Canelo vs Lemieux: 6 reasons it's a possibility for Alvarez's next fight
Last night, now-former middleweight champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KO) tasted defeat for the first time in his pro career, dropping a tight majority decision verdict to superstar Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KO) in a rematch of their September 2017 affair when they battled to a 12 round draw.
And while some dispute the decision, no one is complaining about the entertainment value. Canelo vs GGG 2 was an awesome, action-packed fight at the highest level.
At some point, there has to be a third fight because of:
2) The anticipated entertainment value of a third fight, and
3) Closure i.e. a rubber match to determine supremacy (Golovkin (unofficially) won the first bout and GGG edged Gennady in the rematch)
The biggest question is: When will Canelo vs GGG 3 take place?
Boxing trilogies seldom happen within an 18 month time span so don't expect Canelo vs GGG 3 to take place in May. That stated, don't be entirely surprised if it does.
For promotional reasons, though, both fellas might take another fight before facing each other again. Alavarez and Golovkin have delivered the goods but the public might need a short respite from Canelo and GGG for awhile. Let's not forget, the promotion started way back in May 2017 (16 months ago) immediately after Canelo defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
"For the sake of boxing fans everywhere, let's hope that they avoid each other for awhile. There are plenty of viable options out there for both men. Plus, people will begin to tire of seeing the same matches," stated esteemed boxing writer DeMarkus Jones.
Canelo Alvarez: Next fight scenario
So, what's next for Canelo?
At this moment, the top candidate for Alvarez's next fight is probably knockout artist David Lemieux, who dispatched the usually-durable Spike O'Sullivan inside of a round on the Canelo vs GGG 2 undercard.
Why Canelo vs Lemieux next?
1. Same promoter - Both Canelo and Lemieux are promoted by Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) so pairing the fighters would mean a win-win for the company. Hence, it wouldn't have to negotiate nor share revenue with another promotional outfit.
It's widely believed Golden Boy signed Lemieux in 2015 for the sole purpose of matching him up with Canelo one day.
2. Undercard Showcase - It's no coincidence Montreal’s Lemieux was showcased on the Canelo vs GGG undercard. GBP likely wanted to showcase the former IBF middleweight champion in order to introduce him to casual fans and generate buzz for a possible impending Canelo vs Lemieux showdown.
3. Demographics - Lemieux also brings a lot to the table, demographically. He has a solid fan base in Canada so Canelo Alvarez vs Lemieux would likely get a lot of exposure there.
4. Credentials / Entertainment Value - David is a former middleweight title-holder as well as a respected fighter and action-packed knockout artist who always brings intrigue and excitement but has technical shortcomings. Nevertheless, his power and durabilty make him a legitimate threat to anyone from 154 to 168 pounds so the risk element would still be alive and well for Team Canelo.
"By emphatically knocking out O’ Sullivan with a left hook in the first round of a middleweight title eliminator as part of Saturday’s undercard, Lemieux may well have earned a shot at either [Alvarez or GGG]," suggested FightSaga writer Baker Geist.
"Given the heavy hands that both Alvarez and Lemieux throw, the fight would be exciting for however long it lasts."
Make no mistake, as we witnessed Saturday night, one clean shot from Lemieux can end matters against any middleweight. If he finds Canelo flush, the results could be devastating. When Golovkin faced him in 2015, GGG was content to work his jab and systematically break down David from the outside instead of trying to overwhelm him with power and brute force in the early stanzas. GGG showed Lemieux a lot of respect - and for good reason.
5. Strike while the iron is hot - Fresh off that dramatic knockout Saturday night, Lemieux is hot again.
6. Style Match-up/ Risk vs Reward - Lastly, Team Canelo probably isn't in a hurry to put its man in the ring with any of the big middleweights yet, such as Billy Joe Saunders, Jermall Charlo or Daniel Jacobs. All are well-skilled, have good movement and are very rangy. The style match-up in facing any of those six footers wouldn't be conducive for the 5'8" Alvarez.
... But, Canelo matches up well with Lemieux, a much slower, less technical fighter who also made a name for himself as a jr middleweight.
Why would Team Canelo and GBP risk Alvarez vs Saunders/Jacobs/Charlo when they could get as much or more money facing a smaller, more limited David Lemieux?
Even if it means relinguishing one of Canelo's titles, look for Team Alvarez to have its man face Lemieux next prior to Canelo vs GGG 3.