Although a Friday deadline loomed for the camps of middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez and unified titleholder Gennady Golovkin to make a deal for a highly-anticipated showdown, the WBC announced on Saturday that the deadline has been extended until Monday because the sides are making good progress.
Alvarez won the lineal world title, and the WBC belt, from Miguel Cotto on Nov. 21 in their megafight in Las Vegas. With the victory, Alvarez inherited a mandatory defense obligation against Golovkin because, besides his two sanctioning body titles, GGG also holds the WBC’s interim belt.
Golden Boy Promotions’ Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez’s promoter, and Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, have been working to make a deal but they are not there yet. So WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has given them leeway to make a deal. He is trying to help the process.
“That bout carries enormous implications and is of great importance for boxing, both in terms of history and for the future of the sport,” Sulaiman said. “Many details must be addressed for a super fight of that magnitude to actually occur. The boxers’ respective promoters, Golden Boy Promotions and K2 Promotions, have been communicating in good faith to finalize the details of the negotiations for the contest to come to fruition.
“Recognizing that their discussions have been ongoing, the WBC has given the parties the flexibility to continue to work amicably to finalize terms, with the ultimate goal being that the two champions meet in the ring.”
Sulaiman said he plans to attend an in-person negotiating session between the two promoters on Monday in Los Angeles and hopes there is a resolution. If they fail to make a deal, Alvarez risks being stripped of his alphabet belt, something Sulaiman does not want to be forced to do.
“The WBC's goal is to facilitate this fight, which will be of tremendous magnitude for the sport of boxing and its fans all over the world,” Sulaiman said.
Although everyone involved is working toward making a deal, they almost surely will not fight next. More likely, they will make a deal that will allow for the Los Angeles-based Kazakhstan native Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs), 33, and Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs), 25, of Mexico, to have interim bouts with the goal being for them to meet next fall.
Golovkin likely will fight in late February or early March (at least) with Alvarez already penciled in for his next fight to be in early May.
The camps have a lot to work out, mainly the weight and the percentage split of the money.
Alvarez claims he is not a true middleweight despite being champion and prefers to fight at about 155 pounds rather than the division limit of 160. He fought Cotto at 155 and his three fights before that were also contracted at 155 pounds.
As for the split, Alvarez is, by far, the A-side financially. He is a major star who is established on pay-per-view and will command the lion’s share of the money. The question is just how much?
Golovkin’s first pay-per-view fight, a knockout of David Lemieux on Oct. 17 to unify titles, did about 150,000 buys, which was fine based on what the event cost to produce but was less than half what Alvarez has done on pay-per-view for his smallest PPV bouts against Erislandy Lara and Alfredo Angulo. Alvarez’s fight with Floyd Mayweather sold 2.2 million pay-per-views (third-most ever) and his fight with Cotto did 900,000 buys, a very strong number.