After weeks of social media banter and threats to end negotiations, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will now do their talking in the ring once again. The middleweight rivals have announced a deal to rematch on September 15 at the T-Mobile Arena.
Today was the supposed final deadline set by Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya for Golovkin to agree to a 57.5-42.5% split in Canelo’s favor. As late as 2:45 p.m. PT, reports were circulated on ESPN and other websites that Golovkin had rejected the deal and the fight was “dead.”
It was then that Golden Boy allegedly blinked.
Company president Eric Gomez came back with another offer — less than the 45% Golovkin had settled on but more than the previous 42%. It was enough to get the deal done.
“The deal was dead at noon,” Golovkin manager Tom Loeffler told the L.A. Times. “He came back with a solution that satisfied both sides. Purse percentage was a main factor… (GGG) stuck to his principles. It wasn’t about money. We had the deal lined up with Saunders to unify the titles in the fall. Luckily, Golden Boy and Canelo accepted that.”
The rematch, originally scheduled for May 5, was canceled after Canelo tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, earning a six-month suspension. Golovkin subsequently accused Canelo of cheating in their first bout, causing a rift between the camps as negotiations resumed for September 15. Golovkin still took an interim bout on May 5, earning a second-round KO of Vanes Martirosyan. The move prompted the IBF to strip him of their belt for failing to face mandatory opponent Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Canelo vs. Golovkin II will be for the latter’s WBA and WBC middleweight titles.
Over the last few weeks, we watched fans and some of the media slowly talk themselves out of this fight happening. They began to believe the faux pas deadlines De La Hoya was setting on Twitter and Golovkin’s alleged refusal to budge from a 50/50 split.
In short order, everyone became experts on how to negotiate multi-million dollar deals. Folks who wouldn’t even know how to negotiate their job salary were bellowing that GGG needed to accept a 60/40 split. Keep in mind, those same people could be found a few months earlier saying Canelo was a drug cheat and needed to be banned for life.
In other words, it was the usual circus that accompanies any superfight negotiation.
But when you sift through the smoke and mirrors, there was one reality that everyone should’ve never lost sight of — there was no other option this lucrative. Canelo could threaten to fight Jacobs. GGG could do the same with Saunders. But the name of the game in prize-fighting is to fight for the biggest prize. Neither man was about to squander a proven money-maker to possibly get upset by talented but lesser-known fighters.
GGG isn’t the “A-side” but knew his worth after the million-plus numbers they generated from last year. And Canelo was smart enough to relent a few more percentage points to get a shot at redemption and cementing his legacy.
Only one of their hands will be raised the night of September 15. But for today, they can both count themselves as winners on the financial end.