THE Gennady Golovkin next fight will be a rematch with Canelo Alvarez. But the two will not face one another until the week of their September 15 fight in Las Vegas. They have however butted heads through their negotiating teams.
The attempts to reschedule their rematch for September (the original plan for May fell apart after Canelo failed a drug test) were almost called off when Golovkin demanded a greater share of the financial split than he’d previously been offered. Eventually he was satisfied and insists, with 45% of the split, he has got what he wanted.
“It was take it or leave it, that’s it,” Golovkin said. “It is an excellent deal and there’s a lot of money at stake. We both understand that we are currently in a great position and we are not going to lose those positions. They have understood me correctly that I’m not going to go down in this deal and they know that they were going to have a good deal either way.”
So insistent was Golovkin that his promoter agreed the outline of a deal with WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders, which he would have taken instead of the Canelo rematch. The Kazakh WBA and WBC middleweight champion has been bitterly frustrated with Alvarez failing a drug test, for traces of clenbuterol, which essentially put his own career on hold.
Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter, explained, “There was a lot of respect between the two guys in the first fight. It was a controversial decision [the draw in the first fight]. Gennady thought it was a disrespect to the sport of boxing; someone we all thought had won the fight, to come away with a controversial draw like that. Then with the rematch happening, everyone knows the scenario there. That Canelo tested positive, he got suspended. The Cinco De Mayo [fight] in Las Vegas was cancelled.”
There is now a grudge between them. Abel Sanchez, the Kazakh’s trainer, believes their rivalry could even extend to a third fight. “If this ends up being the kind of fight that we think it’s going to be, I think there could be a rivalry for a third one… These two guys are exceptional fighters, good boxers. There could be a third one.
“There are some wrongs that need to be righted and they will be on September 15.”
“I don’t think about him as a human being. I’m not really concerned about him,” Golovkin said coldly. “I just hope that he will be there on September 15.
“I’m always motivated, I’m the champion. It’s him who has to be motivated because it’s him who needs to prove himself.”