Canelo Alvarez, the WBO light middleweight champion, suffered a broken thumb in the second round of his thorough dismantling of Liam Smith last Saturday night. Not that you would have known it based on the rest of the fight, which saw Alvarez knock Smith down three times and knock him out in the ninth round.
The upshot of this injury is that the long-awaited super fight between Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, who may be the scariest puncher in boxing, will be delayed once again.
The official word, at the moment, is that the fight will be held in September of 2017, but given all the delays on our way there it’s worth asking if this fight between the two best boxers in the world will ever happen.
If it does, it will take a resolution to the question of weight. Alvarez is said to prefer fighting at 155 pounds, while Golovkin wants to fight at 160, the maximum weight for middleweight bouts. Neither fighter has appeared ready to budge on the issue, at least until Saturday.
After knocking out Smith, Alvarez said he has agreed to come up to 160 and that his team had submitted an offer to GGG. “We made the offer and now it’s on him, the ball is in his court. The weight is no issue anymore,” Alvarez said. “[The weight is] not an issue anymore. I fear no man. We made the offer now it’s on him, let’s wait for the response.”
But now the problem may be money. Alvarez’s team says the offer they submitted to GGG was for twice as much as he’s ever made on a fight. The problem, as Boxing News 24 points out, is that the offer still might be tiny compared to Alvarez’s payday.
Oscar de la Hoya, CEO of Alvarez’s promoter Golden Boy Promotions, says the offer was wasn't tiny at all. “I’m offering you a substantial amount. Eight figures,” De La Hoya said. “Take the offer, sign the contract and let’s make the fight.”
Eight figures means at least $10 million plus pay-per-view upside. But it’s unclear if De La Hoya was telling the truth. Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler has said that he’s turned down no offer “of substance.”
All this stalling by the Alvarez camp may actually be a part of its strategy. GGG is 34 and Alvarez is 26. The longer this fight is pushed off, the older both of them get, pushing GGG into old age and Alvarez further into his prime. Which is why this fight happening next September might actually happen. Or, you know, maybe the September after that.