Canelo/Golovkin: The Audacity of a Clean Fighter

Now that the rematch is done we look at the timeline and Golovkin’s stance on principle

Sometimes fighter’s do something that could only be perceived as irrational. They can take a situation that they put themselves in and blame it on someone else. All the posturing aside it appears Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is doing just that. He’s angry at Gennady Golovkin for simply speaking his mind. There’s genuine bad blood between both fighters, but who has a right to be angry?

Alvarez and Golovkin will meet in the ring on September 15th in a much anticipated rematch that the world wants to see. However, the bout almost didn’t happen as Golovkin stuck to his principles, demanding a more equitable percentage split of the purse. The move caused Golden Boy to walk away from the negotiations. It was a daring and bold move by Golovkin to say the least but hey, it worked.

It was a move you don’t see many fighters even attempt to do but make no mistake about it was morally the right thing to do. If it didn’t work Golovkin would of lost a career payday.

What would cause a fighter to take these unusual stance on principle. Golovkin’s willingness to walk away from that much money is simply something we don’t see.

Let’s look at it from his perspective. Imagine putting yourself through an excruciating camp, training hard busting your ass day in and day out. While doing this you lose time with your friends and family, the life of a fighter is not as easy as it looks. You’re doing everything the right way, it’s getting close to fight day and the hammer drops. Your opponent has tested positive for a banned substance.

Now, imagine being the clean fighter and the frustration that would most definitely enter into your mind. Whether the positive test is the result of an accident or not, it’s frustrating to say the least.

Golovkin, the usually mild mannered fighter, became the vocal and seemingly angry fighter. He never bought into contaminated meat excuse offered by team Alvarez. All he knew was that he was clean and “Canelo” wasn’t. Alvarez withdrew from the bout and eventually get a six months suspension.

Now, with everything in life there’s the cause and then there’s the effect. Golovkin would lose a substantial payday, suffer ridicule for choice of an opponent that he really couldn’t control and when it comes right down to it, none of this was his fault at all.

While all this was going on the IBF ordered for Golovkin to face his mandatory Sergiy Derevyanchenko. They wanted that fight held by August 3rd or at the very least have a signed agreement in place. Of course, Golovkin and his team appealed the decision, all the while negotiating with Alvarez and his team to fight in September once Alvarez’s suspension was over. They would eventually lose the appeal and Golovkin would be stripped of his IBF title.

Meanwhile the promoters from both sides Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter, and Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez’s promoter, continued to negotiate and thought a couple of times they had reached an agreement. Loeffler would go back and tell his fighter of the terms and Golovkin would turn it down. After agreeing to a 70/30 deal in Canelo’s favor for the first fight and 65/35 for the May 5th rematch, Golovkin felt after everything that happened he deserved a more equitable split.

Golovkin’s stance angered Alvarez’ promoter De La Hoya, as he vowed to never give Golovkin a 50/50 split. On more than one occasion De La Hoya would go on to make the media rounds, stating the fight was off and it just wasn’t going to happen. Golovkin for his part softened his stance and said he was willing to take 45 percent of the split.

De La Hoya would bend a little and offer 40 percent only for Golovkin to once again turn it down. At this point Golden Boy and De La Hoya announced once again that the fight is off. They begin to negotiate with Daniel Jacobs, making an offer that the Brooklyn native immediately dismissed.

At this point, Golden Boy executive Eric Gomez along with De La Hoya came back to Golovkin’s team and offered 42.5 percent. The offer came with a deadline which was irrelevant because once again Golovkin said no.

Most observers felt the 42.5% was as good a deal as Golovkin could ask for and when he said no it sent De La Hoya into another temper tantrum as he immediately contacted the media to tell them that the fight is off, and that they would look elsewhere for an opponent.

However, literally within a matter of minutes Golden Boy released a statement stating that they had one more “Hail Mary” they were trying. Approximately 45 minutes after telling the world there would be no rematch in September, De La Hoya took to social media to announce the fight was indeed agreed upon.

While the terms of the bout have not been disclosed it’s obvious that Golovkin to a huge risk and it paid off. He literally was playing a game of chicken with De La Hoya and Gomez. He stuck to his guns and was more than willing to leave money on the table.

There was even a deal in place for him to face WBO middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders. It’s crazy to think a fighter would leave so much money on the table, but Golovkin felt he was morally right. He didn’t care about the money. To him it was about being compensated for his trouble and aggravation. After all he had done nothing wrong throughout the entire ordeal. He was the clean fighter, why should he give Canelo a break?

In his mind if Alvarez doesn’t test positive, his bank account would be bigger and he would more than likely still have his IBF title. He chose the moral high ground over dollars.

Now, we have a fight but the fighters won’t see each other or be face to face till fight week. They will be no Face Off episode on HBO with Max Kellerman or no press tour. Why? Simple, Alvarez is upset with Golovkin for the things he said following the failed tests.

The Mexican superstar seems to have a lot of anger towards his opponent and according to his promoter does not like Golovkin at all. No matter how you look at it, it was Alvarez own mishaps that lead to everything that’s transpired. For his part, Golovkin feels like all he did was tell the truth. He believes that Canelo knows that and just can’t look him in the eyes. Alvarez is angry at Golovkin because he had the audacity to be a clean fighter. He played by the rules and is the only one that should be upset.

The bad blood is there, the anger is there and soon the fight will be here. Who will win? Who can channel that anger into positive results? Can’t wait till September 15th so we will know…

By: Wilson Urena