By Rich Cheney: There’s a little over 1 month to go before the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin fight on September 16, and the excitement that is being built up on the fight by the redheaded Mexican star’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions is not even close to the build up we saw from Canelo’s last fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6.
For some reason, Golden Boy has decided to take a back seat to the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight. I can’t say it’s the smartest thing for Golden Boy to be doing. It starts from the top though. Oscar De La Hoya should be the one is directing Golden Boy to market the Canelo-GGG fight properly, but that’s not happening.
Golden Boy should have made the Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. fight 5 years ago when Chavez Jr. was in the prime of his career in 2012. But instead of making the fight then, Golden Boy waited until Chavez Jr. was over-the-hill and no longer the fighter he once was in 2017. Chavez Jr. was always a flawed fighter, but by the time he fought Canelo, he was just a dreadful fighter that didn’t belong in the ring with him.
It’s odd that Golden Boy was willing to put so much of a big marketing push for a stinker of a fight like Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. and so little marketing for a much better fight between Canelo and Golovkin. I think someone is asleep at the wheel with Golden Boy in their marketing department.
To be honest, I think the hype for the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight is far, far less than the hype that surrounded the Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight. I don’t know how to explain why that is. Perhaps Golden Boy Promotions feels that the fight will sell itself without them needing to push it or maybe they’re waiting for the entire buzz to die down from the upcoming August 26 mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor in their fight on Showtime PPV. That fight is sucking all the oxygen out of all the other upcoming fights in the sport. We’re hearing nothing but Mayweather-McGregor news 24/7 and very little about the Canelo-Golovkin, Terence Crawford vs. Julius Indongo and Miguel Cotto vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai fights. Those are interesting matches that are coming up very soon, and yet there’s not much being said about them. It’s possible that the promoters of those fighters feel it’s a waste of time for them to try and market those fights over the huge buzz from the Mayweather-McGregor fight is making in the boxing and MMA world.
De La Hoya had this to say about his huge expectations for the Canelo vs. GGG fight on September 16:
“I mean obviously we have to wait for the actual fight to see what unfolds and takes place, but in terms of magnitude, in terms of PR, in terms of attention that it’s receiving, in terms of people that will be watching, yeah, this has to be the biggest.”
It’s going to take more than talk from Golden Boy head honcho De La Hoya to create huge interest in the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady fight. De La Hoya should be getting those two fighters out in public, talking in front of the boxing fans in different cities. There needs to be some public appearances somehow. Canelo should fly into Big Bear and pay a visit to Golovkin to try and create some sparks. The fight needs to be promoted better.
De La Hoya is dreaming about Canelo-Golovkin beating the interest and excitement from past fights. How can it? De La Hoya and Golden Boy are barely doing anything to market the Canelo-GGG fight. Saying that Canelo-GGG is the biggest fight in middleweight history isn’t fair to them, and it’s not fair to the great fighters in the past like Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, who were all involved in tremendous fights in the 160lb division. Those guys were involved in slugfests from start to finish.
It remains to be seen whether Canelo vs. Golovkin will be an exciting affair. It’s not a good sign that Canelo and his trainers are talking about how they can neutralize the power advantage of Golovkin using tricks. We’ve heard how Canelo plans on staying in close to Golovkin to keep him from getting leverage on his shots. Canelo has also said that he plans on using an in and out attacking style to keep GGG from being able to land his big shots. In other words, Canelo will come forward and land some fast punches and then reverse course to retreat to the outside to get out of range of the 35-year-old Triple G’s return fire. If that’s how the fight is going to be fought, then we’re looking at 12 rounds of boring non-action in a decision fight rather than one that will end in an exciting knockout. Canelo would be satisfied with winning that way, because it would still make him more popular in the boxing world due to GGG never having been beaten before. Only Danny Jacobs has come close to beating Golovkin. For Canelo to beat hi, it would be a tremendous accomplishment.
Canelo would then move on without giving Golovkin a rematch and fight WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders and then later David Lemieux. Canelo has already made it clear that he won’t be fighting for Golovkin’s WBC middleweight title on September 16. If he beats Golovkin, that belt will go vacant. That means that the dangerous Jermall Charlo will be someone that Canelo won’t need to worry about, considering that he can tell the boxing fans that he’s not interested in the WBC title. It would be a weak excuse by Canelo, to be sure, but that’s likely going to be the excuse that he gives for no fighting Charlo.
“And obviously we will have to wait until September 16th to see if it’s going to be the best, which I think it will be, in the history of the middleweight division,” said De La Hoya in continuing to talk in a lofty manner about the Canelo-Golovkin fight.
It’s surprising how little marketing Golden Boy has done about the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight. It’s as if they feel that the fight will sell itself without any intervention on their part. I think De La Hoya and Golden Boy are taking a passive approach, giving in to the bigger fight between Mayweather and Conor McGregor instead of trying to actively competing against it. If De La Hoya and Golden Boy believe that they can simply wait until that fight is over with before they start marketing their own fight between Canelo and Golovkin, I think they’re making a bad mistake.
The boxing world will still be talking about the Mayweather-McGregor fight in the aftermath for at least 2 weeks after the fight takes place on August 26. What that means is by the time Golden Boy starts to heavily promote the Canelo-Golovkin fight, it’ll be the weak of the fight. They’re not going to sell that fight if all they’re doing is promoting it for 1 week rather than for 2 months the way that normal huge fights are marketed. Golden Boy has taken the wrong approach to marketing the Canelo-Golovkin fight, and they’re going to be sorry for that when the PPV number on HBO fail to live up to the huge expectation’s that they had when the fight was first announced on May 6.
Of course, Golden Boy and De La Hoya had no way of knowing back then that Mayweather would undercut them by placing his fight against McGregor 3 weeks in front of their fight on August 26 on Showtime PPV. That was a big blow to the Canelo and Golovkin card. But that doesn’t mean that Golden Boy should have bent over backwards to clear the path for the Mayweather-McGregor fight to get all the attention from the boxing world without pushing their own fight between Canelo and Gennady. Golden Boy should have been ruthless at that point, coming up ways to get Canelo and Golovkin in the news on a daily basis. They obviously haven’t done that. It’s been a real weak marketing approach by Golden Boy. There are no ideas, no marketing, and no hype about the Canelo-Golovkin fight.