Golovkin-Canelo rematch in jeopardy over money disagreement

Updated May 25, 2018 - 10:08 pm

It was obvious that Gennady Golovkin was going to ask for a bigger split after the May 5 rematch with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was canceled.

The real mystery was how much the three-belt middleweight champion would ask for and how Alvarez and his handlers react? Well, the number and the reaction are in.

Golovkin is pursuing a 50-50 split for a potential Sept. 15 bout in Las Vegas against Alvarez, whose two positive drug tests forced cancellation of the spring fight at T-Mobile Arena.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya and president Eric Gomez told media outlets Friday that they’re moving on from negotiating with Golovkin and his promoter, Tom Loeffler.

“He wants a more fair split from Canelo than what he agreed to May 5,” Loeffler said. “I’d like to still find a way to work it out, but sounds like Golden Boy and Canelo are digging their heels in and saying Triple G doesn’t want to fight him.

“Triple G is not the one who failed the drug tests. He feels out of respect he deserves for it to be even.”

Golovkin, the WBA/IBF/WBC titlist, accepted a purse split of 40 percent last year for the controversial split draw with Alvarez at T-Mobile Arena. The fighter from Kazakhstan agreed to a similar contract for the lost May 5 bout.

Loeffler said Golovkin was adamant about the even split after they met with the IBF in New Jersey this week. Golovkin was forced into a messy IBF mandatory situation because of the canceled Alvarez match, and now Golovkin could be stripped of one of his belts if he doesn’t fight Sergiy Derevyanchenko next.

“Gennady is frustrated,” Loeffler said. “He agreed to all the terms for May 5, and he would have abided by those terms, but because Canelo wasn’t careful with what went into his body, he should get a higher more even split.

“I think it’s a shame. This is the biggest fight in the sport of boxing. I think it’s a shame if both sides can’t figure out a way to make this fight happen.”

Golovkin recorded an easy second-round knockout against Vanes Martirosyan on May 5 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, but with that came a lot of headaches from trying to salvage the boxing holiday on short notice. Alvarez withdrew from the Golovkin bout in April and received a six-month suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission after testing positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol.

Loeffler said Golden Boy Promotions is using the purse split as an excuse for not fighting Golovkin in September. Alvarez, 27, would be coming off a one-year layoff if he steps into the ring versus Golovkin, 36, for Mexican Independence weekend.

“The bottom line, Canelo doesn’t want to fight Triple G coming off a year layoff,” Loeffler said. “I think they’re looking for any excuse not to go through with the fight and go to an easy fight, like (Gary) ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, and that’s their choice. Can’t force him into this.”

O’Sullivan, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, declined to fight Golovkin in May, possibly because there was a chance of a bigger payday to fight Alvarez, arguably boxing’s biggest draw.

De La Hoya tweeted that O’Sullivan, Daniel Jacobs and WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders are in the running to fight Alvarez in September.

If Loeffler and Golden Boy don’t get back to the negotiation table, Golovkin might fight Derevyanchenko next after all.

“I really think Canelo needs the rematch with Triple G to save his image, and there was a lot of controversy with the failed drug tests and speculation Canelo took something in the first fight,” Loeffler said. “Now that Canelo enrolled in full-time VADA testing, he needs to prove he can fight the same way.”

The first Alvarez-Golovkin bout had 1.3 million pay-per-view buys, drew an announced crowd of 22,358 and a live gate of $27 million, the third highest in Nevada boxing history.

More boxing: Follow all of our boxing coverage online at reviewjournal.com/boxing and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

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