Canelo Alvarez and Golden Boy distance themselves from Golovkin

Sep 17, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Canelo Alvarez (blue trunks) fights Liam Smith (grey trunks) during the WBO middleweight boxing world championship bout at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 17, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Canelo Alvarez (blue trunks) fights Liam Smith (grey trunks) during the WBO middleweight boxing world championship bout at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Canelo Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions continue to orbit away from an obvious super fight against unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin as frustrating negotiations continue.

The reaction to Gennady Golovkin’s highly competitive unanimous decision victory over Brooklynite Daniel Jacobs has been nothing short of hysterical. Indeed, Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) struggled for stretches against the best opponent he’s faced as a professional, but he’s hardly diminished or even fading; and yet, in another maddening turn of events, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions — who handle Canelo Alvarez — have joined the chorus of reactionaries tacitly denouncing Triple G.

According to the Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire, De La Hoya has rescinded a “verbal deal” for Canelo Avlarez to face Gennady Golovkin in the fall in light of the Jacobs performance. In effect, the Golden Boy CEO views Golovkin’s latest outing as underwhelming on two fronts: in the ring and at the box office. As a result, the opportunity for even more maddening Canelo leverage has resulted in further complicating the biggest fight that can be made in boxing.

Here’s some of what De La Hoya told Pugmire:

"“Because when Triple-G [Golovkin] and Jacobs does between 100,000 and 200,000 homes, it’s a big risk for me to put up a lot of money up front,” De La Hoya said. “So if we want to make this fight happen, we have to work with each other. It all depends on the pay-per-view and that’s the risk we all have to take.”"

De La Hoya also made it clear to Pugmire that Canelo (48-1-1, 34 KOs) is the only legitimate pay-per-view draw at present, but the fact that Canelo is relatively bankable can be viewed as more of an indictment of a failing business model than anything remotely impressive. In erroneously minimizing Golovkin’s star power by solely tying it to pay-per-view buys, De La Hoya is effectively giving himself and Canelo a false excuse to delay or completely avoid the fight.

Gennady Golovkin, like Canelo Alvarez, is able to sell out arenas and is a recognizable star beyond the narrow confines of boxing. Sure, Canelo has a higher profile, but to belittle Golovkin ignores the fact that a great match-up with one bonafide pay-per-view draw (Canelo Alvarez in this case) is virtually guaranteed to profit everyone involved in putting on the fight.

But because this is boxing, and because De La Hoya has for some reason opted to rein in Canelo Alvarez over the last couple of years (a sad antithesis to the Golden Boy’s own career), expect gamesmanship and excuses that overtly insult the intelligence of boxing fans.

Gennady Golovkin deserves to fight Canelo Alvarez.
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 18: Gennady Golovkin punches Daniel Jacobs during their Championship fight for Golovkin’s WBA/WBC/IBF middleweight title at Madison Square Garden on March 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

There’s also a fallback option for Canelo Alvarez in the form of former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux, which is seemingly in place. Given the way negotiations have gone thus far with Golovkin, it’s reasonable to suspect that the Lemieux alternative will supersede any urgency to make Canelo-Golovkin.

According to’s Ben Jacobs, Lemieux (37-3, 33 KOs), who chillingly knocked out Curtis Stevens on a March 11 HBO bill, is likely to be added to the Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. undercard, which would set the stage for a fall showdown in lieu of Golovkin, a far more deserving fighter, securing that September date.

While Lemieux is an elite contender and one of the most hellacious punchers in the sport, he has been outclassed by Gennady Golovkin and can be disarmed by those operating at the championship level. Sure, Lemieux always has the chance to alter or end a fight with a single bomb, but the point is that compared to Golovkin, he’s undeserving of the Canelo fight. In a different context, bring on Canelo-Lemieux — just not at the expense of GGG.

Next: Terence Crawford to defend titles against Felix Diaz.

And yet, it’s likely that boxing fans will be force-fed Alvarez-Lemieux. Again, this is a genuinely compelling fight and Lemieux should be viewed as a live underdog. The problem, however, is that considering the myriad factors at play, that fight is a cop out grounded in the lie that somehow Golovkin is utterly unworthy of Canelo as a boxing luminary. It’s these kinds of delusions that have mired the sport in a Dark Age where clear solutions to obvious problems remain maddeningly out of reach.