Opinion | Sep 19 2016

Gennady Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez would be the biggest draw since Mayweather-Pacquiao

Eric Armit's Snips & Snipes column considers the commercial impact of Gennady Golovkin's latest fight
Gennady Golovkin
gennady-golovkin  |  Michael Sterling Eaton/Neo Nostalgia

ALTHOUGH most people were convinced that the Gennady Golovkin vs. Kell Brook fight would end in an inside the distance win for Golovkin, the fight still drew excellent viewing figures. The live fight had 843,000 HBO viewers with the replay adding a further 593,000. When you consider that there was substantial money paid out by Sky customers a live gate of almost 20,000 and TV Azteca getting over 1.5 million viewers it was a very lucrative fight. Brook would have attracted a lot of British fight fans but the real message is how much of a draw Golovkin has become. If Saul Alvarez starts acting like he actually wants to fight Golovkin and signs on the line Golovkin vs. Alvarez could be the biggest draw since Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. Alvarez will bring to the table a huge Mexican audience. HBO are said to be talking Saul Alvarez vs. Kell Brook in May 2017! Come on guys there is a whole ocean of water to go under the bridge before anyone can talk sensibly about that.

Ramon Gonzalez vs. Carlos Cuadras drew 833,000 viewers to HBO. It had the advantage of taking place at a time which suited the US market but it also drew in over 2,000,000 viewers in Mexico and Alvarez is a much bigger name to Mexican fans than Gonzalez or Cuadras. On September 24 it is Anthony Crolla vs. Jorge Linares, Marco Huck vs. Ovill McKenzie and Donnie Nietes vs. Edgar Sosa and October kicks off with Joseph Parker vs. Alex Dimitrenko and Juergen Braehmer vs. Nathan Cleverly and November will bring us Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward. Boxing is alive and well and the world did not end when Mayweather walked away and does not need him to come back – unless he wants to fight Golovkin!!

Plenty of speculation on who both Golovkin and Gonzalez should fight next. The sanctioning bodies have put their oar in. The WBA have said Golovkin must defend against Daniel Jacobs within the next 120 days and the WBC have ruled that Gonzalez must defend against Thai Srisaket with the parties given 90 days to come to terms or it will go to purse offers. Jacobs makes sense for Golovkin as he holds the secondary WBA title but if Golovkin decides it is not the fight he wants or is not a big enough fight then he can walk away from the WBA title and still hold two titles. Unfortunately his WBC mandatory challenger is Argentinian Jorge Heiland and his IBF one is Tureano Johnson both of whom are good fighters but neither is the sort of names to attract big purses or big viewing figures. Srisaket is a former WBC champion who has lost only one of his last 39 fights and has 13 wins in a row by KO/TKO. The loss was a technical decision against Cuadras when he was behind on all three cards. He has a good win over Jose Salgado (34-2-2) which saw him collect the WBC Silver title but the other victims are second class at best. Again it would not be a big money fight but the WBC will not be able to swerve past Srisaket. With Juan Francisco Estrada relinquishing the WBA and WBO flyweight titles to move up to super fly then a fight with Estrada or the Japanese star Naoya Inoue, who holds the WBO title, would be much better fights for Gonzalez but unlike Golovkin Gonzalez only has the WBC title so may be a little more reluctant to relinquish and might take the Srisaket fight just to clear the board for himself.


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