Saturday’s fight between Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez is not only the second-biggest fight of 2015, but it could have major implications for one of the biggest fights next year. The winner of Saturday’s bout will likely go on to face one of the biggest names in boxing, and both Gennady "GGG" Golovkin and Manny Pacquiao have been in the conversation as possible opponents.
Since Cotto and Alvarez agreed to fight this summer, the boxing world has been eyeing a potential fight between the winner and Golovkin. Golovkin has proven to be the most dominant force the middleweight division has seen in years, and he was flawless in his Oct. 17 knockout of David Lemieux. Golovkin hasn’t been able to secure the major fight that he’s been looking for, and that might continue even after Saturday’s bout.
Golovkin sold out Madison Square Garden in his title defense, but his less than impressive pay-per-view numbers might be what ultimately costs him a fight with Cotto or Alvarez. Neither boxer would get an incredibly substantial payday for facing Golovkin, giving them an excuse to duck the fight.
A fight between Cotto and Golovkin appears to be unlikely. Cotto paid Golovkin $800,000 just so he wouldn’t have to face GGG in a title unification bout, which has been mandated by the WBC. Now that the federation has stripped Cotto of the belt, he’ll have even less reason to face Golovkin if he defeats Cotto.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO has expressed an interest in making Alvarez vs. Golovkin happen. A victory against Cotto would give Alvarez the WBC middleweight title, and WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has stated that Saturday’s winner must fight Golovkin. But Alvarez is now shying away from a potential fight with the Kazakh boxer.
Alvarez recently stated that he doesn’t want to fight Golovkin at 160 pounds, even though both boxers will hold 160-pound middleweight titles. Alvarez’s last three bouts were fought at a catch weight of 154 pounds, and his fight with Cotto will be at 155 pounds.
Manny Pacquiao might have a better chance of fighting Alvarez next than Golovkin does. While such a fight is unlikely, Alvarez has acknowledged that a bout with Pacquiao is not out of the question.
“Yes, of course, it’s a fight [Canelo vs. Pacquiao] that could happen in the future, but right now my focus is on Miguel Cotto 100 percent and nobody else. I am not thinking about the future,” Alvarez told reporters when Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times said Bob Arum suggested Pacquiao might be willing to fight him.
If Alvarez is unwilling to fight Golovkin, it’s hard to believe that he would take on Pacquiao, who usually fights at 147 pounds. A big payday for Alvarez would be needed to make the fight, and the two boxers would likely have to agree to a catch weight in the low 150s.
Pacquiao is still recovering from shoulder surgery he underwent in May, as he searches for his next opponent. According to Pugmire, trainer Freddie Roach has listed Timothy Bradley, Amir Khan and Terence Crawford as the three options for Pacquiao. In August, Roach told International Business Times that he would like Pacquiao to fight Danny Garcia.
It’s unknown when Pacquiao would get back in the ring, but he could be eyeing a fight in the first half of 2016. He hasn’t fought since he was defeated by Floyd Mayweather in a unanimous decision.