Slowly but surely, representatives for unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin and former champion Canelo Alvarez are getting closer to finalizing their rematch for May 5, both sides told ESPN.
"We're still in discussions and I talked to (Golden Boy Promotions president) Eric Gomez about 10 minutes ago trying to work out the deal. We are working on concessions on both sides," Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler told ESPN on Tuesday. "It clearly makes the most sense to do it on May 5 and that's what we're focused on."
May 5 is Cinco de Mayo, a traditional date for a big fight involving a Mexican fighter, and Alvarez is by far Mexico's biggest active boxing star.
Gomez said he hopes to finalize the fight, perhaps by the end of this week.
"It takes time," Gomez told ESPN. "We are close. I hope soon, (maybe) this week."
Golovkin retained his 160-pound world title for the 19th time -- one shy of tying Bernard Hopkins' division record of 20 -- when he and Alvarez fought to a disputed draw on Sept. 16, Mexican Independence Day weekend, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in one of the year's biggest fights.
Most thought Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs), a Kazakhstan native fighting out of Santa Monica, California, deserved the decision. Although judge Dave Moretti scored it 115-113 in his favor, Don Trella had it 114-114 and Adalaide Byrd had a universally criticized scorecard of 118-110 for Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs), who even said he did not win by that much.
"Gennady definitely wants this fight to happen next, so there are no issues on our side," Loeffler said. "It's just a matter of both sides making some concessions. If it was up to us we'd have signed for the rematch a week after the first fight, but I'm optimistic that the fight will happen in May."
As far as where the rematch might take place, Loeffler said there are only three candidates in the running: T-Mobile Arena; Madison Square Garden in New York, where Golovkin has been a popular draw; and Jerry Jones' AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas, site of Alvarez's ninth-round knockout victory against Liam Smith to win a junior middleweight world title in September 2016.
"Madison Square Garden wants to make an offer that would be the biggest gate in New York history, and everybody knows the numbers from the first fight, when we achieved the third-biggest gate in boxing history," Loeffler said of the $27,059,850 generated from ticket sales. "If Texas or New York wants this fight they know what they're up against knowing what Las Vegas can generate."
Loeffler added that if the fight is finalized, former pound-for-pound king and former four-division world champion Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs) could return on the HBO PPV undercard.
Gonzalez, 30, a national hero in Nicaragua, would be coming off back-to-back losses to Thailand's Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, who took his junior bantamweight title by highly controversial decision in an action-packed fight in April and then left no doubt with a brutal fourth-round knockout in the rematch in September.