IT could be argued Father Time and Sergiy Derevyanchenko have done a lot of the legwork for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez when it comes to long-time rival Gennady Golovkin.
After all, for as long as he struggles against other opponents and we are led to believe Golovkin is on the slide, getting older rather than better, there will be space for Alvarez to shrug his shoulders, flex his muscles and go about his business undisturbed, sparing not a thought for a much-needed third fight with the Kazakh.
Now 37, Golovkin has shown a few signs his best days are behind him, but that shouldn’t deflect from the fact he and Alvarez have shared 24 rounds – across a draw and a controversial Alvarez win – with barely a dominant one (either way) amongst them. Nor should it mean a third fight between the pair carries any less appeal than their second encounter 12 months ago.
Alvarez, of course, sees it differently.
“I am the one to beat, I’m the one everyone wants to face. Ever since Golovkin fought me, what has he done? He didn’t do anything,” Canelo told TV Azteca.
On Saturday night (October 5) in New York, Golovkin survived some scares to win his old IBF middleweight title against Ukrainian Derevyanchenko. It was a gruelling fight, one in which Golovkin was hurt a few times to the body, and many felt it provided all the evidence required to show Golovkin is on the decline.
Canelo, meanwhile, has used middleweight only as a base from which to explore in recent times. Last year, for example, he ventured to super-middleweight to win a WBA title against Rocky Fielding and in November he heads to light-heavyweight to attempt to snatch the WBO belt from Russia’s Sergey Kovalev.
It’s proof of the sort of ambition Canelo believes Golovkin lacks.
“I’m facing a pure world champion (in Kovalev). I’m going up two weight divisions,” he said. “His (Golovkin) opponents come from losing. He no longer poses any challenge. I’ve already beat him. I gave him 24 rounds. He couldn’t do it.
“What’s going to happen in the third fight? I’m going to beat him again. I’m even going to knock him out. It’s just business.
“I’ve already spoken to my promoter. If they want me to fight him, all it represents to me is business. But if it doesn’t represent a challenge, I’m not going to do it.
“If they want the fight, give me the numbers and maybe. I want other kinds of challenges.”
Unfortunately, the older Golovkin gets, the easier it gets for Canelo. Not a potential third fight necessarily but the narrative surrounding it. It becomes easier for the Mexican, eight years Golovkin’s junior, to rewrite history and easier for him to use Golovkin’s apparent demise as an indication of what would happen if the pair met for a third time. Most of all, it becomes easier for Canelo to look the other way.
As two of the biggest names and promoters in combat sports, it should come as no surprise that UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) President Dana White and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya don’t exactly see eye to eye.
Though one has his roots in mixed martial arts and the other in boxing, their paths have occasionally crisscrossed, such is the fluid nature of combat sports (when money is involved), and there’s clearly no love lost between the pair.
Back in 2017, De La Hoya was a vocal critic of the farcical Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor superfight in Las Vegas, which irked White at the time, then struck him as hypocritical as more time passed.
“Nobody is going to accuse Oscar De La Hoya of being the brightest bulb on the porch, but let me kind of explain,” White told Sirius XM. “Me and Oscar used to be cool. He’d have these fights and I would literally promote his fights on my social media. I would obviously watch the fights and stuff like that. Then, we do Mayweather versus McGregor and this guy starts going out pleading with boxing fans not to watch it. I mean, who does that? Just a real scumbag move.
“Then he’s going to promote an MMA fight, good luck to him – anybody who wants to try and get into MMA good luck to you. But then he says, ‘We’re going to treat the athletes the way they should be treated – the UFC doesn’t.’
“He has a press conference, goes up on stage and he doesn’t even know any of the fighters’ names. Then the show is a complete disaster and flopped. After that, he comes out and starts lying, trying to say that it was very successful on digital. I mean I could just go on for days and days about what an absolute douche this guy is.
“This guy’s been caught lying multiple times. Everything he says ends up being wrong, everything that I said was right.
“People just don’t want to chat s*** about Oscar except for me. ‘Well you have to respect his errr…’ well I don’t have to respect anything from this guy anymore. The stuff that you respected from Oscar De La Hoya was 10 years ago, okay? That was ancient history.
“The new Oscar De La Hoya is a scumbag, a liar and a complete moron. So that’s where Oscar De La Hoya and I are.”
In the boxing world, De La Hoya was long considered untouchable. As well as an Olympic gold medal at the 1992 Olympics, he won world titles at super-featherweight, lightweight, super-lightweight, welterweight, super-welterweight and middleweight. He fought, and often conquered, a who’s who of the world’s best fighters.
But then the Golden Boy hung up the gloves and became a promoter. And it’s here, in this world, Dana White, a fellow promoter, and a hugely successful one in his own right, feels more than comfortable challenging him.