IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin said Wednesday that he doesn't expect his first bout coming off the coronavirus pandemic to be against boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez, since Golovkin has an agreement in place to face undefeated mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta when the schedule resumes.
That would open the door for Alvarez, the reigning middleweight world champion who also holds a secondary super middleweight belt, to face Billy Joe Saunders in September.
"I made a commitment before all this situation with the coronavirus happened," Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) told Sports Illustrated. "I'm talking about my fight with Szeremeta. I intend to keep my word. Once the situation changes, as soon as everything is back to normal, I intend to have this fight first."
Szeremeta, 30, is 21-0 with five knockouts. Some betting sites list Golovkin as a 25-1 favorite, so a win by Szeremeta would be a considerable upset. Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) is listed as a 7-1 favorite to defeat Saunders in a super middleweight bout.
Golovkin, whose two fights with Alvarez netted him a draw and a loss, told Sports Illustrated that he didn't like the way Canelo's camp approached a potential third fight, which forced him to sign an alternative contract.
"I should point out that there is always two sides," Golovkin said. "They actually avoided this fight in September. They didn't want to fight in May of 2020. So I went my way. I have my own career, and I figured: How long should I wait?"
Golovkin, 38, won the vacant IBF and IBO middleweight titles with a contested win by unanimous decision over Sergiy Derevyanchenko last September. Golovkin has already informed the streaming service DAZN that he will not fight Alvarez in September.