With many of our heroes retiring over the past few years, there is a major void to fill in the world of sports, losing the likes of Kobe Bryant, Derek Jeter, and Peyton Manning to old age. Many young stars have stepped up to replace these great athletes, such as Stephen Curry, Bryce Harper, and Odell Beckham Jr., who seemingly have not even reached their primes yet. Boxing is no exception.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather took his leave from the boxing world with an undefeated record of 49-0 in September. Manny Pacquiao soon followed, announcing in the ring, following his victory over Timothy Bradley on April 9th, that “As of now, I am retired.” In May of 2015, the two great fighters squared off in the biggest fight in boxing history in terms of box office results. However, the long awaited bout between the two world champions turned out to be underwhelming, Mayweather dominating a low-punching battle against Pacquiao, who kept secret an injury he acquired during training.
With these two popular fighters out of the ring (for now, at least) boxing fans will look to new heroes, claiming Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez and Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin to fill the void. A comparison is to be made here, with Golovkin acting as the big-talking, undefeated Mayweather and Canelo as the humble but hard-hitting Pacquiao. But unlike the previous heroes, these two fighters will not wait until the end of their careers to face-off. Instead, Álvarez and Golovkin are currently working on a deal for a winner-take-all fight this Fall. The bout is looking to be the biggest in boxing history, and the gift that boxing fans never got from Mayweather and Pacquiao.
Ever since Gennady Golovkin destroyed Mexican fighter Marco Antonio Rubio in two rounds back in October of 2014, he has been the mandatory challenger for Canelo’s WBC Middleweight belt. Meanwhile, the fighters have been keeping busy with interim bouts, defeating all challengers. On April 23rd at the Forum in Inglewood, CA, Golovkin man-handled Dominic Wade, who clearly was unaware of what he’d been getting himself into in accepting the challenge. Amir Khan, on the other hand, proved to be a challenging opponent for Álvarez through five rounds on Saturday night, before being brutally knocked out with one right hook from Canelo.
Gennady Golovkin is 35-0 with 32 KOs (22 of which are consecutive) and currently holds the Super WBA, IBF, IBO, and interim WBC middleweight titles. The 5’9” Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, nick-named for his red hair, is 47-1-1, with his team claiming he’s fought well over a hundred fights, many of which were not recorded due to the discrete-nature of the matches in the beginning of his career in Mexico at just 15 years old. He holds the WBC middleweight title and is currently the most popular fighter in the world, and widely considered the best pound-for-pound fighter as well.
A lot of the speculation around why this fight would not happen concerned the catchweight of 155 pounds that Canelo and his team prefer, with Golovkin demanding the fight be set at the normal middleweight class of 160. However, almost all of the obstacles preventing the match were put to rest after Canelo’s fight on Saturday. Álvarez told reporters that he is willing to fight at 160 pounds and his negotiation partner, Oscar De La Hoya(Golden Boy Promotions), confirmed that there will be no attempt to land a fight with Miguel Cotto(Canelo defeated Cotto November of last year) instead of Triple G, telling the always-smiling Golovkin that he’d “better answer [his] phone tomorrow morning.”
With all of this talk, and the outcry from fans to make the fight happen, we can assume that we will see a date set for this major bout at some point in the coming months. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was also in attendance on Saturday night in the company of De La Hoya, presumably to negotiate holding Álvarez vs. Golovkin at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The massive arena is estimated to be able to hold 80,000 fans for the fight. The fight is also projected to be the highest-grossing in boxing history. This is what boxing fans have been waiting for: two power punchers in the prime of their careers facing off in an all-or-nothing contest to crown a new King of Boxing. It’s the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight that we all wanted but got too late. A career-defining fight that will make one of these two great competitors a legend.
Article Written By: Dylan King
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