Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez II rises from the dead
As High Noon (Pacific Time) passed, on Wednesday afternoon, and Gennady Golovkin had refused to accept Golden Boy Promotions’ offer of 42.5 percent of the total revenue for the rematch against Saul Alvarez, it seemed this September 15 event had been given its last rites.
But with a late Hail Mary from Golden Boy Founder Oscar De La Hoya, the most anticipated rematch in boxing was eventually saved.
Regarding its rise from the ashes like the mighty Phoenix (and sending Twitter into a tizzy), GGG Promotions head Tom Loeffler said, “It was a dead deal for about an hour. The deal was on the emergency room table, not breathing, and I think we were able to get out the ‘paddles of life’ and it was a Hail Mary to resuscitate it.”
Golovkin had demanded a 50/50 split a few weeks ago, in light of Alvarez being the reason their May 5 rematch didn’t take place, as he was suspended for testing positive twice for clenbuterol. In the aftermath of facing Vanes Martirosyan as a late replacement, Golovkin was stripped of his IBF belt and eventually amended his request to get 45 percent.
Golden Boy/Alvarez eventually countered with an offer for 42.5-percent for Golovkin, which seemed to be a very fair compromise on both ends. The reality is this particular pairing is the most lucrative for both boxers. There is no bigger draw in North America and on pay-per-view than “Canelo” but Golovkin has proven to be his best dance partner, as their first fight did approximately 1.4 million pay-per-view buys and produced the third highest gate in the history of boxing.
This was also a game of chicken for Golovkin, who risked losing his biggest payday – by far – if he refused a second go-around with the Mexican star. Golden Boy probably needed this event too, given they had already lost out on one Canelo pay-per-view in 2018.
Still, Golovkin – who is in Moscow, attending the World Cup – seemed unmoved by the offer.
“Gennady was firm in what he wanted the entire time,” said Loeffler. “He felt, as the unified champion and THE RING (Magazine) pound-for-pound champion, he felt that he deserved a fair split. He always wanted the fight; he just felt he deserved respect, as the champion, and he made a lot of concessions for the first fight and the rematch for May 5th.”
In their first meeting, Golovkin received a 30 percent split and, for the May 5 bout, he was scheduled to get 35 percent. Loeffler continued, “After Canelo got suspended and after the IBF took (Golovkin’s) title away, he just felt that, if he’s going to fight Canelo, it’s going to have to be on his terms.”
During this “dead period,” Loeffler reached out to Frank Warren about a deal for Golovkin to face WBO beltholder Billy Joe Saunders. An agreement was then put in place for Golovkin to face Saunders on August 25, at the Forum, in Inglewood, California. But it turns out Golovkin-Alvarez II still had a heartbeat.
“Eric (Gomez, president of GBP) called me and I’m always amicable with Eric. We were trying to figure out a way to do it and we weren’t able to and we basically parted ways saying, ‘Canelo’s going to fight (former title challenger Daniel) Jacobs and we were going to fight Saunders on two competing pay-per-views,” said Loeffler. “Gennady, I have to give him credit; he was fully prepared to walk away, out of principle, unless he got the right deal and he finally got the deal he was looking for.”
So was Loeffler surprised that Golovkin was so steadfast?
“There was a lot of money at stake; let’s just put it that way and I was surprised he was willing to walk away with it,” he admitted. “But at the same time, it’s a huge amount of money at stake for Canelo. Not only the money but, again, Gennady is very proud of his world championships and being considered the best middleweight champion in the world and Canelo has the opportunity to win his titles and that can’t be discounted and that’s why ‘Triple G’ was really demanding the respect he thought he deserved.”
So was this the most difficult deal that Loeffler has ever gotten done?
“The toughest deal I did was saving the May 5 date for Triple G,” he answered, speaking of that event that took place at the StubHub Center, in Carson, that was put together on a few weeks’ notice. This upcoming promotion, which takes place on Mexican Independence Day Weekend – like Part One – is just over 12 weeks away.
It’s not clear if they will do another press conference. You could argue that, for the last few weeks, this fight has been promoted plenty. “This fight doesn’t need any press conference. This fight, everyone knows these guys. Everyone knows they don’t like each other. Everyone knows the history of the suspension, the stripping of the IBF title,” said Loeffler, who believes this fight has even more heat than the first time around. “All this has added up to where the whole boxing world was waiting for the announcement today, as to whether we were going to have a deal or not.
“Because Golden Boy made it clear they have to move forward – I don’t know if they thought Gennady was bluffing – but they set a clear deadline because of all the sponsors, the venue, the pay-per-view. They needed to move forward and Gennady kept saying no till he got a deal he was satisfied with.”
SUPER FLY 3
So with this rematch on the calendar now for September 15, at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, Loeffler can now concentrate on formulating “SuperFly 3,” which will take place the week before.
“That’s the next step: SuperFly 3,” said Loeffler, who explained, “It was put to me by HBO that, if the Canelo rematch didn’t happen, most likely SuperFly 3 wouldn’t happen. So that would’ve been a ‘fly swatter'”
I’d guess that Spike O’Sullivan and Ryan Garcia will be on the September 15 card…Top Rank announced the signing of amateur standout Chris Zavala on Wednesday. He will make his pro debut on June 30, in Oklahoma City…So with the IBF mandating a bout between Danny Jacobs and Sergey Derevyanchenko for its vacant 160-pound title, will Jacobs now participate in its second-day weigh-in?…So is there some soccer tournament going on or something?…”Succession” on HBO is great in a cringe-worthy way…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.