By Barry Holbrook: Negotiations have restarted between Saul Canelo Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev for a fight that could take place on October 19 or 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to Mike Coppinger. If the Canelo-Kovalev fight takes place, a step aside deal would be made for Kovalev’s WBO mandatory Anthony Yarde for him to step aside so that the bigger Canelo fight could take place.
Yarde will make the decision about step aside
Yarde (18-0, 17 KOs) will make the decision whether to agree to the step aside deal or not. He’s a pivotal piece in all this, because Kovalev needs his WBO 175 pound title for him to get the Canelo fight. The Golden Boy star wants to beat Kovalev to capture his WBO light heavyweight title. A victory for Canelo would make him a four division world champion, and that’s something that the Mexican star wants to accomplish. The good news for Yarde is he’d get a nice payday with the step aside fee, and then he could potentially face Canelo if he beats Kovalev. That’s potentially an even bigger payday for Yarde than if he were to fight Kovalev next in their previously scheduled August 24 fight in Russia.
Yarde will get his crack at the WBO title once the dust clears from the Canelo-Kovalev fight. In the aftermath of that fight, Yarde could wind up facing either Canelo or Kovalev for the WBO belt. It’s unlikely Canelo will elect to hold onto the WBO 175 pound title if he beats Kovalev, because there aren’t any beatable popular fighters for him to face aside from Yarde. Canelo making simple defenses of the WBO title against the mostly obscure contenders would be a waste of his time.
Kovalev gives Canelo his best and perhaps his only chance of making that goal a reality. Canelo likely wouldn’t have any luck trying to beat the other light heavyweight champions Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol or Oleksandr Gvozdyk. They’re all very dangerous fighters. Likewise, Canelo is too small to move up to cruiserweight to go after one of the world titles in that weight class. Moving up to cruiserweight would be an insane ideal for Canelo. He could get squashed by a big puncher like Yunier Dorticos or Mairis Briedis.
Alvarez would be moving up to challenge Kovalev for his WBO light heavyweight title.
Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko will be ordered by IBF
Canelo, 29, will have to give up his International Boxing Federation 160 pound title if he faces Kovalev, because the IBF has already ordered him to defend against mandatory Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs). If Canelo vacates his IBF title, it opens up the possibility for Gennady Golovkin to step forward and fight Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF middleweight title on September 14, which is the date that Alvarez vacated recently. Once Canelo vs. Kovalev is a done deal, the IBF will order Gennady vs. Derevyanchenko to fight for their vacant IBF middleweight title.
It’s not a sure thing that GGG will choose to fight Derevyanchenko though, because it would be a risky fight for him, and he appears to be risk averse right now. Golovkin’s main goal is to keep winning long enough for him to get a trilogy fight with Canelo Alvarez. That’s the big money maker as part of Golovkin’s six-fight contract with DAZN. Derevyanchenko, 33, is someone that could potentially ruin Golovkin’s plans by beating him if he dares to make that fight. Jaime Munguia and Ryota Murata have recently been mentioned as a possible opponents for Golovkin’s next fight.
Golovkin needs to make a decision
Munguia and Murata are arguably much easier fights for Golovkin than a match against Derevyanchenko, and he could possibly make more money against them. There would likely be a lot more interest in Golovkin fighting Munguia or Murata on September 14 than if he were to fight the tough as nails Derevyanchenko. GGG would gain more respect from the hardcore boxing fans in facing Derevyanchenko, but he might lose. GGG is in a tough situation. Should he take the easier fights against Murata or Munguiao over a risky match against Derevyanchenko?
Murata, 33, has a huge fan base in Japan, and that would be a big fight if GGG were to travel there to face the 2012 Olympic gold medal. Golovkin vs. Murata wouldn’t bring a lot of attention from boxing fans in the United States tough, because the Japanese fighter is an unknown with the casual fans. The hardcore fans in the U.S know of Murata, and they’re not sold on the guy after seeing him lose to Rob Brant and Hassan N’Dam. Even though Murata avenged both losses, he’s infinitely beatable. Derevyanchenko would likely beat Murata, as would Daniel Jacobs, Jermall Charlo and Demetrius Andrade.
Canelo abandoning negotiations with Derevyanchenko
Canelo was recently in negotiations with Sergiy Derevyanchenko to make an ordered defense of his IBF middleweight title, but now Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) is back in the picture. That’s the fight that Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions have wanted all along. Now it’ back in the frame.
“Negotiations are back on between Canelo Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev, and a deal is imminent. Alvarez was in talks with Sergey Derevyanchenko after Monday’s purse bid was delayed…Canelo-Kovalev could take place Oct. 19 or 26 in Vegas. If deal indeed reaches goal line, Alvarez would be forced to relinquish his IBF middleweight title, and a fight between Derevyanchenko and GGG would be ordered. Canelo would move up to 175 for Kovalev fight,” said @MikeCoppinger.
Kovalev getting up there in age
The 36-year-old Kovalev is getting old, and the perfect guys for Canelo to beat right now to win an easy title at 175. Kovalev has suffered losses to Andre Ward [x 2] and Eleider Alvarez recently, and he’s not looking like the fighter he was six years ago. Some boxing fans believe that Kovalev’s soft living in between fights has taken a toll on his game, and worn him down more than his actual fights have. Kovalev hasn’t taken a lot of punishment during his career, because he’s not been involved in any real tough fights. His hardest fights were against non-punchers in Ward and Eleider Alvarez. Kovalev never fought Beterbiev, Gvozdyk, Marcus Browne, Adonis Stevenson, Badou Jack, Joe Smith Jr. or Bivol.