Canelo Alvarez

Catch. Wait.: GGG, Canelo, Cotto and the Middleweight Mess

Golovkin vs. Lemieux Fight Night - Ed Mulholland K2 (13)
Photo by Ed Mulholland

The honeymoon certainly didn’t last long, did it? After Gennady Golovkin finally secured a good fight, a fight with a guy many people believed would provide a serious test of his mettle, a fight that proved to be a one-sided massacre, talk immediately turned to a possible showdown between Golovkin and the winner of next month’s battle between Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto.

Golovkin is obviously the best fighter in the middleweight division, but Cotto is the lineal middleweight champ, no matter how many trinket belts Golovkin currently wears. But Cotto seems to want nothing to do with “Triple G,” and it’s abundantly clear why–to be blunt, he’d likely get pounded.

It would make what Manny Pacquiao did to him feel like a pleasant shiatsu. And to be fair to Cotto, the man is no middleweight. He moved up in weight for a shot at history, taking on then-middleweight king (himself a blown-up junior middleweight) Sergio Martinez. But fairness only goes so far. He’s holding onto that 160-pound belt, and if he won’t fight the best, he should vacate the damn thing.

Many fans are rooting for Canelo to defeat Cotto simply because he has been willing to fight anybody, regardless of skill or style. He fought Erislandy Lara for Christ’s sake, who brings virtually nothing to the table financially and is a major goddamn headache in the ring. If Cotto wouldn’t take on the Kazakh beast, he of the 21 fight knockout streak, Canelo would step up to the plate and make the fight happen. But… then this happened. Yes, that’s Canelo stating that he’ll absolutely not go up to 160 pounds to fight Golovkin. Rather, he’ll fight him at a fucking catch weight of 155 pounds This one hurts.

Photo by Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Now, perhaps this is simply a case of early posturing. But this is some odd timing. He’s a month out from a huge fight, and one would think Canelo (or at least Golden Boy, his promoter), would sound the horns from the rafters about a possible super-fight with Golovkin. Certainly, it would make more financial sense to tout up the possibility of a fight to boost pay-per-view sales rather than shut it down entirely.

After all, we’re still dealing in hypotheticals here. Canelo could lose next month. He’s not a lock to defeat Cotto, who hasn’t looked this dangerous in forever. Cotto’s been reborn under trainer Freddie Roach, helped no doubt by a couple of iffy opponents and a 40-year-old with a bum knee. Still, he hasn’t been in there squeaking out wins. He’s destroying people.

This is getting tiring. Ridiculous. Frustrating as hell. The catch weight has been around for years, but lately it seems like that’s all we’re getting. That, or fights we don’t really want to see in the first place because the fights we really want to see won’t ever happen. Pacquiao used the catch weight a few times, mainly because he really had no business moving up any higher than lightweight. But the prospect of fighting Oscar De La Hoya was too rich to ignore. He later would get Cotto to agree to a 145-pound maximum for their fight. Cotto got butchered, moved up and employed the catch weight himself.

Canelo agreed to fight Floyd Mayweather at 152 pounds. He was embarrassed and taken to school. Now, apparently it’s his turn to employ the technique. And hey, this isn’t all on him. Golovkin’s camp was reported to only want to fight Andre Ward at 164 pounds, not at 168 where Ward resides. But it’s becoming increasingly absurd that the middleweight belt is being contested at a DIFFERENT FUCKING WEIGHT CLASS.

I know, I know, technically, anything over 154 pounds can be considered middleweight. Fuck this. If Canelo really won’t budge from the catch weight, he should at least dump the damn belt. He could just vacate, and announce his intention to fight at the junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds. Then, Golovkin would be able to fight for the lineal title. The same title Bernard Hopkins owned. The one Marvin Hagler rolled with.

If anything, this is a major letdown because another mega fight appears dead in the water. We expected Canelo to be the exception to what’s been going on lately. But Golovkin is truly a dangerous dude. He hits ridiculously hard, owns a granite chin, and possesses more than some boxing skill. And Canelo has proven himself before. He’s currently preparing for a huge fight, and maybe he just didn’t want to deal with any Golovkin talk before taking on Cotto. Fighters change their minds.

The problem is that some of the biggest fights that could have been made over the last few years have been abandoned over money, promoters and advisors. Add weight discrepancies to that list. Fans are tired of it. Alvarez will eventually head to middleweight. He’s the same size as David Lemieux, who’s been there for years. But at the moment, he seems comfortable where he is, which is somewhere in weight-class limbo. 155? 157? Who the hell knows?

Short term, it appears we’re out of a fight. Let’s hope Canelo has a change of heart, because the middleweight situation is a mess.

If not, where’s Andy Lee?

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