez earned the lineal middleweight title along with the WBC middleweight title, defeating Miguel Cotto in December of 2015. Over the last year or so, Alvarez publically discussed his disgust with the WBC.
Golovkin was the No. 1 contender for the WBC middleweight title and when Alvarez’s handlers attempted to extend the 15 day time period (to process a selection for title defense), in which WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman refused.
Alvarez responded by vacating the WBC title – the sanctioning body in responseawarded to Golovkin, who at the time held the interim-belt as the mandatory challenger for the title.
“Sulaiman was pressuring me on a 15 day basis to make a decision on this fight with Golovkin, when I had some problems in Miami,” said Alvarez.
“You guys know about that. I can’t attend one thing and another at the same time. He made it seem like I was afraid of Golovkin, so I gave up the belt. So that’s why they are not involved, not now.”
Alvarez didn’t even want to fight for the customized Mexican-WBC belt against Chavez Jr.
“From the very beginning, the WBC wanted to get involved with this fight (vs. Chavez) and when we as a team said ‘no, it’s not going to happen, there is no WBC, it’s not for a world title’ – we knew that at some point something was going to come up,” said Alvarez.
“We spoke to Mr. Sulaiman and told him that he was not going to be involved. He then came up with this Huichol belt and I knew that he was going to use that against me in a negative way, to make me look like the bad guy – that I want nothing to do with the Huichols.”
WBC drama aside, the fight between Golovkin and Alvarez is signed, but this added an element to their “Drama show.”
Not caving in to public perception added to what we have as the “Drama show.”
The fight between the two is two years in the making and both fighters have similar paths in the same time period.
They both entered the ring as bigger men against welterweights; Alvarez against Amir Khan in May of 2016 and Golovkin following suit against Kell Brook October of the same year.
Golovkin and Alvarez triumphed over a tough opponent; Golovkin over Jacobs and Alvarez over Cotto.
They both had their share of tune-up/showcase fights; Alvarez against James Kirkland, Smith and Chavez Jr., Golovkin against Willie Monroe Jr., Dominic Wade and Lemieux.
Plenty of drama leading up to this fight, both fighters have the propensity to create drama inside the ring, all we can do is wait until they step in the ring and watch the drama unfold.