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Canelo-GGG: When an entertaining draw is the best possible outcome

Photo by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos
17
Sep

LAS VEGAS – Part I of the trilogy went more or less as expected.

Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin didn’t give us the modern classic everyone had hoped for. Neither fighter went down or was seriously hurt, which generally are required to lift a scrap to legendary status.

It was a brilliant brawl, though. Not even Adalaide Byrd’s ridiculous 118-110 score could taint that.

Two big, strong middleweights whaling on each other, feeding the energy of a crowd bursting with enthusiasm. Golovkin pushing the action, jabbing, landing hard, head-snapping power punches. Canelo pounding GGG to the body, landing his own shots to the head that lifted spectators out of their seats.

And when it was over, absolutely nothing was settled. They fought to a draw.

That didn’t sit well with the fighters, both of whom thought they had won. And it didn’t sit well with the majority who weighed in afterward on social media, those who believe that GGG deserved the decision. They are certain that he was screwed, the victim of judges who cynics predicted would be biased toward Canelo.

In one important sense, no one was screwed in the slightest.

Those involved in the fight – Canelo, Golovkin, their promoters, their handlers, the TV people, all of them – said with gleams in their eyes before the fact that the long-awaited matchup could evolve into a classic series, meaning a lucrative one.

What better way to kick that off than an entertaining draw?

Golovkin said afterward, “Of course I want a rematch.” Surprise, surprise.

The 35-year-old Kazakhstani waited his entire 11-year career for a superfight, wondering along the way whether it would ever happen. Finally it did. GGG not only got the opportunity to demonstrate his greatness, he enjoyed a career-high payday. He was guaranteed $3 million and stood to make a percentage of profits.

Canelo was guaranteed $5 million and also will add to that total when all the numbers are added up.

The rematch would give each fighter another chance to prove that he’s the better man. It would give the fans another scintillating dose of Canelo-GGG. And, from a business standpoint, it probably would generate more money than the original given the quality of the first fight, meaning all involved could expect another seven-, maybe eight-figure windfall.

That will be too attractive for them to resist.

Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo’s promoter, reiterated that a rematch clause in the fight contract gives Canelo a right to demand a second meeting. And the promoter seemed to say it would be exercised. Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy, was less committal. He said what promoters usually say: All parties would sit down and discuss it.

Canelo could face Miguel Cotto a second time in a big-money, low-risk fight in May and then fight Golovkin in September. Or, if he wants to seize upon the momentum established Saturday, he could jump right into a rematch with Golovkin.

Either way, the fight will almost certainly happen. There is too much to gain to pass it up.