Bob Arum is usually involved in most important boxing matters, but in the case of Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, his participation is limited mostly to his observation as a man who’s devoted 50 years of his life to boxing promotion.
Mexico’s most important fighter, Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 knockouts), participated in a Monday media day in San Diego to promote his May 7 World Boxing Council middleweight title defense against England’s Amir Khan at the new 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena.
While the Khan bout needs to be sold, there’s also fervent interest in Golovkin, the Kazakhstan fighter who resides in Los Angeles and successfully defended his World Boxing Assn./International Boxing Federation middleweight belts with a second-round knockout of Dominic Wade on Saturday at the Forum.
It was Golovkin's 22nd consecutive knockout.
The WBC has a mandate in place that if Alvarez beats Khan, he has until May 22 to either begin negotiations for a fight with Golovkin or have his belt stripped and given to Golovkin, who’s pushing for the fight at 160 pounds.
“All the clamor for ‘Canelo’-Golovkin, you think that’s an even fight?” asked Arum, who doesn't promote either fighter.
When the response was that Golovkin would likely win, Arum replied, “There’s your answer. So put it off as long as possible, hope [Golovkin] gets beat and it goes away, or that [Golovkin] gets old.
“Fans want everything right away. The promoters have to do what’s best for their fighter. ‘Canelo’ is good, but ‘Triple-G’ [Golovkin] with ‘Canelo’ is a massacre.”
Arum has a small dog in the fight, so to speak. Golovkin could turn to Arum's super-middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez of Mexico in the fall if Alvarez turns from Golovkin.
Alvarez’s promoters, Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions executive Eric Gomez, argue that Alvarez, 25, will bring most of the audience to a bout against Golovkin, 34, and deserves some special favors, like fighting at a catch-weight below 160 pounds. Alvarez is fighting Khan at 155.
“We have a big commitment with [former 140-pound world-champion] Khan and we’re not going to do anything on this [Golovkin talk] until after the fight,” Gomez said Monday.
“To be fair, there was an offer for Golovkin to fight [Andre] Ward [before] and he didn’t want to move up … so be fair.
“Of course, this fight can happen. We’re going to sit down, analyze everything and then go from there.”
Gomez was asked if part of that analysis would be the potential fallout of perception that Alvarez would be ducking Golovkin if he opted against fighting him.
“It’s a ridiculous notion … stupid. He’s never ducked an opponent, never ducked anybody,” said Gomez, pointing to Alvarez victories against aged Carlos Baldomir and Shane Mosley before he turned 22, skilled boxers Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara, a lucrative 2013 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., and triumphs over sluggers Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland and a November victory over four-division champion Miguel Cotto.
“Name two champions ‘Triple-G’ has fought in his last 10 fights? Who? If ‘Canelo’ fought all those guys, he’d still be undefeated.”
Still, the pending talks following the expected triumph over Khan are expected to be intriguing given the risk involved for Alvarez, who will weigh a possible rich showdown with Golovkin at a massive venue like Cowboys Stadium versus the effect of a showcase loss that could badly tarnish his star power.
“It’s one thing to lose a decision to Mayweather,” Arum said. “It’s another thing to get counted out by Golovkin.”
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