Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez Vs. Gennady Golovkin: Fight Is On — Sort Of — As Fighters Make ‘Verbal’ Agreement For Showdown

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin is the one megafight that boxing purists want to see. And now it will happen — or will it? The two stars have reportedly made a “verbal agreement” to meet in the ring at last. But it appears that the long wait for what could be a historically explosive fight is going to grow even longer.

Out of Guadalajara, Mexico, the 25-year-old Alvarez — with the retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the decline and at least semi-retirement of Manny Pacquiao — now reigns as boxing’s biggest box-office draw. Alvarez, like many Mexican fighters, turned pro at a young age and already has 49 fights, with only a single loss and one draw marring his record.

The single Alvarez loss came to Mayweather himself.

Gennady Golovkin, though he has yet to prove that he can pull big numbers in the pay-per-view market, stands as the most challenging opponent for Alvarez. The 34-year-old native of Kazakhstan, now fighting out of Los Angeles, California, has won all 35 of his pro fights, knocking out 32 of his opponents, including his last 22 in a row.

But the agreement that representatives for the fighters struck in principle on Monday stipulates that a fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will not take place until the fall of 2017 — at the earliest.

Watch fight trainer and ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas explain why he believes the fight will never happen at all, in the video below.

The agreement, such as it is, came at a meeting between Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Alvarez, and Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, who handles fights for Golovkin.

“I met with Eric on Monday, and we had a good, good conversation, and the plan was they want to shoot for fall of 2017,” Loeffler told boxing correspondent Dan Rafael of “It’s not going to happen in September of this year, so we’ll use the time to build the fight. We wanted the fight in May (of 2016).”

“It’s Gennady’s priority to make the Canelo fight as soon as possible, but Golden Boy felt next year would make the most sense on the promotional side and with the weight as well,” Loeffler continued.

The “weight” issue mentioned by Loeffler refers to reluctance by Alvarez to fight at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds.

Alvarez has a fight scheduled for September 17 of this year at MGM Grand Gardens in Las Vegas, Nevada. Golovkin had long been believed to be in line to occupy the opposite corner in the September Alvarez bout, but as of now, there is no opponent listed for that date.

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The revelation that the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fight had been delayed at least for another 15 months, if indeed it happens at all, led fight fans to conclude that Alvarez simply doesn’t want to take the risk of getting in the ring with the knockout specialist from Kazakhstan.

“Gennady Golovkin was recently handed the WBC middleweight world title after Canelo Alvarez opted to vacate the title rather than be forced into a mandatory fight against Golovkin at this time,” wrote Will Esco of the popular boxing site Bad Left Hook on Monday. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s all we really need to know about this prospective fight.”

While Alvarez vacated one of his title belts rather than face Gennady Golovkin, his prospective 2017 opponent has fought and won 16 straight matches with his own belt on the line.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez chose to surrender his title after his sixth-round knockout of British star Amir Khan in May, just two weeks after Gennady Golovkin dispatched challenger Dominic Wade with a second-round KO.

[Photos by Al Bello/Josh Hedges/Getty Images]

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