A game of Risk played by Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez
It was assumed that the rematch between unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez – originally scheduled for last Cinco De Mayo – would be reconvened for September 15. However as of now, things have reached an impasse between the two sides.
“We’re moving forward and going with four other options we have and ‘Canelo’ is fighting in September against the guys who we feel are the best in the world like (Danny) Jacobs. We’re going after (WBO middleweight beltholder Billy Joe) Saunders, guys like that and obviously one fight who has made a name for himself in the middleweight division is (Jermall) Charlo. So he’s another dangerous guy out there,” said the founder of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, who made the rounds late last week with various members of the boxing media.
He continued, “So we have to move forward because September 15th is right around the corner and we have to get ready and prepare and we want to give the fight fans the best fight possible and the fact that ‘Triple G’ doesn’t want to fight. He doesn’t want the fight, plain and simple. He doesn’t want the fight.”
This development isn’t a complete surprise, given what the “Golden Boy” tweeted out a couple of weeks ago:
— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) May 12, 2018
“Look, (Golovkin)’s going to make $20 million-plus anyways. He’s going to make the biggest payday of his life and he’s out there dealing with the IBF, a mandatory who’s 11-0 (Sergiy Derevyanchenko). Go ahead and fight him for a million dollars, fine. So we’re not waiting for Golovkin anymore,” asserted De La Hoya on Friday morning.
According to De La Hoya, “They’ve had the contract for six weeks, so it makes no sense. We’ve gone through everything to try to make this fight. Look, Canelo did the VADA testing. The commission even tested before VADA started, did the hair follicle test. What else do we have to do?”
Eric Gomez, the president of GBP, who was on the call with De La Hoya, pointed out, “We sent him the contract in mid-April, as soon as the (Nevada) hearing happened and we knew exactly when Canelo would fight again, we sent them the agreement and they’ve told us all along, ‘Oh, everything’s fine; everything’s fine.’
“What’s the best way to blow up a fight? You overprice yourself and that’s what they’re doing. They really don’t want the fight – we think (Golovkin)’s scared.”
While De La Hoya and GBP are stating that negotiations have flatlined, Tom Loeffler, the head of GGG Promotions, told UCNLive.com on Friday afternoon, “I’m discussing it with Eric. Gennady took a stance because of the situation. He wants a more equitable split. It was pretty one-sided towards Canelo and it’s clear the only reason the May 5th fight didn’t happen is because Canelo tested positive for two tests.
“So Gennady’s the champion and he made a lot of concessions to make the first fight. He made a lot of concessions to get the rematch and now that he’s had some time to think about it after the May 5th fight (versus Vanes Martirosyan), he feels that it should be a more equitable split.”
According to Loeffler, last week as he and his client met with the IBF on the East Coast to work out the snafu regarding just when his mandatory is due with the sanctioning body, Golovkin had a bit of a epiphany: Based on everything that transpired over the past few months, he wasn’t just willing to acquiesce to Alvarez’s terms, as he had in the past. And with the May 5 date being canceled, the previous deal became null and void.
And based on how their first event performed at the box-office and on pay-per-view (over 1.4 million buys), Golovkin has showed his worth as the B-side.
Loeffler lays out the case by pointing out, “When Canelo fought (Miguel) Cotto – when (Cotto) was only the WBC champion, Gennady had two titles – they gave him the majority of the split. They gave him 55 percent and for Gennady to take a much lower percentage than Canelo’s getting, Gennady feels now with the IBF( title) in jeopardy because the May 5th fight didn’t happen, having to endure that meeting over there with the IBF, he feels the time that’s gone by now, where we could be talking about a different fight than the Canelo fight, he feels that it should be more equitable.
“Especially with the numbers the first fight did. We more than doubled the gate of Cotto-Canelo. We did about a half-million more pay-per-view buys than Cotto-Canelo.”
The gate for the Cotto fight, which took place in November of 2015, did approximately $12 million dollars and produced 900,000 pay-per-view purchases, while the event last year was the third highest all-time gate in Las Vegas, at around $27 million and totaling 1.4 million pay-per-view buys. “So Gennady feels he deserves a more fair split, in light of the fight having to be postponed and not being his fault.”
The split for their first match-up last year was 70/30 in Alvarez’s favor, given he is the biggest pay-per-view draw in the sport. For the May 5 bout, the agreed deal was to have been a 65/35 split. Golovkin is now demanding a 50/50 division, which, quite frankly, seems unrealistic. Yeah, there’s a very good case that he has shown he is worth more than a 35 percent slice of the pie but it’s highly unlikely he’ll get purse parity.
