Gennady Golovkin should proceed with his business
It’s not clear what IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin – coming off his March 18 victory over Daniel Jacobs – will do next. Many boxing fans hope is he’ll face Saul Alvarez in September, in what would be the most anticipated match-up in boxing. Alvarez faces Julio Cesar Chavez on May 6.
In the meantime, Oscar De La Hoya, founder and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions (which promotes “Canelo”) has made it clear that if Golovkin decides to take a fight on June 10, it would jeopardize that potential match-up.
Well, nobody asked me but it says here that Golovkin should proceed with his career and fight in Kazakhstan in the summer. Fighters fight (or at least they used to a lot more often) and “GGG” has made it clear that activity is something that he yearns for. 2016 was the first calendar year, since 2012, that he didn’t fight at least three times and it’s something that irked him.
The first quarter of 2016 was squandered as they waited for Alvarez to make up his mind with the WBC belt (which he ultimately handed over to Golovkin rather than face him) and their Dec. 10 date at Madison Square Garden was erased and backed up to this March as the negotiations lingered for the Jacobs bout. During that time, Golovkin took on the overmatched IBF mis-mandatory Dominic Wade and welterweight beltholder Kell Brook.
It was a buzzkill of a year.
In 2017, Tom Loeffler, the managing director of K2 Promotions, and Golovkin need to be initiators, not reactors. Bottom line is, while they are the clear B-side to Alvarez, they aren’t your run-of-the-mill opponent that who to beg and plead a la Sergio Martinez, as he faced Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Miguel Cotto. Golovkin has been guided and promoted to have a certain type of value in the marketplace.
Golovkin actually has options and beyond that; he himself is a business.
No, he’s not a pay-per-view franchise (depending on whom you believe, the Jacobs event did anywhere between 130,000 to 170,000 buys) but this last event at the Garden did a gate of $3.7 million and set merchandise sale records. He has clearly established himself as one of the sport’s true draws, having played to sold-out venues at the Garden, the Forum and the O2 Arena in Great Britain in the last year or so. This isn’t a guy who plays in small theaters at Indian casinos.
Golovkin also has a cadre of global sponsors, that runs the gamut from Jordan Brand, Tecate, Hublot and Chivas Regal.
This is a fighter who clearly brings something to the table.
So why should he be forced to delay his career or be sidelined over a fight that isn’t signed, sealed, delivered and, beyond that, never guaranteed to ever occur?
Now, Golovkin has a chance to fulfill his destiny – and his hashtag – by capturing #AllTheBelts by facing WBO beltholder Billy Joe Saunders as part of the World Expo 2017 that is being held in his home country. According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, in his weekly online chat, the government will finance the event and Golovkin will have a purse of $10 million and, according to sources – well, ol’ Dan ain’t wrong. And it was pointed out to this scribe in this tweet that the World Expo has been closely associated with Golovkin for several years (even naming him as an official ambassador for this event):
— BoxingHypeStore.com (@BoxingHype) March 27, 2017
With all this on the table, a chance to fully unify the middleweight belts and earn a career-high payday in a once-in-a-lifetime setting in Kazakhstan, do people really expect him to bypass this opportunity?
While Golden Boy says a fight in early June will jeopardize or hurt the promotion for a fight in mid-September, it has to be pointed out that, last year, they announced the Alvarez-Liam Smith fight on June 24 for a fight that took place on Sept. 17th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. You could argue that Golovkin fighting once more (and on HBO) before September actually helps the promotion and builds momentum for the fight.
Looking back at the legendary first battle between Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns, which took place on Sept. 16, 1981, both stars actually co-headlined a card at the Houston Astrodome on June 25 of that year, when Hearns stopped Pablo Baez in four, in defense of his WBA welterweight belt, and Leonard moved up in weight to face WBA 154-pound titlist Ayub Kalule, stopping him in nine. Going back to De La Hoya’s career, perhaps his most impressive stretch came in 1999, when he faced Ike Quartey in February, Oba Carr in May and Felix Trinidad in September. (What a run, right?)
Yeah, maybe against Saunders, Golovkin breaks a hand or gets cut. Guess what? That’s the fight game. If they are willing to take this risk, then they really have no choice but to accept the consequences. Anytime you step into the ring against another competent professional prizefighter, anything can happen. But that goes both ways; Alvarez is facing a much bigger man in Chavez, who could provide a stern physical test (with the caveat that the 164.5-pound catchweight doesn’t leave him incapacitated). There’s a chance that Canelo could come out banged up or, if the fight is good enough – and does enough business on pay-per-view – that a rematch between the Mexican stars takes place.
De La Hoya has stated he would re-evaluate their initial offer to K2/Golovkin, which is certainly his right. After all, his company will be at financial risk here in currently a very shaky pay-per-view market. The reality is they have the sport’s biggest draw (that is until Floyd Mayweather Jr. comes back and faces UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, of course) and they have the leverage here.
The fight with Alvarez is the most lucrative out there for Golovkin and maybe even his dream fight. But the reality is there is no binding agreement that says it will take place in September – or at all in 2017.
That said, Golovkin should proceed with his own business.
Don’t know what to make of this story but it says Saunders is actually putting deadlines/ultimatums on K2 and Golovkin to make the fight this week…Top Rank announced that, on May 20, WBC/WBO junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford will face Felix Diaz at the big room of MSG…David Lemieux has been added to the Canelo-Chavez Jr. pay-per-view undercard on May 6. (And yeah, I can already hear what you guys are thinking.) Joseph Diaz Jr.-Manuel “Tino” Avila will also be on that pay-per-view card. Overall, I really like that line-up…Sullivan Barrera-Paul Parker has been finalized for April 15 on HBO Latino at the Mohegan Sun…Ruben Villa and Michael Dutchover will be on the April 14 card at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland…Christopher Diaz will headline the April 21 edition of “Solo Boxeo” on UniMas from Kissimmee, Florida. Also on this card will be Teofimo Lopez, Antonio Vargas and Jeyvier Cintron in his pro debut…Due to Mario Lopez’s hectic schedule, “The 3 Knockdown Rule” has been postponed this week…“Billions” on Showtime has had an incredible season…Can’t wait to watch the documentary on the Baylor basketball scandal of the early-2000s…Mark Richt and his staff at Miami are recruiting savages…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.