Given the fact that Golovkin had been given special dispensation to fight Canelo the first time around, the major governing bodies who expected a mandatory defense to follow would have been obliged to allow the return contest to happen.
As Golovkin has threatened to pull the plug on talks to face Canelo in September, Pandora’s Box is well and truly about to open for the Kazakh puncher.
Here’s a look at the situations on the horizon with the WBC, WBA and IBF.
World Boxing Council
Mauricio Sulaiman has informed ESPN Deportes this week that Jermall Charlo will be ordered as mandatory unless Golovkin fights Canelo.
Sulaiman said: “Golovkin has all our support, but if the fight is not done he will have to go with Charlo because the entire history is clear as it is,” in his interview with the programme.
“We are recommending to him to do what is best for him because he wants to do the rematch and he wants to earn the money that he will generate there. He also wants that visibility that he has always wanted around the world.
“He has sacrificed so much for so many years to get to this point and now for something that is not so important (money) is putting him at risk. It would be strange to me if that fight is not done,” he added.
Charlo is currently without a fight following an April knockout win over Hugo Centeno and is known to be keen for the WBC to act on his mandatory chance.
World Boxing Association
Daniel Jacobs is mandatory for the WBA’s ‘super’ middleweight belt and recently won a ‘final’ eliminator against Maciej Sulecki. This means the WBA are likely to call for Golovkin to face Jacobs before any other fighter, whilst ‘regular’ belt holder Ryota Murata hasn’t even been given a mention yet.
International Boxing Federation
Sergey Derevyanchenko is next in line and the IBF have made it clear the Ukrainian has to be Golovkin’s forthcoming opponent. In order to face Canelo, or even Jacobs or Charlo, Golovkin would have to ask for an exception, which is unlikely to be granted for anything other than a rematch with the Mexican.
Should Golovkin pull out of the Canelo fight officially, the 36 year-old would be in danger of losing at LEAST TWO versions of his middleweight belts.
One potential way out would be to try and fully become undisputed against WBO ruler Billy Joe Saunders, but even then Golovkin would still need permission from all organizations to delay his number one challengers even further.
A consideration would be for Golovkin to end his dream of unifying all the belts as 160 pounds and try to secure one of the current title holders at 168.
James DeGale, David Benavidez and Gilberto Ramirez are all available in the second half of 2018 should Golovkin fancy his chances of becoming a two-weight world champion and taking over the second division of his career.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay