One big issue with a lot of these prize fights that tend to happen, or for this being, not happen, is the sanctioning bodies that continue to ruin the sport of Boxing. The four main governing bodies, (IBF, WBA, WBO and WBC) hold all the cards, and with the promoters tied in, sanctioning fees for champions, mediocre at times mandatory challengers who tend to get shots before they should, which I’ll get into later, really are putting a damper on the sport. The Title that is under discussion right now, is fortunately the closest to being somewhat respectable.
Jose Sulaiman became president of the WBC on December 5th, 1975, and had a lengthy, and eventful run as the head chair for the company. He had some contravention when people had said he was in running with Don King, fixing fights, especially the Pernell Whitaker controversial decision loss to Jose Luis Ramirez in 1988. For the most part though, he held his company a bit higher up than others, in which you heard the title always referred to as the “big green belt” by most fighters, especially a lot of Mexican fighters, who were big in the organization. In early February of 2014, Jose’s son, Mauricio took over after his father had passed away a month before, and has been doing the best job of any of these sanctioning bodies. He has stepped aside when fighters wanted to delay fights to make it mean more, along with also holding the integrity of the belts, in which lead us to this. Canelo Alvarez vacated a week before his May 24th deadline to make the fight with mandatory challenger, Gennady Golovkin.
With Canelo vacating the title, there is no pressure for the fight to go to a purse bid. For those that do not know, a purse bid is when the deadline passes for the fight that is ordered to be made, with our case, Canelo vs Golovkin to be negotiated by May 24th. After that date, the fight is then open to all promoters, and the highest bidder wins the fight and is able to promote it, which usually is one of the two promoters in hand anyway. Also, it changes the money split between the two fighters, with the Champion making at times a little more. Part of the reason some of these fighters choose to vacate instead of facing the mandatory fighter, is because they sometimes feel as if the fighter is a bought ranking, and doesn’t truly deserve the fight. Not saying Canelo is ducking, or Golovkin isn’t the correct choice, it once again shows that these sanctioning bodies fail our system. Plus, sometimes the belt is big enough for a fighter, but sometimes the fighter is above it, and doesn’t need the belt to sell tickets, in which this case, Canelo is beyond the need to have a belt to sell tickets. Other problem, is sometimes the mandatory fighter could drag out negotiations, which lead pass the deadline, only to have his promoter buy the fight, and make himself more money than if it’s settled before the deadlines. All in all, just a chore at times.
If Canelo makes the fight before the year ends, everyone has to shut up and get off of Canelo’s back. He will show that he said it will happen, and also that it did. In fact, by vacating, and also in his words, “Not holding the title hostage during negotiations” could make this fight happen with better odds. Now that it’s on their terms, Loeffler at K2 and De La Hoya at Golden Boy have more time to sit down and actually make this money work between the two. And, weight also. Mexican fans may be getting to Canelo as well, which could help make this fight as well. They look at their historic fighters as guys who went in and faced the best. Guys like Julio Cezar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez, hell even De La Hoya went at everyone, but once again, we will get to that one later.
Perception of Canelo wont matter if he makes the fight. Time will tell if he is ducking GGG or not, but one thing is for sure, the country has to be getting in his head, especially with some saying Golovkin is gaining ground on Canelo’s own countries popularity as the top fighter for the people. If they do not fight in September on Mexican Independence Day weekend, which would be a September 17th fight, and chose to each take one more fight, it may build the fight having more time to market it as well. Canelo could run through a guy like David Lemieux, while Golovkin may attempt to face Billy Joe Saunders, who has the only other title in the division for a four title unification. A fight will Danny Jacobs could be next for Golovkin, but the thought of making a Canelo vs Golovkin fight next May, with all four titles on the line could do huge numbers. Proof is in the pudding if this is what happens, that they are dragging this fight out for a reason. Or Oscar may just want to get one more payday out of Canelo before feeding him to the God of War, but that’s just me being a mark.
