Canelo Alvarez Vacates WBC Title, Comments on Potential Gennady Golovkin Fight

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2016

Canelo Alvarez knocks out Amir Khan during their WBC middleweight title fight Saturday, May 7, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

Lineal middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez intends to step in the ring with Gennady Golovkin following his decisive knockout defeat of Amir Khan on May 7, but he announced Wednesday that he will be vacating his WBC title since he doesn't want to be pressured into his next bout under a deadline. 

BoxingNews24.com relayed Alvarez's statement issued with Ring Magazine:    

After much consideration, today, I instructed my team at Golden Boy Promotions to continue negotiating a fight with Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and to finalize a deal as quickly as possible. I also informed the WBC that I will vacate its title. For the entirety of my career, I have taken the fights that no one wanted because I fear no man. Never has that been more true than today. I will fight ‘GGG,’ and I will beat ‘GGG’ but I will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines. I am hopeful that by putting aside this ticking clock, the two teams can now negotiate this fight, and ‘GGG’ and I can get in the ring as soon as possible and give the fans the fight they want to see.

Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya also released a statement in conjunction with Canelo's announcement, per BoxingNews24

There is no denying that Canelo is the biggest star in the sport of boxing. He is eager to get in the ring with 'GGG' to show the world that he is also the best pound for pound fighter in the sport, but we won’t negotiate under a forced deadline. Now that the WBC title is off the table, I am hopeful that 'GGG' and his promoter K2 Promotions will come to the table in good faith and get this deal done.

According to BoxingScene.com's Miguel Rivera, a purse-bid deadline of May 24 had been set for the two camps to reach an agreement on the title unification fight. 

Golovkin, who most recently defeated Dominic Wade by second-round knockout on April 23, now holds the WBC middleweight world title by virtue of Canelo's decision, per RingTV.com's Mitchell Abramson

On Tuesday, Mauricio Sulaiman, head of the World Boxing Council, told the Los Angeles TimesLance Pugmire he is "completely confident" the fight between Alvarez and Golovkin will happen. 

"Both fighters have made it clear they want it," Sulaiman added. "The public, the fans and the press want it. It's the right fight at the right time."

And like Canelo's camp, Golovkin's is optimistic about making the mandated fight between the two middleweight stars. 

"Just because he doesn’t have title doesn’t mean his value is diminished," K2 Promotions' Tom Loeffler said, per Pugmire. "He's still biggest draw in boxing. We’ll continue to try and make the fight in September. Canelo is the [first] option and biggest fight we can make."

Should both sides stay true to their word and enter the ring, Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) and Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) will engage in one of the most anticipated middleweight fights in recent memory. 

Alvarez is coming off a convincing sixth-round knockout of Khan and has now won five straight bouts since falling to Floyd Mayweather Jr. by majority decision in September 2013. 

On the other hand, Golovkin's star has been rising meteorically. The undefeated force has captured 22 straight victories by knockout, including 16 over middleweight competition, per Pugmire. 

Given the decisive fashion in which he's sent opponents tumbling to the canvas, Golovkin will have a golden opportunity to cement his status as the sport's most feared puncher if a fight comes to fruition. 

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