WBC president says Canelo Alvarez will fight for belt in Gennady Golovkin rematch
World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman met Tuesday with the president of Golden Boy Promotions to end friction between Canelo Alvarez and boxing’s most powerful governing body.
Alvarez, appearing at L.A. Live alongside unbeaten three-belt middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin to hype their May 5 rematch, declined to fight for the WBC belt in their first fight. But Sulaiman said both sides were ready to “turn the page.”
“He will fight for the belt,” Sulaiman told the Times at L.A. Live. “A proud, legendary WBC champion [Golovkin] and a proud, legendary WBC fighter [Alvarez] will come together. Things happen in boxing. You turn the page and move on to greater things.”
Sulaiman credited good will Alvarez built up as a former WBC 154-pound champion for allowing the conversation to be positive and repair the relationship.
“It was a just matter of shaking hands and moving on,” Sulaiman said.
Alvarez, Mexico’s most popular boxer felt, had chafed that the WBC ordered him to fight Golovkin in 2016 following his successful middleweight title defense against England’s Amir Khan.
Days after that victory, Alvarez surrendered the belt back to the Mexico City-based WBC and proceeded to take lucrative bouts against England’s Liam Smith at AT&T Stadium in Texas and last year’s convincing victory over countryman Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Although Sulaiman crafted a special belt for the Chavez bout, Alvarez declined to accept it and refused to fight for the belt once he fought Golovkin.
Sulaiman reached out to at least one individual close to Alvarez and the meeting with Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions, was arranged, with the possibility of a later meeting with Alvarez.
Sulaiman said he’d been puzzled by Alvarez’s anger toward the WBC, considering Sulaiman gave Alvarez the chance to be champion by allowing then-champ Miguel Cotto to skip a mandated match against Golovkin to instead fight Alvarez in late 2015, a fight that he won for the belt.
Sulaiman then OK’d Alvarez’s bout with Khan as Golovkin continued to wait. An agreement by all sides to strike a deal with Golovkin afterward was part of allowing the Khan fight to be sanctioned as a title fight.
“I feel like we’ve worked in good faith. We are not evil people, and I think all we’ve tried to do is support [Alvarez],” Sulaiman said. “Face to face, I will try to say that and I hope we can move on.”
The May 5 winner is expected to either seek a bout with the division’s only other remaining champion, the World Boxing Organization’s Billy Joe Saunders, or meet former World Boxing Assn. secondary champion Daniel Jacobs.
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