By Dan Ambrose: With his growing audience in the U.S, unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 32 KOs) will be just fine even if WBA ‘regular’ 160lb champion Daniel Jacobs chooses to price himself out of their fight on December 10. It really doesn’t matter if Golovkin gets that fight, because he’s now become so popular that he’s independent of guys like Jacobs or even Saul Canelo Alvarez.
The fans in the boxing world are going to tune in to watch Golovkin in high numbers no matter who he faces next. If Jacobs prices himself out, he’s going to be forgotten and the fans will be focusing on Golovkin. He has it like that now.
Golovkin wants to fight the best, but if the top fighters like Jacobs and Canelo aren’t fights that can be made, Golovkin is going to alright and will do well fighting whoever his promoters at K2 can find for him.
The negotiation for the Golovkin-Jacobs fight should be concluded by the end of October. The boxing fans will know by then if the fight is going to get made or not. If it doesn’t, then Golovkin will look to get a unification match against WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. That’s a fight that is possible. Saunders said recently that he wants to fight Golovkin.
We’ll find out if Saunders was serious or not when/if the negotiations begin between his management and Golovkin’s. Saunders might be just name dropping Golovkin’s name to get attention though, because he has a chance of getting a nice payday in early 2017 in a fight against Mexican star Saul Canelo Alvarez once he comes back from his thumb injury.
If Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy put the Canelo-Saunders fight on HBO pay-per-view, then Saunders can get a nice payday from that fight. I think he’ll ultimately wait on the Canelo fight, but name drop Golovkin’s name until then to get attention from boxing fans.
Golovkin is the top guy at 160. He’s the most active of the top fighters in the middleeight division, and he’s putting in the best performances. If you compare Golovkin’s recent fights to that of Canelo, it’s not even a fair comparison. Golovkin looked much better and his fights were far more exciting.
Canelo needed frequent rest breaks to beat WBO 154lb belt holder Liam “Beefy” Smith in their fight last September at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Canelo eventually got a 9th round knockout victory, but it wasn’t an easy fight for him. What was most troubling about Canelo’s performance was the fact that he needed to back up and take breathers every once in a while to rest from the pressure that Smith was putting on him.
We didn’t see this from Golovkin in his recent fights against Kell Brook and Dominic Wade. Golovkin was all action in both of those fights in pushing a fast pace that eventually led to both fighters getting halted well before the distance. Brook was fortunate to make it to the 5th round, because he was in trouble in both the 1st and 3rd rounds.
Golovkin hurt Brook in the 1st with a left hook to the head. Brook staggered, but was able to make it out of the round. One judge gave Brook the 1st round. Golovkin clearly needed a knockout to get out of the UK with his titles on the night, and I think he realized that.
If the Jacobs fight falls through, here are the potential options for Golovkin’s next fight:
– Alfonso Blanco – WBA president Gilberto Mendoza plan on having Golovkin or Jacobs fight #1 WBA Blanco if one of them decides to vacate their titles. Blanco would be the guy that would move in to face the last man standing. You would have to consider Blanco the most likely option for Golovkin’s next fight if he can’t make the Jacobs fight.
– Chris Eubank Jr. – This is an option for the future for Golovkin, but it remains to be seen if Eubank Jr. and his dad will take the fight. They had the chance to fight Golovkin last September, but Eubank Sr. failed to sign the contract for the fight. It’s too bad because his son would have made a career high payday.
– Avtandil Khurtsidze – This is the #1 WBO contender. Golovkin would be doing Billy Joe Saunders a huge favor if he took Khurtsidze on and beat him so he could get out of the way of Saunders. Khurtsidze is a potentially very difficult fight for Saunders, but not for Golovkin.
– Jorge Sebastian Heiland – This is the No.1 WBC contender. Golovkin is going to need to face Heiland sooner or later. This should be an easy fight for Golovkin.
– Tureano Johnson – Golovkin might have problems getting past #1 IBF Tureano Johnson, because he’s got good punching power, a high work rate, and a lot of experience in the amateur ranks. Johnson is a former Olympian. You can argue that Johnson is a better fighter than Heiland, Khurtsidze, Eubank Jr. and Saunders. He just hasn’t had the opportunities to show what he can do on the big stage by taking on the big names.
Jacobs needs the fight against Golovkin rather than the other way around. If Golovkin moves on if/when Jacobs prices himself out, he’s got a lot of options available for him. In contrast, Jacobs doesn’t have nearly as many. His manager Al Haymon will likely bring him back to Showtime Boxing and have him continuing with fights against fringe contenders in the Sergio Mora and Caleb Truax class. Those fights will be like quicksand for Jacobs, because he won’t expand his popularity taking them.
Further, if Jacobs fights infrequently like some of the other Premier Boxing Champions fighters, his career won’t progress. I seriously doubt that Golden Boy Promotions will even consider for a second in putting Canelo in with Jacobs, because there’s no money with that fight and there’s risk involved. That’s why Jacobs needs to take the only big money fight he can get right now by not pricing himself out for the Golovkin fight.