Latest On Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin Negotiations

Canelo Alvarez, Golden Boy Promotions, Gennady Golovkin and promoter Tom Loeffler have entered a crossroads in their negotiations for a September 15, 2018 rematch as Golovkin has now upped his purse demands for the rematch from a 65-35 split in Alvarez’s favor to an even 50-50 split, which Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions adamantly has rejected.

The 65-35 split was the original agreed split for the May 5, 2018 fight until the bout fell through after Alvarez tested positive for traces clenbuterol on VADA tests conducted on February 17 and 20.

The reason behind Golovkin’s demands, according to Loeffler, is that he wants his fair shake after losing out on tens of millions of dollars for something that didn’t even directly involve Alvarez. The first fight that took place on September 16, 2017 netted Alvarez around $50 million, including pay-per-view buys, while Golovkin’s final payday for that fight was around $20 million, or about a 70-30 split according to Golovkin’s promoter.

As such, the possibility of the two fighting in September starts to go from high to almost a coin flip. Whether or not this is a power move, Golden Boy Promotions have started to look at other options for Alvarez’s September 15 opponent with the four names being thrown around being WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, Spike O’Sullivan, Daniel Jacobs and Jermall Charlo.

Eddie Hearn already said that there have been talks between Alvarez and Jacobs, whose goal when he signed with Matchroom Boxing USA in 2017 was to fight either Golovkin or Alvarez. There have also been talks between Alvarez and Saunders, although Saunders did not seem to reciprocate the interest as well, telling Alvarez on social media to “stick to taking PEDs” and that Golden Boy is “all talk.”

If we’re looking at the very real possibility that the highly-anticipated rematch does not happen in September, then there are a choice or two for a replacement opponent for Alvarez that makes sense depending on what the objective is.

If the plan is to have Alvarez get a relatively easy fight in his first fight in about a year, then O’Sullivan would make the best opponent out of all four aforementioned boxers. That’s not to say O’Sullivan is a bad boxer and he does sport a very good record and above average knockout numbers, but compared to Saunders, Charlo and Jacobs, O’Sullivan is in fourth place in terms of giving Alvarez the toughest fight with the other three boxers being Alvarez’s toughest fight for a replacement opponent, depending on who you ask. Alvarez would be able to get some rounds in and prepare for the fight Golovkin, likely in the first half of 2019.

If Golden Boy Promotions is starting to look at maximizing profit in the long run, then Saunders would be the best bet. The reason for this is because Golovkin, who holds the WBA “super,” WBC and IBF middleweight titles, has repeatedly said that he wants to hold all four major middleweight world titles and the WBO title is the only one left. If Alvarez fights and beats Saunders, Alvarez would hold the one title that has eluded Golovkin from being called the undisputed middleweight world champion. A champion vs. champion fight for the undisputed title would likely drum up some additional pay-per-view buys and if done a Cinco De Mayo weekend in 2019, it stands a reasonably good chance to sell more than the 1.3 million pay-per-view buys the first fight had.

When the May 5 fight against Alvarez fell through, Golovkin decided to fight former world title challenger Vanes Martirosyan, which also created another set of problems that could prevent the two middleweight superstars from engaging in a fight.

As holder of three of the four middleweight world titles, Golovkin will have to deal with mandatory challengers from the WBA, WBC and IBF or risk being stripped of his belt. The IBF has already stated that Golovkin must fight mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko or else risk losing the IBF title. This creates a dilemma for Golovkin as he now has to decide whether or not to fight Alvarez for what is likely the biggest payday of his career or stay on course to unify all four belts and get his IBF mandatory challenger out of the way.

The reason the IBF is now so insistent on having Golovkin fight Derevyanchenko now when he was the mandatory challenger since last year is because of the mandatory challenger rotation system in place for unified champions.

If a unified champion has multiple mandatory challengers, then it is up to the governing bodies to work out a system that would have the champion fight one of the mandatory challengers first and then the other governing body’s mandatory challenger would follow afterwards. As it stands, the system was WBA, WBC and IBF (or WBC, IBF and WBA depending on if you count Jacobs fighting Golovkin back in March 2017 as a mandatory challenge since Jacobs held the WBA’s “regular” title). The May 5 rematch was supposed to fill the WBC’s mandatory challenge as President Mauricio Sulaiman issued a rematch order soon after the first fight had ended which resulted in a split draw. After the May 5 fight, it was supposed to be the IBF’s turn to have Golovkin face Derevyanchenko, but Golovkin’s wish to fight Alvarez in September instead of the IBF’s mandatory has thrown the system that was established in disarray.

Both camps for Golovkin and Derevyanchenko did meet with the IBF recently to discuss the possibility of Golovkin keeping his IBF title and not have to fight Derevyanchenko by August.

A decision will be decided soon regarding the IBF and Golovkin, and if the IBF’s initial ruling stands, then Golovkin may be forced to have to hold off on the fight against Golovkin until 2019.

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