Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin remain on path to the inevitable collision fight fans have been clamoring for and that would help cleanse the sour taste from boxing’s previous “must see” event.
Whether the middleweight champions end the growing talk and finally meet in the sport’s next mega fight will depend on their respective representatives and boxing politics.
In the ring, Alvarez and Golovkin do their parts with impressive performances that increase the hype. Two weeks after Golovkin scored a second-round knockout over Dominic Wade, Alvarez followed with a similarly dominant victory.
Headlining his first pay-per-view event as middleweight titleholder, Alvarez knocked out Amir Khan in six rounds late Saturday in Las Vegas.
Alvarez, massively popular in his native Mexico, again provided his ardent followers with the fight-finishing performances that remain topics of discussion.
Although Khan attempted to use speed and boxing skills to negate Alvarez’s punching power, the England native could not escape the potent right shot to the head that knocked him out cold at 2:37 of the bout.
“Thank God he is fine,” Alvarez said of Khan in a postfight press conference. “You prepare yourself to win and obviously think of the knockout but never about seriously hurting someone with the knockout. But I am happy and proud to continue making history.”
Alvarez’s history-making plans, however, would leave a huge void if it doesn’t include a bout with Golovkin in the near future. Fight fans dread another prolonged tease like the one Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao played before their uneventful bout last year failed to live to expectations.
When they eventually fight, Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) and Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) at least pack the punching arsenal and ring intensity that Mayweather and Pacquiao didn’t deliver in the sport’s highest watched pay-per-view match.
“I’m here to fight anybody,” Alvarez said. “There is no reason to fear anybody.”
Another indication of the growing attention linked toward Alvarez and Golovkin was Alvarez’s gesture to invite Golovkin to the ring after Saturday’s fight — the first at the T-Mobile Arena.
“I invited him to show that I am not afraid of anyone,” Alvarez said. “I just told him that all the [title] belts he wants don’t make any sense. You put that aside and fight for honor and glory.”
Sanctioning body rules might dictate that Alvarez and Golovkin fight by the end of the year. However, a possible delay of the much-coveted match could result because of the disparities in the fighters’ pay-per-view appeal. Alvarez, 25, has moved to the top of the pay-per-view perch following the recent retirements of Mayweather and Pacquiao.
Meanwhile, Golovkin, popularly known by his “Triple G” nickname, still hasn’t clibed into the pay-per-view elite. His maiden premium fight against David Lemieux last October generated lackluster sales.
But many boxing ratings and experts now consider Golovkin, 35, the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighter. The lofty stature should negate the pay-per-view doubts in making the match.
If he had a say, Khan is a proponent of an Alvarez-Golovkin bout. Khan never fought above the 147-pound welterweight class before he faced Alvarez.
Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) scored with effective combinations in the first couple of rounds but Alvarez withstood the best of his shots and eventually found the opening which ended the fight.
“I think it’s time for Canelo to step up to Triple G, just like I stepped up to fight [Alvarez],” Khan said.
Friday (10 p.m., Showtime): Andrew Tabiti vs. Michael Hunter, 10, cruiserweights.
Saturday (11 p.m., Unimas-Ch. 69): Toka Clary vs. Orlando Rizo, 10, junior lightweights.