Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will have to savor his hard-fought, split-decision victory over Cuba's Erislandy Lara, as his potential next bout could be a boxing fan's dream and his own worst nightmare.
Golden Boy Promotions' Oscar De La Hoya wasted no time in dropping a name for El Canelo's next bout, via Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix:
Oscar De La Hoya drops a fascinating name for Canelo's next: Gennady Golovkin. "GGG is a dangerous fighter. That's what Canelo is about."— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) July 13, 2014
De La Hoya went on to say that Alvarez could also face Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland at some point:
De La Hoya said Canelo will be back in November. GGG, Cotto, James Kirkland are on his list of future opponents.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) July 13, 2014
It's the first name that will have fans salivating.
Gennady Golovkin is a Kazakh boxer capable of scoring vicious combination blows against any opponent. The 32-year-old pugilist is 29-0 with an astounding 26 victories by knockout. He has an incredible sense of the ring and knack for honing in on his opponents when they are at their weakest.
Golovkin didn't make his debut on American soil until 2012, earning a fifth-round TKO victory over Grzegorz Proksa to move to 24-0 on his career. Prior to that bout, he spent the majority of his career fighting in Germany.
Golovkin will first have to take on Daniel Geale (30-2) in Madison Square Garden on July 27. Geale's recent comments demonstrate that he already has a sense that his opponent may be moving on to bigger and better things after their bout.
"I’m the underdog. They’re looking past me already, looking for bigger fights for Golovkin. The guy has got power and has done everything asked from him in his other fights. But he hasn’t fought world champions before. I’m very confident," said Geale, via The Courier Mail's Grantlee Kieza.
As confident as Geale may be, it is hard to pick apart Golovkin's style. He is adept at moving around the ring and avoiding powerful punches—he has yet to be knocked down in a fight.
However, as Golovkin has been slow to transition to the marquee fights in the United States, the standard of his competition is in question, and this makes him a bit of a mystery to casual observers.
Which fighter should Alvarez face next?
A high-profile victory over Geale could be the clincher in a potential fight with Alvarez. The Mexican superstar is already a well-known name in boxing, with victories over Shane Mosley and Kermit Cintron under his belt. Alvarez did take his first professional loss against Floyd Mayweather in September 2013, which exposed his ability to take on defensive counterpunchers.
If Golovkin can make a big crossover push, this could be the kind of fight between young, charismatic stars that boxing is currently lacking. Mayweather's bouts are the ones that truly go mainstream in today's boxing landscape.
The promotional power behind Alvarez and the mystery surrounding Golovkin's hyper-kinetic style and undefeated record could put a jolt into boxing's middleweight division and bring some much-needed attention to the sport.