By Gav Duthie: The joint most successful reigning middleweight champion of all time is currently without a belt. Gennady Golovkin looks to rectify this situation on October 5th when he faces Sergiy Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF middleweight title at MSG New York. Golovkin made 20 successful defenses of his middleweight titles equaling Bernard Hopkins previous record before losing them in a close decision to Saul Canelo Alvarez.
Canelo failed to negotiate a fight with IBF mandatory Derevyanchenko hence the title was taken from him, declared vacant allowing Golovkin to fight for it. The 33 year old Derevyanchenko is a talent no doubt about it but its hard to get really excited about this. It just makes me wonder what Golovkin is trying to do in the twilight of his career. At age 37 it is highly unlikely that he could make a further 21 defenses if he wins in a couple of weeks time. He needs to be looking at legacy fights at this stage. Oscar De La Hoya mentioned a trilogy with Canelo and they are both contracted to DAZN but Canelo has distanced himself from these comments.
“I do not know why he brings that up. Sometimes he says things that he should not say or talks about things that he should not talk about, things that cannot happen,” Canelo told ESPN Deportes. “We have a very dangerous fight first, what he is saying does not make any sense. “I am taking these risks (fighting Kovalev), these fights for my career. Right now (Golovkin) does not represent anything to me. I beat him twice (it was a draw and victory). “He does not represent a greater challenge for me to fight with him.”
Canelo has a point
One of my favorite fighters of all time Marvelous Marvin Hagler campaigned his entire career at middleweight. I don’t necessarily have a problem with that. Some fighters aren’t suited to moving through the weights. If you base your game on power and strength it is counterproductive to move up in weight facing bigger and stronger opponents. Fighters like Floyd Mayweather, Pacquiao and Canelo use their skill to combat bigger fighters. Canelo will look to do this again when he faces Sergiy Kovalev on November 2 in his first fight at Light heavyweight.
Canelo has fought at welterweight, super welterweight, Canelo weight (155 lbs), middleweight and super middleweight and has won world titles in all of them. On the face it dominating in a solitary division can be just as impressive but Golovkin lost that when he drew and lost to Canelo he shouldn’t try to do it again. He needs to look at other opportunities to rebuild his reputation and becoming IBF middleweight champion won’t really do that.
Maybe GGG is just filling in time and has been promised a 3rd fight with Canelo but he can’t bank on that. To be honest in my opinion Golovkin won both the fights against Canelo. The second one was closer but I thought GGG dominated the first one. That doesn’t matter though the record books don’t reflect that and unless he gets a chance like Juan Manuel Marquez does to repeatedly fight Manny Pacquiao he will need to look at other opportunities. Callum Smith has said he is interested and that would be an interesting fight. I would also like to see him fight David Benavidez if he gets through Anthony Dirrell next week and Chris Eubank Jnr at 168lbs.
If he wins the IBF and stays at middleweight he will be tied into average mandatory defences against the like of Steve Butler and Patrick Wojcicki until eventually age will catch up to him and he will lose a fight to somebody in a huge shock. After this fight he should be applauded for regaining his title but should move on to something bigger straight away.
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) September 26, 2019