For the better part of two years the boxing world has been asking for a Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin middleweight mega-fight. Canelo and his handlers at Golden Boy Promotions were wary of the potential for disaster early on, as Alvarez is their golden goose — no boxer consistently brings in more viewers or pay-per-view buyers than Canelo since Floyd Mayweather’s retirement. However, once Canelo defeated Miguel Cotto for the WBC middleweight title in 2015, the patience from fans for Canelo’s excuses for not taking on the people’s champion of the middleweight division began to run out.
Canelo has fought twice since the Cotto victory, with a third coming this Saturday on HBO PPV when he takes on fellow Mexican superstar Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. The first of those three fights was a defense of his middleweight belt against Amir Khan, and for the second Alvarez vacated his middleweight belt to fight Liam Smith and claim a 154-pound title. Weight has long been a hang-up for the potential Canelo-GGG fight. Alvarez, even when he was the 160-pound champion, fought at catchweights below 160 pounds for both of his title fights. Golovkin, the bigger fighter, insists that the middleweight belts should be fought for at the middleweight limit, not a catchweight. Canelo’s camp insisted after he dropped down to super welterweight again that it was all part of a plan to eventually build back up to 160 pounds for the Golovkin bout.
However, the weight difference can no longer be pointed to as a hold up as Alvarez will take on Chavez Jr. at 164.5 pounds in their non-title fight. Chavez Jr. is the bigger fighter in this bout, having fought most recently at 168 pounds (and even 175 pounds), and Alvarez was willing to make the fight happen. This sent a message to Golovkin’s camp and fans that he will take on a bigger fighter, so long as the terms are right, putting pressure on Golovkin to make the concessions on the financial side that Golden Boy is calling for in order to make the fight happen.
That seems to be where we are headed. A long awaited Canelo-GGG mega-fight is on the near horizon, possibly this fall, pending the outcome of Saturday night’s bout in Las Vegas. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Larry Pugmire, Canelo will have fight Golovkin next so long as he knocks out Chavez Jr.