Gennady Golovkin puts likelihood of rematch vs. Canelo Alvarez at 10 percent

Combat columnist
Yahoo Sports
Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez fought to <a href="https://sports.yahoo.com/canelo-alvarez-gennady-golovkin-fight-controversial-split-draw-instant-classic-041536027.html" data-ylk="slk:a controversial split draw;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">a controversial split draw</a> in September 2017. (AP)
Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez fought to a controversial split draw in September 2017. (AP)

Ever since Canelo Alvarez failed two drug tests in February that prompted the cancellation of his May 5 rematch for the middleweight title with Gennady Golovkin, Golovkin hasn’t hid his displeasure with Alvarez.

He has ripped Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions on repeated occasions.

But the true extent of Golovkin’s anger with Alvarez may not have been known until now, with comments Golovkin made exclusively to Yahoo Sports about the odds that the rematch with Alvarez happens in September.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya has repeatedly told reporters he’ll work with Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler to make the rematch for Sept. 15, after Alvarez’s six-month suspension for the test failures ends in August.

Golovkin, though, said twice that he is not optimistic the rematch will occur. Surrounded by members of his team and his publicist, Golovkin twice put the odds at the rematch happening at 10 percent.

When Alvarez withdrew, Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 26 KOs) stepped in to face Golovkin, and that fight will occur Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, on HBO.

Clearly, Golovkin has to defeat Martirosyan in order to get the rematch of their Sept. 16, 2017, fight that was a highly controversial split draw. But while Golovkin instructed Loeffler to do everything he could to finalize the rematch, he’s now not so certain it will occur.

“I would say it’s about a 10 percent probability at this point that it happens,” Golovkin told Yahoo Sports. “I would say only about 10 percent that it happens.”

When asked why he’d put the odds so low, given that it would be by far his biggest payday and one of the best fights that could be made in boxing, he again was blunt.

“I think 10 percent is high; it’s bigger than it should be,” Golovkin said. “I made 99 percent of the concessions for the fight with Canelo on May 5. Ninety-nine percent of them were by me, and now he’s the one not here.”

Gennady Golovkin (R) won’t commit to a rematch with Canelo Alvarez (L) just yet. (Getty Images)
Gennady Golovkin (R) won’t commit to a rematch with Canelo Alvarez (L) just yet. (Getty Images)

The crux of the issue appears to be that Golovkin wants to be satisfied that Alvarez is clean and that the appearance of Clenbuterol in his system was the result of eating contaminated meat, which Alvarez has said, and not because of intentional usage.

Alvarez passed a number of follow-up tests required by the Nevada Athletic Commission, including a hair follicle test. De La Hoya told TMZ on April 25 in New York that Alvarez would be tested every day beginning that day and through the possible rematch, but he has not yet been tested.

TMZ asked De La Hoya if the fight would be tainted because of Alvarez’s positive tests.

“No, it shouldn’t be,” De La Hoya said. “Canelo is a clean fighter and he’ll get tested every single day from now until the fight.”

That has yet to occur and Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told Yahoo Sports on Thursday that Alvarez would continue to comply with any requests for testing. He said that Alvarez not only will demand testing for the fight, but that he pays for the testing out of his own pocket.

When asked about Golovkin’s words, putting the likelihood of the rematch at 10 percent, Gomez said he would negotiate the rematch with Loeffler in good faith but move on if a deal couldn’t be struck.

“The Golovkin fight is option No. 1 for Canelo, and we’re going to do everything we can to get that fight made,” Gomez said. “But if Golovkin doesn’t want the fight, we’ll move on and fight a different opponent. Canelo has done everything that has been asked of him and I think he’s proven to the commission and everyone else that he is a clean fighter and these tests were a mistake [and that he ate contaminated meat].

“Canelo has been tested more than anybody except for Floyd Mayweather, who is the one who started this voluntary drug testing. I’ll tell you the truth, I think Gennady is scared. He knows what he is facing. Canelo was tough and will be tougher. He remembers those last few rounds when Canelo was taking it to him and I think he’s afraid of getting in there with the younger, faster, stronger fighter. I believe that’s what this is.”

Loeffler, though, tried to walk back Golovkin’s words. He admitted that Golovkin “is upset, not just with Canelo but the entire situation,” but said Golovkin’s focus at this point is solely on the fight with Martirosyan.

He said Golovkin may not have expressed himself correctly, but Golovkin spoke in his native tongue and his words were translated by an interpreter hired by Loeffler.

“I’m not sure he expressed himself exactly the right way,” Loeffler said. “I don’t know that he truly feels the odds of the fight happening are just 10 percent. I have been telling everyone that from the time the Canelo fight was canceled and we did this deal with Vanes, all Gennady has thought about is beating Vanes. He knows it’s not an easy fight and he knows there is no Canelo fight without a win in this one.

“It’s true that Gennady made a lot of concessions and the negotiations did favor Canelo for the rematch, but Gennady wanted the fight and so he made the concessions to get it done. And I think he still wants it. My job is to get with Eric and figure out a way to get it done. It shouldn’t be as complicated as it was, so if Gennady is successful on Saturday, we should be able to do it.”

When Golovkin was asked about De La Hoya’s comments that Alvarez would be tested every day beginning April 25 until the fight, Golovkin seemed irritated.

Words, he said, were meaningless.

“Oscar can say that, but he can say anything, you know?” Golovkin said in English. “Don’t talk. Do it. That’s it. Do the tests.”

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