Lure of Canelo delaying Golovkin’s move to 168

Gennady Golovkin Pound for Pound

Lawrence Lustig

Middleweight force Gennady Golovkin may have lost a smidgen of street cred of late despite a pounding win over welterweight champion Kell Brook in London.

Defeating Brook has done nothing to enhance the Kazakh’s reputation as the result was as expected, but there are plenty in the boxing world, including Floyd Mayweather and Anthony Joshua, calling for Golovkin to seek out bigger challenges.

A move to 168 pounds is the logical next step for Golovkin, who only has Billy Joe Saunders to aim for in his bid to clean up at the 160 limit, and comes with a price as a lucrative fight with Canelo Alvarez would potentially be lost forever.

Canelo, who battered super-welterweight title holder Liam Smith over nine rounds in Texas over the weekend, can barely still hit 154 pounds, although is reluctant to jump the six pounds necessary to give the fans the fight they want.

Promoter Oscar De La Hoya has put the brakes on Canelo battling Golovkin until at least the fall of 2017, which leaves ‘GGG’ treading water in his bid to nail down a massive fight that could potentially increase his pound for pound status.

It would be intriguing to see if the likes of James DeGale, Badou Jack and the rest of the belt holders at super-middleweight could be dealt with in quite the same manner as Golovkin has done in the division below, but that in turn means the Canelo fight would be completely off the table.

Moving up to 160 is proving difficult enough for Canelo to handle, and asking Golovkin to compete at 168 before coming down eight pounds again could also be a tough ask for the likeable K2 star at the age of 34.

All these points mean Golovkin and Canelo are at something of a standstill as one side wants more time to fill out than the other really has right now.

Golovkin’s career will suffer if he can’t nail down the Billy Joe Saunders as fights with Chris Eubank Jr. or Danny Jacobs just don’t possess the same pizazz as the chance to completely unify the division.

Other than Saunders, Golovkin really has to contemplate moving up in weight to begin the ultimate ascent to a massive career-defining P4P clash with the winner of Sergey Kovalev v Andre Ward in 2018.

Winning titles at 160, 168 and finishing with a whirlwind victory 175 would place Golovkin amongst the all-time greats of the sport and give him the recognition he deserves for the obvious talent at his disposal.