Shortly after Jerry Jones and Oscar De La Hoya announced that Canelo Alvarez will fight Liam Smith for the WBO middleweight title, I wanted to know one thing — Why isn’t Canelo fighting Triple G (Gennady Golovkin)?
Both are the two biggest names in boxing, and now they are dancing rather than boxing. Canelo says he will fight anyone, anywhere — except when he won’t. And Liam Smith does not count.
Triple G wants Canelo. Which explains why they are not fighting each other.
After Canelo knocked out Amir Khan in the spring, the next logical opponent was Triple G. Because boxing is boxing, that fight is not happening this year.
Why not? Because I am all about paying it forward, I asked both Canelo and his promoter, De La Hoya.
“That fight was never going to happen this year,” De La Hoya told me. “First of all, Canelo is a junior middleweight — he’s a 154-pounder. Triple G has been fighting at 160 his whole life. A cut weight was never discussed. It was just a rumor. The media has wanted [Canelo vs. Triple G]. Triple G has been campaigning all over the world for it. When the time is right, and Canelo can make the weight limit, we will face him next year — which has always been the plan for us.”
And this from Canelo himself: “Fights like that take time. A lot of negotiations. I hope that fight happens soon to give the fans what they want. I am used to this now. I have been through this before. Big fights take time.”
That is the only reason to deliver Canelo vs. Liam Smith, an undefeated but virtually unknown boxer outside of the United Kingdom.
As for fight fans who are annoyed that Canelo vs. Smith is the given product:
“To those fight fans, you can’t convince them. It’s impossible,” De La Hoya said. “Fight fans are going to criticize any fight Canelo has until we make the Triple G fight. That’s what sports is all about if you don’t fight the very best you are going to get criticized.”
And Canelo and his “people” are getting criticized for this matchup against Liam Smith. This is not the “very best fight” possible. Liam Smith is undefeated against a cast of spares and nobodies.
“He was the right opponent not only because he was a world champion but because he is undefeated and right now the UK has 14 world champions and Mexico has only seven,” De La Hoya said. “In the history that has never happened before.”
De La Hoya wants to make Canelo’s fight with Triple G a “mega event,” which means the equivalent of Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao.
As to the location, Jerry Jones wants Canelo vs. Triple G at AT&T Stadium. He was said to offer $24 million to get the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, but Vegas outbid him.
Vegas is not going to let a Canelo/Triple G fight go without a serious fight because, unlike Smith/Alvarez, that is not a serious fight.