Golovkin and Canelo: Two Ducks from Different Ponds

By Paul Magno on September 6, 2017
Golovkin and Canelo: Two Ducks from Different Ponds
It’s silly to pretend that Golovkin and his people are beyond business-first matchmaking.

The winner of the September 16 middleweight clash will absolutely not be volunteering to jump at a challenge from Jermall Charlo…

Most boxing fans cannot wait for the September 16 middleweight showdown between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. Whenever two elite-level fighters with fan-pleasing styles meet up, a good time is usually had by all. And even if this blockbuster turns out to be more chess match than all-out war, the conclusion will at least be satisfying in the sense that a feud of over two years is coming to an end and the debate will be settled as to who is the rightful no. 1 middleweight in the world.

But the sad buzzkill is that Canelo-GGG is paving the way for a dead end in the middleweight division.

Yes, even as the division begins to receive a whole slew of fresh, young talent lifting itself from the mucked-up chaos of the go-nowhere 154 lb. class, it’s pretty safe to say that a division entirely ruled by Golovkin or Alvarez will frustrate the hell out of fans.

The reason for this is simple—Neither Triple G nor Canelo will be eager to face any of these junior middleweight imports anytime soon.

Some are saying that new WBC top contender, Jermall Charlo, is already the best middleweight in the world. And, while that may be going a bit too far in praising the talents of a great, young fighter without much of a track record at 160, the reality is that the winner of the September 16 middleweight clash will absolutely not be volunteering to jump at a challenge from Charlo.

The same can be said for future incoming 154-pounders like Demetrius Andrade, the mega-overlooked Erislandy Lara, and Charlo’s twin brother, Jermell.

Whether it’s the grinning Kazakh KO artist or the stoic Mexican hipster, the soon-to-be undisputed middleweight champ will NOT be too eager to take on any of the above names. And the reason for this is the same reason Golovkin was never met with open arms as a challenger and why Alvarez has been portrayed as the beneficiary of cynical matchmaking—Because boxing is a business.

It’s hard to admit this if years have been invested in pretending that this sport is only about noble warriors doing noble things with only nobility in mind. But all fighters play the risk-reward game to some extent and there’s not a single prizefighter alive today eager to face stiff competition for relative pocket change.

“[He earned the shot] by fighting who? What does that mean that he’s a mandatory? That he deserves a shot? He’s got to earn his shot,” Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez told Boxingscene when asked about Jermall Charlo’s newly-acquired no. 1 contender status. “These guys all of a sudden think that they deserve a shot at the winner of Golovkin and Canelo— they’re crazy. They’ve got to earn it.”

And by “earn it,” Sanchez doesn’t mean beating a long line of fellow contenders en route to undisputed, “deserving” no. 1 status. He means that Charlo has to prove that he can deliver Golovkin a good enough payday as a challenger to justify the risk of facing him. There’s also an underlying “We can fight who we want” tone to Sanchez’s words.

Of course, all of this is oh-so-ironic when one takes into account three years of Team Golovkin bellyaching about the bigger stars in the division not wanting to face their guy for these very same reasons.

Team Golovkin’s papering of the media in search of a monster payday was more than a little nauseating and tiresome to those with a low tolerance for propaganda. For three years, fans heard nothing other than tales of a raging KO machine scaring sissy millionaire middleweights into retirement and into safe spaces underneath their beds.

But now that Golovkin is the big name in the division? Well, with something to lose, it’s amazing how fighters and their people suddenly start talking about making up and comers “earn” their way to the very top. Throughout Gennady’s path to media darling status, Team Golovkin has alternated between mocking derision and stone cold silence when it comes to risky challenges issued by opponents who can’t generate Canelo or Cotto-level paydays. This will definitely NOT change if/when Golovkin becomes THE draw at 160.

Meanwhile, Canelo Alvarez already knows a thing or two, himself, about being a protected money-earner.

The 27-year-old star has been a goose laying golden eggs since he was a 17-year-old boy and has benefitted from countless chop-blocks by those eager to get a piece of the Canelo pie. The WBC all but gift-wrapped their junior middleweight title for him back in 2011 by allowing him to face welterweight fringe contender Matthew Hatton for the vacant 154 lb. belt.

Alvarez, though, gets blasted frequently for the business behind some of his boxing. Even when eschewing that business model in bouts with the likes of Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara, he still takes flak—and that’s okay because, he HAS benefited from some cynical maneuverings and, really, except for Lara, Alvarez has already passed on facing all of these young, upcoming studs like Andrade and the Charlos.

At this point, it’s silly to pretend that Golovkin and his people are beyond business-first matchmaking. Hell, they are flat-out embracing it now. And that’s fair enough because, in the business of boxing, stars DO get the right to pick and choose their challenges to an extent, at least until there are challenges able to force themselves into the stars’ lives.

Golovkin and Alvarez are both great fighters and the winner of their upcoming bout will deserve everything good that comes their way. But, in all fairness, both are products of boxing-as-business. They may come from different ponds, but neither can deny being a duck.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Under the Lights: Canelo vs. Golovkin

Countdown to Canelo vs Golovkin - English

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Koolz 02:15pm, 09/09/2017


    crap I gave the wrong link!
    to er’ is human to forgive is divine.

  2. Koolz 02:00pm, 09/09/2017


    boxing has started up!!!
    Huck vs Usyk!

  3. Koolz 07:49am, 09/07/2017

    GGG is a Wolf and Canelo is a chicken^_-  Chicken Duck.
    Finally the Wolf hungry has caught up to the Chicken.

    Golovkin’s favorite food is Meat.  hmm yummy tasty chicken duck…

  4. Fred 11:53pm, 09/06/2017

    GGG a duck? Please. Anyway, Charlo doesn’t even look that impressive to be honest, at least compared to these monsters. I bet Jacobs would beat this guy. Besides, Sanchez is correct on this, whether or not the words you’re putting on his mouth is true, the kid and everyone else for that matter has to earn their way to the top. Perhaps he will get his shot, perhaps not. But so far, I can’t see anything that would merit him to be called the best in the division. I wonder who those “some” that you are referring to.

  5. Fan 06:10pm, 09/06/2017

    Expect a high punching night with two no backpedal fighter.
    GGG by SD12 or a draw to make sure that rematch happen.

  6. Alfonso Bedoya 03:42pm, 09/06/2017

    Headline not edgy enough! Ducks?! Brings Donald and Daffy to mind instead of these two pit bulls.

  7. Joseph Vona 12:54pm, 09/06/2017

    Cancer of the chin? Undoubtedly.

  8. Koolz 12:13pm, 09/06/2017

    There is no Middle Weight alive today that beats GGG
    no one!
    and Canelo ....he will probably retire after the beat down in this fight.

  9. Kid Blast 12:00pm, 09/06/2017

    “both are products of boxing-as-business. ” So what? Boxing has always been about business and who makes the most. Some call it a sport; others call it entertainment. I call it a deadly and dirty business for which I have an unnatural attraction.

  10. Alfonso Bedoya 08:52am, 09/06/2017

    Styles make fights or so they say and guess what…. so does physical stature….truth be told, because of his power and skill set but even more importantly his size, Danny would be a bigger mountain for Canelo to climb than GGG!

  11. Alfonso Bedoya 08:36am, 09/06/2017

    Cruiserweight Jacobs beats both Charlos, Lara and Andrade….probably KOs three out of the four, so in a real sense GGG has been there done that! BTW Danny is not chinny so you can stow that too….he was KOd by Pirog when he had cancer!

Leave a comment