Canelo vs Golovkin: Boxing must wait for the stars to align
Enough time has passed since Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Manny Pacquiao for us to consider where boxing’s next mega-fight will come from. Well, Oscar De La Hoya believes it could be two years away and it could lay in the middleweight division.
After Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez’s superlative knockout victory over James Kirkland this past weekend, the talk behind him as boxing’s next phenomenon has surged.
The case for an unprepared Kirland minus Ann Wolfe is that of a different proportion, and regardless of the Texas native’s training camp, there is no doubt that Canelo rebutted his claims to relevance at 154lbs.
In the opposing corner you have the formidable Kazakh Gennady Golovkin, whose rise to prominence has been almost unrivalled, with 18 career finishes in a row; against opponents who aren’t just there to pad his record. He is one legitimate guy.
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya recently came out and stated that down the line a Canelo-Golovkin fight is a “huge mega-fight” and “would surpass any type of number or hype” presented by Mayweather-Pacquiao.
Although I love his optimism, the rumoured five million buy-rate is something that may never be challenged, but there is no denying that, if promoted right, Canelo and Golovkin could put together something remarkable.
However, with Golden Boy himself wanting to wait for up to two years to match the pair, it leaves a mysterious haze over the potential bout, especially with the fact in two years time Canelo will be 27, whilst Triple G a much older 35.
Regardless of what happens in that time period, already you would feel the younger Álvarez may have a slight advantage over a Golovkin more than likely approaching the end of his career.
For now, Canelo is happily placed as a junior middleweight, with Golovkin occupied at super middleweight as WBA (super), IBO and interim-WBC champion.
In his most recent affair, Golovkin came in at 158.9lbs against Martin Murray; whom he smashed over the course of 11 rounds, whereas Canelo weighed at 154.4 against Kirkland.
The 4.5lb difference may not seem much, but in the world of boxing it shows a substantial weight buffer between the two which will allow them to keep their distance without too much disturbance.
A fight against WBC middleweight Miguel Cotto is rumoured to be next for Álvarez, and presents the opportunity of a Mexico vs. Puerto Rico cash cow pay-per-view which; should he win, will solidify Canelo’s long term future as one of the division’s top draws.
Cotto first faces Daniel Geale in June; a man Golovkin viscously stopped in just three rounds last year, and must get past the Australian before he can entertain a match-up with Canelo.
As for Golovkin, he still has the challenge of Willie Monroe, Jr. in his path when the two clash on HBO this weekend. Many were left with the look of confusion after the fight was announced, with GGG more than expected to take care of business without too much concern.
Monroe, although an extremely solid boxer who presents a tiring style for any fighter to keep pace with for 12 rounds, is short of marquee victorious on his CV. His two most notable wins, unanimous decisions against Vitaliy Kopylenko and Brandon Adams unfortunately struggle to hold up against those on Golovkin’s hit list.
Both men currently partake on two different paths, neither look like intertwining at any point in the immediate future. Whilst at the same time, their continual success progresses a monologue of their careers which will eventually, and hopefully, connect.
Although not Mayweather-Pacquiao. The prospect of Álvarez-Golovkin is more than appeasing. Two men who have been utterly dominant in every single aspect of their careers. Ignoring Canelo’s blip against the best of this generation, both men have impeccable records behind them, something boxing has struggled to find at the top level in a meaningful way for a rather long time.
For Canelo it is his smuggling style of boxing, and his insane close quartered ability that helps many recognise him as the future of the sport. Whereas Golovkin is a definitive power puncher. The way he throws his body shots is disconcerting for those who must face his wrath and one of the main factors that has helped him to dismantle almost everyone of credit at middleweight.
Two years from now, or whenever it comes to fruition, it will be special, oh so special, and the possibility of boxing’s next “once in a lifetime;” whether it lives up to that moniker or not, is far too absorbing for anyone to ignore, as both men’s storied journey towards each other continues to enthral.
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