What’s next for GGG? Is it Canelo or bust?

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Gennadiy Golovkin wants Canelo, but will he get him in September?

Gennadiy Golovkin made his return to the ring last night on DAZN, trucking Steve Rolls in the fourth round of what wound up a predictable affair, a tune-up meant to get GGG busy and prepared for a bigger fight this fall.

So what is next for the Kazakh star?

Oscar De La Hoya wants to play on Twitter, this is not 2017 or 2018 anymore, either. What I mean by that is, despite De La Hoya’s #Caneloisyourboss hashtag, the reality for both camps is that DAZN is the boss now. It’s DAZN paying Canelo a huge guarantee for every fight. It’s DAZN paying GGG big money, too. And by all accounts, DAZN want this fight in September, and they should. The company is still trying to gain traction in the US market, and the biggest in-house they fight can make right now is Canelo vs GGG III. Combine that in September with the Ruiz-Joshua rematch in November/December, and you’ve got a nice final third of the year for the company to try to sell some subscriptions.

But like I said before, this all could just be De La Hoya being internet savvy and injecting some juice into a night that honestly wasn’t a hugely spectacular event, one that really didn’t capture a ton of public interest. Either way, by throwing out an obviously controversial tweet, Oscar kicked up more discussion than GGG clubbing Rolls down ever could have alone.

Some would even argue — a few of you did in the post-fight comments last night — that right now is the perfect time for Canelo to face Golovkin again. GGG is 37 years old, slowing down as everyone does, and took some clean shots against Rolls. Golovkin is not going to be better than he was in 2017 or 2018. He just had a fairly long break from the ring, he’s working with a new trainer. He might be ripe for the 28-year-old Alvarez to finally, decisively beat this time around.

There would be plenty to bicker about. Not the pay or anything, that’s what it’s going to be, they both have guaranteed contracts, but location would be a big thing. Golovkin and Co. surely won’t want the fight in Las Vegas again. New York could fit. Los Angeles or Texas could fit.

But let’s say that if nothing else, the Canelo and GGG camps come to some kind of an agreement to wait until Cinco De Mayo weekend in 2020. What else would be out there for Golovkin?

Other Options

What’s left for GGG would be down to what Canelo might do instead.

If Canelo goes for a move to 168 and a risky fight with super middleweight behemoth Callum Smith — where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire in boxing, and that matchup has smoke — then GGG could potentially fight the winner of the June 29 bout between Demetrius Andrade and Maciej Sulecki for Andrade’s WBO middleweight title.

1096325104.jpg - What’s next for GGG? Is it Canelo or bust?Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

If Golovkin were to win the WBO middleweight title, a third fight with Alvarez would have even more going for it, a full unification of the division. Even if Canelo were to lose to Smith at 168, he’d still have his 160 belts. The Canelo-GGG fight would take something of a hit, but not so much that the public would totally lose interest.

But what if Canelo fights the Andrade-Sulecki winner for full unification in September?

That’s tougher to figure for Golovkin. He’s already beaten Daniel Jacobs, and Jacobs is likely going up to 168 himself. Jermall Charlo is out there, but Charlo is with PBC and a deal won’t easily be made. It’s not impossible or anything. Also, Charlo has the interim WBC title, and he could prefer to sit on that and wait for an eventual sanctioning body order to face Alvarez.

Without Canelo or Andrade/Sulecki or Charlo or Jacobs in the mix, 160 isn’t that interesting for GGG, and there’s a good chance you’d see him take some other tune-up type bout in the interim, closer to Rolls than anyone would prefer. Even looking at potentially bringing someone up from 154 doesn’t lead to much — most of the top fighters are with PBC, and it’s not like Golden Boy will want to feed Jaime Munguia to Golovkin. If anything, they’ll want to feed Munguia to Canelo at some point.

I won’t be shocked if we don’t get it or if it gets delayed until next May, but I still think the third Canelo-GGG fight in September is where things are headed. It’s the fight that makes the most sense for the people paying the money. As of this moment, it’s the most logical thing. I know Canelo wants to unify at 160, but that just might have to wait until 2020.

If it doesn’t, then it’s really anyone’s guess as to Golovkin’s next fight, at least if Canelo faces the Andrade-Sulecki winner in September instead.

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