After vacating the WBC Middleweight Title, Canelo Alvarez is no longer obligated to fight Gennady Golovkin, and it looks increasingly likely a fight between the two isn’t imminent. This has led many to mock Canelo, saying he is avoiding Golovkin. Despite public perception, this seems to be a shrewd business decision, more so than Alvarez avoiding Golovkin. Essentially, we’re looking at another Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao situation, but with potentially bigger stakes for the fighters involved.
Alvarez, who is currently the most profitable boxing star, fights at a catchweight of 155 lbs, (five pounds below the middleweight limit and one pound over the junior-middleweight limit) aptly dubbed “Canelo Weight.” After Al Haymon gutted Golden Boy Promotions, they’ve been in developmental limbo, hoping for another star to arrive. Alvarez is the big money maker (Francisco Vargas is the other big name, a 130 lbs world champ that most fans probably struggle to recognize) for Golden Boy currently, keeping the lights on and the doors open. If Alvarez were to lose to Golovkin, which many think is a real possibility, it would be a huge hit to Golden Boy. While Golovkin hasn’t been the best Pay-Per-View draw thus far, he is a proven ticket seller, and could walk away with a chunk of Alvarez’s fanbase if he were to win.
Karl Freitag at Fight News explains that Alvarez would have to give up at least 40% of the total purse in a match against Golovkin, and more than likely would have to settle for a 50/50 split, something Alvarez isn’t too keen on committing to, and something Golden Boy can’t really afford; especially with the still-pending lawsuit from All Star Boxing that has been ongoing since 2011. This is the biggest reason Alvarez vacated his title. If he isn’t forced into a fight with Golovkin, he’s free to pursue easier matchups that won’t taint his legacy or record and have more favorable purse allocations.
Throughout his career, Golovkin has yet to show he is willing to move to a weight class that doesn’t fit his personal style, nor compromise and give up the majority of a purse, which has left him with little to lose. His knockout percentage will continue to sell out fights and have poor TV viewership, and he’ll continue to take the bigger cut of purses as the dominant and more popular fighter.
For now, the naivete that fight talks between the camps are existent is endearing, but unrealistic. It appears we’ll be stuck in a holding pattern until one or both fighters are past their prime, with 2017 as the earliest possible chance for a fight at this point.