Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is interested in fighting Gennady Golovkin -- ‘eventually’
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has plenty to occupy himself with as he trains for his Nov. 21 fight against World Boxing Council middleweight champion Miguel Cotto.
But after watching on television World Boxing Assn. and International Boxing Federation middleweight champion Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin’s eighth-round technical-knockout title-unification victory over David Lemieux on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, he says a looming matchup between himself and Golovkin is intriguing.
“I’m a big boxing fan, I saw [Golovkin’s victory],” Alvarez told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday through a Spanish translator. “It’s a fight that could happen. I’ve built a reputation for myself that I don’t run from anybody. I want to give the fans the best fights out there. I’ll see once it comes to that day if the opportunity arises.”
Should the 25-year-old Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 knockouts) wrest the WBC belt from Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) in the HBO pay-per-view bout at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, that opportunity will be right in his face.
The WBC has stipulated that the Cotto-Alvarez winner has only 15 days to determine whether he will fight Golovkin.
If the winner doesn’t commit, Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) adds the WBC belt and would need only the World Boxing Organization title to stand as the division’s unified champion, which he has said is his goal.
Alvarez declined to commit, referencing the fact that he and Cotto are fighting for the 160-pound belt at a 155-pound catchweight.
“There’s no secret that me and Miguel are not 160-pounders. Our body structure is not there yet,” Alvarez said. “I would love to fight ‘GGG’ when the time and opportunity come, more than willing and able to ... when the time comes.”
Breaking the code of Alvarez’s position isn’t too difficult. Yes, he could fight at 160. Just this week, he weighed 167 pounds at the WBC’s 30-day weigh-in.
But Alvarez also has other options, including some Manny Pacquiao interest, and his co-trainer, Chepo Reynoso, noted Thursday that the 150,000 pay-per-view buys for Golovkin-Lemieux were low, considering that Alvarez engaged in a 2013 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. that generated more than 2.2 million buys.
In other words: With time, the Golovkin fight could be even bigger.
“Canelo is fighting Cotto because he wants that world title, but he’s a junior-middleweight, not a middleweight,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez’s promoter. “Plus, he’s a guy who doesn’t like to talk about future fights, especially with this job at hand.
“After Cotto, we can start talking about the others. As for ‘GGG,’ yes, eventually that fight’s going to happen.”
Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter, said the 150,000 buys were influenced by the sporting world’s fixation on Game 1 of the National League Championship Series between the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs, which generated strong television ratings.
“What I’m pleased by is that Gennady [$2 million], Lemieux [$1.5 million] and [co-main-event fighter] ‘Chocalotito’ [Gonzalez] each had their biggest pay days yet and we sold out the Garden for the first time since Cotto and [Felix] Trinidad have done that in their fights,” Loeffler said.
A scenario remains for Golovkin to fight for the WBO title in the spring against the Dec. 19 winner of Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders in England, and then meet Alvarez if he meets the expectation of being a 3/1 betting favorite and defeats Cotto.
“We have a lot of respect for Canelo,” Loeffler said. “He’s fighting for the WBC championship and that’s what Gennady wants. Even with the 150,000 buys, Gennady is the most popular and lucrative opponent that either of them can face.
“If Canelo figures he’s a true 154-pounder, that’s OK. He gets stripped, Gennady becomes the automatic champion and it’s another step to unify the division.”
The Times spent the day with Alvarez at his San Diego training camp and will provide additional coverage continuing early next week on Sports Now.
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