After months of questions surrounding two of the top fighters in the middleweight division, we may be one step closer to the ultimate trilogy fight.
It was recently announced that Gennady Golovkin will finally face off against Kamil Szeremeta on December 18. On the line will be the IBF and IBO middleweight titles. The next night, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will face off against WBA super-middleweight champion Callum Smith. Both fighters are fighting on a DAZN card with eyes on facing one another.
If both win their fights, they may be on a direct path towards one another.
Canelo (53-1-2) and Golovkin (40-1-1) are very familiar with one another, facing off in 2017. At the time, Golovkin was the WBA, WBC, IBF, and IBO middleweight champion. They fought to a controversial split decision draw. It would take a year for the two to fight one another again. After the drama surrounding tainted meat was resolved, Canelo beat Golovkin via majority decision in the 2018 rematch, winning the WBA, WBC, and The Ring middleweight titles.
Since then, Canelo has gone on a run like no other. He has won the WBA super-middleweight title (vs. Rocky Fielding), the IBF middleweight title (vs. Daniel Jacobs), and the WBO light-heavyweight title (vs. Sergey Kovalev). Golovkin managed to beat Steve Rolles before surviving a game Sergiy Derevyanchenko to win the IBF and IBO middleweight titles.
If both Canello and Golovkin were to win, a trilogy bout seems like a no-brainer. The two fights combined for 2.4 million buys and over $230 million in revenue. The road to get to this point, however, has been a bumpy one.
Golovkin was supposed to face Szeremeta earlier this year before being moved to April. A calf injury forced Golovkin to back out, with the fight then rescheduled for the late summer. The Coronavirus affected plans of any bout taking place until recent restrictions in the United States were lifted. This will be Golovkin’s third fight of a six-fight deal with DAZN, with one of the fights meant to be against Canelo. Golovkin would end up telling Sports Illustrated that he is committed to the Szeremeta fight before any Canelo bout can take place.
2020 has been an interesting one for Canelo. He was supposed to face Billy Joe Saunders by May before the Coronavirus affected those plans. Following a suspension by the British Boxing Board of Control, Saunders stepped down from the Canelo sweepstakes. Canelo then had to deal with politics surrounding his deal with DAZN. Signing a 10-fight $365 million contract in 2018, Canelo wanted to control his own destiny and left Golden Boy. Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing was able to salvage a Canelo fight on DAZN with a Smith fight.
Following that fight, it is unsure what Canelo’s next move will be. If Hearn could make lightning strike twice, or if other forces say the right words, a 2021 trilogy fight could be right there for the taking. Monetary factors, a pandemic, and boxing politics could end up getting in the way, as they do, but anything is possible.