By Sean Jones: Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev is still a possibility for November or December, if Kovalev successfully defends his WBO light heavyweight title against mandatory Anthony Yarde on August 24, according to @TheAthleticBOX. Canelo Alvarez will likely vacate his IBF middleweight title, and leave it to Gennady Golovkin to fight for against IBF mandatory Sergiy Derevyanchenko. There’s also the possibility GGG could face Jaime Munguia or Ryota Murata in his next fight.
Team GGG hasn’t come out and said they’re taking Canelo’s vacated September 14 date on DAZN, but that’s will likely be the case. It’s a highly valuable date for any fighter to take, it would be difficult for former middleweight champion Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) to pass up.
Kovalev must beat Yarde to have shot at Canelo fight
Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) has a tough fight on his hands against the unbeaten Yarde (18-0, 17 KOs) on August 24 on ESPN+ at the Traktor Sport Palace, in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Yarde has a real shot at scoring an upset in this fight if he can wear Kovalev down with body shots. A victory for Yarde could potentially lead to a big money match against Canelo in November or December.
We’d have to see how Alvarez’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions reacts to a win by Yarde. They originally wanted Kovalev for Canelo, because the Russian is well known by casual boxing fans in the U.S. Kovalev has been fighting for years on HBO in the States, and that makes him an ideal opponent for Canelo to face. Moreover, Kovalev, 36, is getting old, and no longer the fighter that he once was. That’s an even better reason for Canelo to fight him.
Canelo would impress fans by fighting Beterbiev
What’s painfully obvious is the fact that Canelo and Golden Boy aren’t targeting the other champions at 175 in Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev, Oleksandr Gvozdyk or Marcus Browne. You can blame that on them not being as well known as Kovalev or you can see it as a case of those guys being too dangerous for Canelo. This writer believes that it’s more the latter case. The 5’8″ Canelo would be in a world of hurt trying to fight someone like Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs) on the inside rather than Kovalev, who falls apart when he gets hit to the body.
Beterbiev is a devastating puncher on the inside, as he’s able to get massive power on short punches. The two-time Russian Olympian is able to generate absurd power in close, and that makes him a threat for someone like Canelo. He couldn’t try and take the fight on the inside against Beterbiev without putting himself at risk of being knocked out quickly like Callum Johnson, Radivoje Kalajdzic, Isidro Ranoni Prieto, and many others.
Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko = a great fight for September 14
Fans are waiting anxiously to hear if GGG will agree to fight Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs) on September 14. It’s possible that Golovkin’s team are waiting for Canelo to officially vacate his IBF middleweight title before they agree to fight Derevyanchenko. It would be pointless for GGG to fight Derevyanchenko if the vacant International Boxing Federation 160 pound title isn’t one the line for the fight. The IBF has ordered Canelo to defend his title against the 33-year-old Derevyanchenko.
Now it’s up to Golden Boy and Canelo to decide whether they want to take that fight. There’s no word from Derevyanchenko’s management that Canelo will face him. If the Mexican star doesn’t agree to fave him, then it’ll be Derevyanchenko facing the next available contender that’s willing to fight him. It’s possible that GGG won’t take the fight with Derevyanchenko, because it wouldn’t be a huge affair in the U.S.
Golovkin vs. Ryota Murata is a predictable match-up
GGG’s promoter Tom Loeffler has spoken favorably of wanting Golovkin to challenge WBA ‘regular’ middleweight champion Ryota Murata (15-2, 12 KOs) in the past. Those plans were foiled last October when Murata, 33, lost to Rob Brant by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision. In their rematch earlier this month on July 12, Murata avenged his loss in stopping Brant in the second round to regain his WBA middleweight title in Osaka, Japan.
The best part of all was Murata didn’t sustain any facial damage in scoring a quick knockout win. Although Brant has exorcised his rematch clause that he had in the contract, it’s possible that Loeffler will look to get a title shot for Golovkin in between that fight. If that fails to happen, then Golovkin will need to look to face either Munguia or Derevyanchenko on September 14 on DAZN.
GGG vs. Murata: Would U.S fans want to see this?
Murata is the better deal for Golovkin, because he can make good money fighting the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in Japan. The American boxing fans wouldn’t be too impressed with GGG fighting Murata, but the money that Golovkin could make taking that fight would make it well worth it. GGG vs. Murata would be ‘business fight’ rather than one that fans worldwide want to see. There’s zero demand for a fight between GGG and Murata. The fans want to see Golovkin fight Canelo, Demetrius Andrade, Callum Smith, Jermall Charlo, Daniel Jacobs and Derevyanchenko.
Murata isn’t one the radar screen for U.S fans. It’s unclear whether DAZN would be interested in showing Golovkin vs. Murata. They would have to be aware of Murata not being well known in the U.S, and not someone that the fans are eager to see GGG fighting. It would be DAZN’s call. If they’re good with Golovkin fighting another obscure opponent as part of his nine-figure contract with them, they would give him the green light. Golovkin recently fought Steve Rolls last June on DAZN. There wasn’t much interest from the casual boxing fans in that fight, because they had never heard of the 35-year-old Rolls.