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BOXING

Canelo eyes GGG for next match

Poor Pay-Per-View numbers may have been the key leading the Mexican superstar to look to complete the trilogy with Gennady Golovkin for his next bout.

Jeffrey May
Update:
Poor Pay-Per-View numbers may have been the key leading the Mexican superstar to look to complete the trilogy with Gennady Golovkin for his next bout.
Orlando RamirezAFP

When Dmitry Bivol got the unanimous decision over Saúl Canelo Álvarez, the Mexican Super Middleweight star didn’t hesitate, he announced on the ring apron that he fully intended to activate the rematch clause in his contract. Turns out, though, that he wants to make a pitstop first.

Now it looks as if he is content to leave the rematch on the back burner, at least until after he fights Gennady Golovkin in September.

“We already had that contract, that agreement, so we have to continue what we started, and I think those are the two biggest fights in boxing, the fight with Golovkin and the rematch with Bivol.”

Speaking to the press at his golf invitational in Naucalpan, Mexico, Alvarez was much more circumspect about Bivol on Monday. “Unfortunately, we lost, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try again. The important thing here is perseverance and we’re going to do it again. What is certain is that we are going to return in September. And in the coming days ... we are going to announce the fight.”

Poor PPV numbers might be at the root of this change of heart. While over 500,000 were sold, DAZN were banking on closer to a million. Now that he has had the art bout, he needs the money bout before dipping back into the well.

Back in February, Álvarez signed with Matchroom Boxing and the deal included a September 17 bout with GGG. After his loss to Bivol, he had 30 days to trigger the rematch or move on to Golovkin. It looks now as if he will drop weight back down to 168 pounds and defend his undisputed super middleweight crown over Mexican Independence Day weekend.

With the location for the third fight not yet announced, but expected to be in Las Vegas, the gate receipts alone will reach the $20 million area.

The first meeting of these box office titans left the questions unanswered when it ended in a split draw. The second gave Canelo the nod in a narrow split decision.

“I am comfortable knowing I won those fights,” Golovkin told ESPN back in March. “I do not look back at the decisions. I thought I won the first two, so winning the third one would be the same to me.”

Fans have much more appetite for this fight than for the Bivol rematch. No matter the quality of fighter that Bivol is, he is a relative unknown in the US and can’t compete with the drawing power of Golovkin.

With the fight being held in Vegas and on Mexico’s Independence Day weekend, the crowd will be overwhelmingly in Canelo’s corner. But Golovkin has been there before and is not likely to be shaken.

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