With less than a week remaining before a proposed Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin unification goes to purse bid, Canelo has announced his intention to vacate the title.
Canelo, who immediately entered into negotiations with Golovkin’s following his successful defense against Amir Khan on May 7, emphasized that his abdication of the crown is a strategic move to allow more negotiation time.
“After much consideration, today, I instructed my team at Golden Boy Promotions to continue negotiating a fight with Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and to finalize a deal as quickly as possible, said Canelo in a prepared statement. “I also informed the WBC that I will vacate its title.
For the entirety of my career, I have taken the fights that no one wanted because I fear no man. Never has that been more true than today. I will fight ‘GGG,’ and I will beat ‘GGG’ but I will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines.
I am hopeful that by putting aside this ticking clock, the two teams can now negotiate this fight, and ‘GGG’ and I can get in the ring as soon as possible and give the fans the fight they want to see.”
Golovkin and Canelo had previously agreed to interim title defenses with the expectation they’d enter into negotiations for a September 2016 unification. Golovkin, the WBA middleweight title-holder and mandatory challenger for Canelo’s WBC strap, scored a second round knockout of Dominic Wade in his April interim bout. Canelo’s KO of Amir Khan earlier this month cleared the other interim requirement.
“There is no denying that Canelo is the biggest star in the sport of boxing,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “He is eager to get in the ring with ‘GGG’ to show the world that he is also the best pound for pound fighter in the sport, but we won’t negotiate under a forced deadline.
Now that the WBC title is off the table, I am hopeful that ‘GGG’ and his promoter K2 Promotions will come to the table in good faith and get this deal done.”
Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions, still believes the fight can be made for September.
“I still think the Canelo fight will happen,”Loeffler told the L.A. Times’ Lance Pugmire. “We’ll continue to negotiate and hope to make the fight as soon as possible. Just because he doesn’t have the title doesn’t mean his value is diminished. He’s still the biggest draw in boxing. We’ll continue to try and make the fight in September.
Canelo is the first option and the biggest fight we can make.”
The WBC is expected to make an official announcement soon.