Alvarez vs Triple GGG – It has now been more than a week since the big HBO pay-per-view fight back on May 7th featuring Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Amir Khan. The hype prior to the fight coming from Golden Boy and the Alvarez camp is that he was the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather’s crown as boxing’s top draw. GBP President Oscar De la Hoya predicted millions of pay-per-view buys. Then the preliminary figures came in around 600,000 for the event, roughly 1/3 less than “Canelo” and Miguel Cotto drew in late 2015.
In the immediate aftermath of the Alvarez-Khan fight De La Hoya and partner Bernard Hopkins took great pains to tell the public that “Canelo” had a lot of choices in his next opponent. The more you read between the lines the more you could see Golden Boy’s plan of presenting their top attraction in the fall against Canadian David Lemieux.
After the number of sales for the PPV hit 600,000 last week, De La Hoya took pains to put a positive spin on it. He claimed to be very happy with the number, stating that it sealed Alvarez’ spot as the top draw in boxing since the last four major pay-per-views in the U.S.A. saw “Canelo” outdraw both Pacquiao-Bradley and Mayweather-Berto with his fights with Cotto and now Khan.
That may be the case, but the top draw in boxing now is a long way down from where it was when Mayweather was tops. Alvarez vs Khan did very well, don’t get me wrong, but the number also shows that Alvarez has a long way to go before he can be compared to Mayweather as a draw.
The rhetoric between the Alvarez and Golovkin camps has picked up after the Khan fight. Despite the attempts to spin the Alvarez-Khan fight as a great encounter, it was not. Khan did enough to make it compelling while watching the event, but overall “Canelo” delivered a forgettable fight where at the end he did what everyone expected him to do in the first place. The demands for catch-weights and seeming avoidance of Golovkin have once again met with derision.
Though Golden Boy and Alvarez do seem to have their backs against the wall, they are unlikely to face Golovkin in 2016. For all his whining and complaining on one hand and his touting himself as a middleweight champion on the other, Alvarez has never fought at 160 lbs and he is going to want to have a match at the true middleweight limit under his belt before facing the likes of “Triple G.”
Which brings us back to the Alvarez vs Lemieux match that De La Hoya wants so badly. It will be interesting to see if GBP forces that fight onto pay-per-view, because according to them, Alvarez is the biggest draw in boxing and he may only be fighting on pay-per-view from now on. This would ignore the public’s outcry about another weak match-up. Should the fight appear as an HBO broadcast where it belongs it may present an opportunity to build-up towards a Cinco de Mayo of 2017 pay-per-view showdown with Golovkin.
HBO will likely approve that, as this cedes centerstage on HBO pay-per-view to the prospective Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward match-up. It also allows Golovkin at least one more fight to showcase his skills and raise his “Q” score.
So the most likely scenario is that the fight will not happen this year; Canelo vs. Lemieux is still the most likely scenario. At the very least, Lemieux is a big middleweight who has had trouble getting to the 160 lb limit on various occasions, including this past January when he could not make a catch weight of 163 pounds for a fight in his hometown of Montreal.
So look for it to go down like this: Alvarez vs Lemieux in the fall and Golovkin come Cinco de Mayo in 2017.