Canelo Alvarez Feints, And GGG Does Not Flinch
Not long after Canelo Alvarez' thunderous overhand right connected with the deserted jaw of Amir Khan, the focus of the boxing world turned toward the smiling, casually dressed monster seated at ringside.
In theory, Khan's unconscious body represented a final barrier removed between Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin, the most feared man in boxing, and Alvarez, the sport's most valuable commodity. The fight makes itself: two men on impressive streaks, each with devastating knockout power and no relevant opponents left to vanquish. Might as well book the trilogy now.
In boxing, of course, it's never that simple.
Canelo's reputation for ducking no man took a hit leading up to the match with Khan, who bravely (foolishly?) moved up almost two weight classes for the opportunity. The fight itself was obvious in its purpose: delay a meeting with GGG, and probably earn a knockout in the process. But strategy turned to delusion last week when Canelo said Golovkin needs to "work his way up" and "earn his shot," a laughable notion if there ever was one. Short of putting The Mountain to sleep, there isn't much else GGG can do.
So what changed after Khan met his fate? "Like we say in Mexico, we don't fuck around," Canelo said through an interpreter during the post-fight interview, Golovkin standing in the ring. "I fear no man. I'll put on the gloves again right now." For the first time, Canelo, surrounded by a laughing Oscar de la Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions team, assumed the role of challenge-issuer.
But the truth is, they do fuck around. GBP's golden goose is just 25 years old with a built-in pay-per-view audience. They may talk a big game now, but there is no rush to risk the momentum of a rising star — even at Canelo's diva catchweight of 155 lbs.
So we're left with the potential for an abbreviated Mayweather-Pacquaio saga, as the two best, most exciting fighters in a division are kept apart by fear and negotiation tactics.
At 34, Golovkin's window is much smaller than Canelo's. Here's hoping he shatters it in the middle of the night and demands a startled Canelo signs a contract for a true middleweight bout. |ES|
Top Image: AP Photo/John Locher