Is an undisputed middleweight champion right around the corner?
Could we see Gennady Golovkin vs Billy Joe Saunders next? There’s seems to be a lot of rumors circulating that the two men may meet, to have a match for all the middleweight belts.
After pulling out of the bout with Martin Murray for a second time, WBO middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders is a man without an opponent. The bout’s first date would of been in April but due to a hand injury Saunders the fight was rescheduled. Now, Saunders has pulled out of the bout with just a couple of weeks to go. He is claiming that he suffered a hamstring injury.
While there’s no official announcement it’s hard seeing them rescheduling the contest for a third time. So, where does that leave us? As we all know Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez have reached an impasse in their negotiations. Golovkin feels like he should get a bigger purse than what was originally agreed to by both sides.
Meanwhile, the IBF has mandated that Golovkin take on his mandatory Sergiy Derevyanchenko. The bout must take place or have a deal in place by August 3rd. Golovkin has appealed the IBF’s decision, so unless the IBF rules in his favor, Golovkin must be willing to drop his title to face Alvarez. Is Golovkin willing to do that? Well I guess if he gets a 50/50 split, the money would be to great to turn down. I just don’t see the 50/50 split happening and Golden Boy is not budging on the matter either.
There is one way Golovkin can bypass the IBF’s decision, that’s to take on the Billy Joe Saunders. Since Saunders holds the WBO title, then by rule Golovkin would be allow to face him without any repercussions from the IBF. Simply, the fact is a unification bout trumps the mandatory bout, it’s in the rule books of any of the sanctioning bodies as long as the champion asks for it.
Last week however, Tom Loeffler told 3KingsBoxing.com that if they can not reach a deal to face Alvarez, they would then persue to furfill their duties and take on Derevyanchenko. But, last week when the statement was made Saunders still had a bout in place. Does Golovkin and his team look at the situation now completely different?
Both sides should explore this option and do their due diligence in the matter as Saunders obviously brings a bigger purse than Derevyanchenko. It would be a career defining bout for both men, an opportunity to fight with all the major belts on the line. Saunders himself has other options as he can replace Golovkin in September and take on Canelo.
Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo’s promoter, has mentioned Saunders as possible opponent several times. The WBO titlist however, said on social media that he feels like it’s all talk and the bout is not going to happen. I personally feel if Alvarez doesn’t fight Golovkin, he will fight Gary O’Sullivan.
The bout that should be made is for Golovkin to face Saunders, the fight would give both men a good payday, but most importantly the glory to say I’m the only champion in the middleweight division. An undisputed champ would be crowned, hopefully both teams can see it this way and get a deal done. Will it happen? Who knows, for now it’s all just rumors, but hey you know what they say, where there’s smoke there’s fire!
By: Wilson Urena