Contrary to popular belief, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s latest victory over Miguel Cotto to capture the lineal and WBC middleweight championships doesn’t guarantee a mega fight with Gennady Golovkin.
The Golden Boy Promotions fighter’s victory not only sets up big-money fights with fighters like Golovkin, but gives himself and Golden Boy many opportunities to explore. Canelo effectively moves directly into the “A” side of all boxing negotiations. He’s the shot caller, unless he drags Floyd “Money” Mayweather out of retirement and into a rematch.
After watching his promotional company’s biggest star capture the biggest victory of his career, Oscar De La Hoya drove home the point in the press conference immediately after the fight.
“Canelo is the man right now, “De La Hoya said. “That’s why he’s going to fight in May and he’s going to fight in September.”
This may not mean anything to the general fan, but to boxing purists and journalists alike, fighting in May and September means you’re officially an elite boxer who is or has the potential to become a pay-per-view star.
Fighters like De La Hoya and Mayweather have routinely performed on the Mexican holidays in each month and generated record-breaking PPV numbers. In fact, Canelo and Mayweather’s fight in Sept 2013 ended up being the most profitable boxing sporting event of all-time until Mayweather fought Pacquiao in May.
With the victory over Cotto, Canelo is now set to follow in their footsteps as one of boxing’s top draw.
Alvarez told the media directly after the fight:
“I have respect for [Golovkin], but if we do fight, it’s going to be at my [natural] weight class [of 155 pounds]. I’m the champion. I don’t have to do what he wants.”
With that statement, a line has been drawn in the sand by Canelo and his team. Unless GGG’s team caves to Team Canelo’s demands, odds of them fighting next year go down tremendously.
Besides making the most money, part of being on the “A” side usually gives a fighter the right to pick when and where the fight will take place. If Team Canelo has their way, GGG will be fighting Canelo the first weekend in May at a 155 pounds in front of a sold-out AT&T stadium in Texas, according to sources familiar with the situation.
A source inside the Golden Boy organization with knowledge of the Cotto negotiations told Today’s Knockout:
“We knew this was going to be a big fight so we put up AT&T Stadium in Dallas as a proposed site and Team Cotto put up Madison Square Garden in New York. When neither party agreed to basically fight on the other fighter’s home turf, we both agreed fighting in Vegas was neutral and that’s why this legendary fight took place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Now that we are the “A” side we have a lot more flexibility to get things the way we want them to be in the future.”
So far in his young career, Canelo has not ducked or dodged any major challenges. It’s hard to imagine he’d start now by doing so against GGG. But it’s not a done deal yet. Not even close.
Fans can take solace that Golden Boy does want to make the match happen, but will not make any guarantees.
“The best will fight the best,” De La Hoya said after the fight. “In the middleweight division, GGG and Canelo are the best of the best, and hopefully we’ll see them in the ring in 2016.”