After months of jockeying over terms, representatives of Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin have come to terms for a rematch for the middleweight title on May 5, the promoters announced.
They came up with a creative way to announce the rematch. Rumors began to swirl on Friday that a deal had been reached, and intensified on Monday. Actor and former WWE champion Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson actually made the announcement on Instagram.
Johnson was in a gym and recorded a brief statement.
“A lot of you guys know the love and respect I have for the sweet science and the sport of boxing,” Johnson said. “So when HBO called me and said, ‘Rock, we want you to make an announcement to the world of one of the biggest boxing matches of all-time, I said, ‘I’d be honored, but I’ve got to do it my way.’ They said, ‘You got it,’ so world, here is the historic announcement: From the jabroni-beating, pie-eating, trail-blazing, eye-raising, 12 rounds wasn’t enough. The world is going to see the rematch to settle it all. Canelo versus Triple G!”
Golovkin retained his title after their first meeting Sept. 16 in Las Vegas that was a split draw. Judge Adalaide Byrd scored it 118-110 for Alvarez, drawing widespread criticism for the margin. Dave Moretti favored Golovkin, 115-113, while Don Trella had it 114-114 to score it a draw.
It was an outcome that left no one satisfied and left all sides hoping for another crack at it. There was an automatic rematch clause had Golovkin won, but since it was a draw it didn’t apply and representatives of the two fighters had to come to terms again.
Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya was in France Monday when the announcement was made, but said he was determined to bring the rematch to the fans as quickly as possible. He had endured considerable criticism for not making the first bout more quickly than he did.
He wasn’t about to do the same thing the second time. With interest in the rematch at a high, he worked with Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler to get a deal done.
“This is the fight that everyone has been looking for and guess what? I didn’t wait,” De La Hoya told Yahoo Sports. “We wanted to make this fight right away for the fans. It’s the best fight out there and it’s the fight that made the most sense and it was a fight we were committed to getting done.”
The first fight had been the most hotly anticipated bout of the year and sold 1.3 million on pay-per-view. And while it was a good action fight, it was not the Fight of the Year type battle that many envisioned.
But it was a fast-paced, technical fight that thrilled the sell out crowd at T-Mobile Arena.
T-Mobile is the most likely venue for the rematch, though that has not been decided. Madison Square Garden in New York is a possibility, as are sites in Texas, but T-Mobile remains the front-runner.
De La Hoya referred to Las Vegas “as the mecca for boxing,” and strongly indicated it is the best site for the bout. Loeffler said Golovkin’s instructions to him were just to get the fight made.
“To be honest, Gennady was ready to do the rematch the next day,” Loeffler said. “He’s always wanted to put on the best fights for the fans and as everyone has said, this is the best fight in boxing and he was eager to do it again. Last time, he won eight rounds out of 12 and got a draw, so he and [trainer] Abel [Sanchez] will have to adjust, but it’s all good. I’m sure Canelo and his team will make some adjustments, too. Canelo had never moved around like he did the last time so it’s something Gennady and Abel need to think about in camp, but the big thing is, the fight is done and all that mattered to him was getting it finalized. The location was never an issue to him.”
The Golovkin camp will be vigilant when the selection of judges comes up, but particularly if the fight is in Las Vegas again. Golovkin’s corner, his promoter and his management team all believe he clearly won the first fight.
In addition, they point out that then-Nevada judge C.J. Ross scored the 2013 bout between Floyd Mayweather and Alvarez a draw, even though the other two judges had Mayweather by a wide margin.
But a battle over the judges and referees will be a factor no matter where the fight is held.
The good news, though, is that the rematch will occur for sure and that the fighters will be able to settle the score in the ring.
De La Hoya believes the rematch can exceed the 1.3 million sales it did the first time and promised to make certain that everyone knows about the fight.
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