The one frustrating thing about it all, is his promoter. Oscar De La Hoya. De La Hoya was the golden boy for Top Rank (no pun intended) to the point they had gotten him over enough to the point he was the pound 4 pound king, even though Roy Jones, Jr. clearly owned that nod. He was the biggest up and coming prospect, fought just the right guy and the right time, but never took the big one. Never fought guys like Kostya Tszyu at the start, and it got to him. Fans spoke, and De La Hoya believe he could be anyone, and went at it with Bob Arum, and demanded the best fights. His 18th victory came and a devastating destruction of Rafael Ruelas, who he knocked out in the 2nd round. From there, he built a resume like no other, with victories over high profile fighters at the time including; Jesse James Leija, two wins over Julio Cezar Chavez, Miguel Angel Gonzalez, Hector “Macho” Camacho, Ricardo Mayorga, Felix Sturm, Fernando Vargas, and big guns like Ike Quartay, Arturo Gatti, and Pernell Whitaker. He had losses against Shane Mosley twice, Felix Trinidad, Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather, and his last fight, Manny Pacquiao. Point being, he fought everyone, including move up for the B-Hop fight, which he was doing very well until Hopkins stopped him with a body shot.
Now Oscar is where Bob Arum is. He is setting up Canelo with the perfect fight, and the right time, to make his fighter look like a million bucks. Everyone was shocked Amir Khan was the fight for Canelo. Talk never leaked, and people were excited. The problem is, we all knew Khan had no chin. He was destroyed by Danny Garcia, and Canelo is twice the puncher of Garcia. The fight was entertaining, but it was like watching a lamb dance it’s way around, delaying the slaughter from the lion. Canelo then called out Golovkin and said it will happen. This to me shows Canelo is not scared to make the fight. He wants to fight the best. This is where Oscar needs to realize that Canelo is just him 20 years ago. He wants the fight, and is confident. Put your guy in the ring and show why he is the best in the sport. The fans deserve it, and so does the fighters.
Golovkin wanted the belt. Well he got it, and got it on a silver platter. Funny thing is, I doubt Golovkin is happy with that. He would rather destroy Canelo than have it handed to him, but sometimes you have to take things how it is. He is now the lineal champion in my eyes in the division, and hopefully becomes the first undisputed champion since Jermaine Taylor in December of 2006. It doesn’t help Gennady though, as people already give him enough guff that he hasn’t faced the top guys, but the fact is, people duck Golovkin. He cannot get the fight because nobody will fight him. You can argue having the belts gives him more leverage, but it reality, it won’t change anything, until we can get a modern day Sugar Ray Leonard to move up and fight the man. Golovkin is our Marvin Hagler.
Marvin Hagler was the undisputed Middleweight champion until the middle of 1987. He dominated everyone, gathered up all the Middleweight titles just like a set of dragon balls, and then KO’d everyone that came for them. If you wanted to be the man in that division, you had to fight him. Joe Frazier, one of the greatest boxers ever once told him that he had 3 strikes against him. “Your black, a southpaw, and really really good. You have to be great, not good, and you are that.” Golovkin isn’t those things, but he is this. He is excellent. Golovkin passes the eye test as one of the best power punchers I’ve ever seen, and is feared as much as Marvin Hagler was. Golovkin needs a guy like Leonard to move in and make the fight with him, and get that huge prize. Some say Mayweather should be that guy, but we all know that will never, ever happen. We need Canelo to make this fight. Duck him like everyone else, and your a fraud compared to him. Hey don’t just blame Canelo though. Blame others. Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto were both lineal champions before Canelo, and neither would make a fight with GGG either.
Everyone is on Canelo because they know he will fight whoever, and that is why it is enraging as a boxing enthusiast. Roberto Duran move in and fought Marvin Hagler, and lost in 15 rounds in one hell of a brawl. That is who Canelo needs to replicate. Max Kellerman and Jim Lam play said on The Fight Game that Canelo has the guts to fight Golovkin, and that they aren’t upset with Canelo, but more with Oscar De La Hoya for not allowing his fighter to be great. Oscar needs to let it happen, and watch as the biggest fight in the sport needs to happen. Hopefully within the next 12 months, we get to see these great fighters go at it, because everyone will reap the benefits.