Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan will meet on May 7, and the winner of their bout could find themselves in the biggest fight of 2016. The boxer that leaves Las Vegas as the WBC middleweight champ will be contracted to face Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in a title unification bout.
Golovkin has been looking to get a shot at the WBC middleweight champion since last year, but Miguel Cotto decided to defend the belt against Alvarez instead. The two champs agreed to face separate competition in the first half of the year, but they are headed for a fight if both men are victorious in their upcoming bouts.
“It’s not a verbal. Everything is in writing, signed by our side, by the Golden Boy side and the WBC,” Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler said to fighthype.com. “We have a good relationship with Golden Boy and a lot of respect for Canelo. It was part of allowing the voluntary defense they requested.”
In order to build a potential unification fight, Golovkin will allow Alvarez to defend his title against Khan. Khan last fought on May 29, defeating Chris Algieri for his fifth consecutive victory. But Khan will face Alvarez at a catchweight of 155 pounds, making the move up from the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.
Khan has been looking for a big fight for over two years, unsuccessful in his attempts to face either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. Even though Golovkin will demand that he defend his title at the 160-pound middleweight limit, it’s hard to imagine Khan passing up the opportunity if he can upset Alvarez.
Alvarez, whose only career loss came against Floyd Mayweather, is a heavy favorite against Khan. The 25-year-old is not known for shying away from competition, and he’s expected to face Golovkin in September. However, there is no guarantee that the fight will be made.
Golovkin has been insistent that he will face Alvarez at 160 pounds, while Alvarez hasn’t been willing to commit to such a stipulation. Even though he won the middleweight belt from Cotto, that bout was fought at a catchweight of 155 pounds. Alvarez has fought at a catchweight of 155 pounds four straight times, following his bout with Mayweather, which had a catchweight of 152 pounds.
"Everything is mandated. The winner of Canelo vs. Khan has 15 days to commit to fighting Gennady or not. If they commit then we'll start negotiating to put that fight together.
"It's so hard to get an opponent in the ring with Gennady. If I stopped working with certain people, it'd be even less.”
It’s possible that the fight won’t happen because Golovkin suffers a loss, but that’s highly unlikely. The undefeated knockout artist is a -10000 favorite over Dominic Wade in their April 23 bout. Wade is 18-0 in his career, but he hasn’t beaten anyone of note.
Because Golovkin is so good and not a proven pay-per-view draw, he’s had a difficult time finding top opponents that will agree to face him. His toughest test came in October when he faced then-middleweight champ David Lemieux, and the PPV sold just over 150,000 buys, via ESPN.com.