The reality is, for Golovkin, there is no other fight out there that compensates him nearly as much as this particular match-up. While he consistently makes seven figures every time out, this fight would garner him another eight-figure payday. And while “GGG” is certainly one of the sport’s top attractions (and armed with a plethora of major endorsement deals), his pay-per-view views have failed to gain any real traction.
Whomever Alvarez faces is basically in line to earn a career-high purse. No pun intended (seriously) but he is boxing’s cash cow.
However it has to be pointed out that, even with the matter of Canelo’s dance partners, while he has done major numbers with Golovkin, Cotto and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (around a million pay-per-view buys last May), his events versus Alfredo Angulo (Alvarez’s victory generates strong PPV numbers), Liam Smith (Canelo-Smith generates 300K PPV buys, Golden Boy says) and Amir Khan (Canelo Alvarez-Amir Khan bout generates close to 600,000 pay-per-view buys) have failed to come anywhere near close to the magic million many believe is a measure of a boxer’s star power.
The reality is Alvarez is Golovkin’s biggest purse by far. On the flipside, Golovkin is Canelo’s most lucrative dance partner on pay-per-view and at the box-office.
“I don’t really like to negotiate through the media; it’s not my style,” said Loeffler, who finds himself in a position where he now has to at least publicly state their case, “but if the fight can’t be made, it’s one thing. But this is the biggest fight in boxing and, again, by far, Canelo made the biggest payday of his career fighting ‘Triple G,’ not even close (to the next highest). We set the third highest gate in history for a boxing match. A huge factor in that was ‘Triple G’ and this was the second highest pay-per-view that Canelo has ever done after the (Floyd) Mayweather (Jr.) pay-per-view.
“This actually did more ticketing money than the Mayweather fight. A huge factor of that is Triple G; he feels he should get paid. I know, on Canelo’s side, they’re saying Gennady’s scared and he doesn’t want the fight. He wouldn’t have made all the concessions he did for the first fight and the rematch if he didn’t want the fight.”
Then there is this, “Also the fact everyone feels (Golovkin) won the first fight, anyways. So when you throw that all into it, he definitely wants the fight. He just wants to be compensated correctly for it.”
But while Golovkin feels as though he’s making a principled stand, he would probably have to fight Derevyanchenko, Charlo, Murata and Jacobs (again) to make what he would in the rematch with Alvarez. How much is his principle worth here? Does Golovkin understand the risk he’s taking?
“Yeah, he understands that,” said Loeffler, “and he gave me the clear direction that’s the way he wants to go into. He feels it’s a matter of principle. He brings a lot of value to the table and wants to get paid correctly. Now this might be a golden opportunity for Canelo to get out of the fight because Canelo did make it clear that he didn’t want Triple G to fight in May because he didn’t want him to have an advantage over him. That would’ve been silly for him not to fight if Canelo was the one who was suspended.”
So is there a middle ground that can be reached by the two parties? Both boxers are putting their biggest paydays in jeopardy, for the time being. But let the games – and posturing – begin.
Gomez said a few days ago, “We have reached out to (Matchroom Boxing Group Managing Director Eddie Hearn (who represents Jacobs). We’re going to talk to him later today. I spoke with Frank Warren (who promotes Saunders) about the fight, Those are the two right there. I spoke with (Spike) O’Sullivan’s guy; he’s interested. We haven’t reached out to Charlo but we’ll reach out to him, as well.”
“I don’t know if there’s any hard deadline. It would be a shame if Canelo fights someone like Spike O’Sullivan, given that he’s gotten criticized for fighting lesser guys like when he fought (James)Kirkland, when he fought smaller guys like Khan and when he brought Chavez down to 164. First he couldn’t make the weight and, all of a sudden, he fought at a much higher weight than Gennady ever fought at,” stated Loeffler, who says that he is still trying to consummate the rematch.
“So Canelo has gotten a lot of criticism over his career and the fans want to see Triple G, in light of all the negativity that came out about his drug test.”
De La Hoya stated, “It definitely closes the door for September 15th but look, Canelo has three or four guys he can fight in the next two years or so. So if Golovkin’s going to come with these ridiculous demands, then that Canelo train has moved on from him.”
Larry Merchant would’ve said of the Jerwin Ancajas-Jonas Sultan bout, “After tonight, I wouldn’t mind waiting another 93 years for another all-Filipino championship fight.”…Khalid Yafai-Ancajas would be a pretty good fight at 115…I’m convinced Mike D’Antoni is cursed…Less than a hundred days from Miami vs. LSU…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.