THERE comes a time when two super stars have to collide because it is inevitable.
Retired greats Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao kept the boxing fraternity in suspense for years before their mega fight happened.
The issue of mandatory blood testing to check for performance enhancing drugs, which Mayweather insisted on and the splitting of the purse (60-40) dictated by Mayweather, but which Pacquaio felt was an insult and insisted on 50-50, almost derailed the richest card in boxing history grossing upwards of $400 million.
This past week, Saul rising Mexican star “Canelo” Alvarez dumped his World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight title, easing deadline pressure that had surrounded his talks for a showdown against undisputed champion the feared Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.
The WBC had ordered a purse bid for the fight if the two sides could not strike a deal by Tuesday, but Alvarez vacating the crown removes that time factor from the negotiations between promoters.
“After much consideration, today I’ve instructed my team at Golden Boy Promotions to continue negotiating with a fight with GGG and to finalise a deal as quickly as possible,” Alvarez said in a statement through Golden Boy Promotions.
“I also informed the WBC that will vacate its title. I will fight GGG and I will beat GGG, but I will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines.”
With these words, the stage appears set for what could the biggest event in the sport this year, if not next year. The negotiations are not usually as simple as winking. Just like in the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, splitting of the purse, what kinds of gloves the boxers are to wear and who enters the ring first come into play.
Assuming that the negotiations won’t be the kind that nearly drowned Mayweather-Paquiao, it’s possible this fight could happen this year. Could it surpass Mayweather-Pacquiao in terms of pay per view buys and overall revenue generation?
This question cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Much will depend on how much promotion and suspense it will garner from now until it happens. From experience, an on-off-on again strategy will build the climax.
Alvarez, 25, took the vacant WBC crown last May with a unanimous points victory over Miguel Cotto and defended the title on May 7 by knocking out Britain’s Amir Khan, boosting career record to 47-1-1 with 33 knockouts. His only loss was to the American icon Mayweather.
Triple “G” 34, boasts a record of 35-0, with 32 knockouts and is currently the most dreaded fighter in his division. After knocking out Khan, Alvarez declared that he wanted Golovkin now and added that he wasn’t intimidated by his record.
Golovkin was ringside when potential opponent was beating up Khan and he seemed pleased with what he was watching. This fight, if it happens will certainly be a big draw. Golovkin has this single-minded focus when fighting.
He stalks his opponents and when in range throws a jab followed by a hook. Sometimes he gets hit as his defence, although quite good, is sometimes porous. He hits the body and goes upstairs often to wear down his opponents. What is admirable about his style is not the focus, but the intensity with which he operates.
For his part, Alvarez could be a little better technically. His defence is very good, but sometimes he is too ponderous. So in front of GGG he could be in a few problems. But he has power in both hands and dangerous upper cut which GGG would have to watch out for.
Against Cotto, who I think he could have stopped within the distance, Canelo failed to see openings and allowed the fight to go the distance. Against GGG I think Canelo would have to step up his game. GGG is a banger too, and this is what makes this potential fight intriguing.
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