The sport of boxing is close to death and the near fatal blow was delivered by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. It is now almost completely a business. He has passed on this business to the new face of boxing, Canelo Alvarez.
This Wednesday, Canelo vacated the WBC middleweight championship. According to Canelo and his team, he vacated the title to not have to worry about the WBC’s deadline to make his mandatory defense against the feared knockout artist, Gennady Golovkin. Canelo has stated that he has instructed his team to continue negotiations towards making the fight happen. However, many believe it’s just a way to avoid and drag out the fight, in attempts to build up anticipation for a mega event, taking a page straight from Mayweather when he negotiated his fight with Manny Pacquiao.
The problem, however, is that neither Canelo nor Golovkin has the star power to draw a crowd that could possibly even shine a candle to a fight like Mayweather-Pacquiao, and delaying this fight really does more harm than good. All it takes is for one of them to lose or get injured and the fight would instantly lose value.
In my opinion, I don’t believe Canelo is trying to string a long the fight. I believe he doesn’t want the fight at all. He has already made excuses like saying “I’m not a middleweight”, yet he ends up weighing more on fight night then Golovkin and takes on welterweight opposition. It would appear that Canelo’s handlers don’t have faith that he can win this fight. I expect to hear more excuses, particularly the classic “get out of jail free card,” which is, pricing himself out of the fight by asking for such an unfair split that Golovkin has no choice but to decline.
This is what Mayweather has transformed boxing into. Being a champion no longer matters. No one wants to fight for a legacy, only currency. Everything is up for negotiations,from the size of the cup worn, all the way down to the referee. In Canelo’s case, he has created his own weight division of 155lbs. Regardless, the future of our sport is on unsteady ground and to quote our Ron Buckner, “Boxing is such a shit show, I wish I didn’t love it so much.”
Here is the official statement made by Canelo on Wednesday:
“After much consideration, today, I instructed my team at Golden Boy Promotions to continue negotiating a fight with Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and to finalize a deal as quickly as possible. I also informed the WBC that I will vacate its title. For the entirety of my career, I have taken the fights that no one wanted because I fear no man. Never has that been more true than today. I will fight ‘GGG,’ and I will beat ‘GGG’ but I will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines. I am hopeful that by putting aside this ticking clock, the two teams can now negotiate this fight, and ‘GGG’ and I can get in the ring as soon as possible and give the fans the fight they want to see.”
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