Unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will not face titleholder Billy Joe Saunders in June, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports, instead turning his attention towards an anticipated showdown with former middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in September.
Golovkin, 35, is coming off a tough decision win over Daniel Jacobs last month. The wear and tear from that fight, coupled with the quick turnaround needed for a showdown with Saunders, has shifted the focus of Golovkin’s team away from Saunders and towards Alvarez, a fight that is considered one of the biggest fights in boxing.
Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, declined comment.
When reached by phone, Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, described Golovkin as healthy, but more sore than expected.
“He was sore,” Sanchez told Yahoo Sports. “He had a 12-round fight. I didn’t see it the first day in the dressing room. Usually the second or third day you start to feel it and I didn’t check in with him right after. After a long training camp, I’m the last person he would want to see. He is not a complainer. It’s just natural soreness. It was a difficult fight.”
Negotiations between Loeffler and Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Alvarez, are ongoing. Alvarez will face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a super middleweight showdown next month. Alvarez, who has expressed reluctance about facing Golovkin at 160 pounds, will face Chavez at a catchweight of 164 ½ pounds.