Canelo vs GGG 3? More likely than not?
Middleweight powerbrokers Gennady Golovkin and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez will fight on Saturday in what'll be a rematch of their controversial draw a year ago.
As part of the negotiations process for last year's encounter, Alvarez was contractually promised an immediate rematch should his team pursue it. And to no surprise, Team Canelo has executed that option.
Why that stipulation to begin with, and will we see Canelo vs GGG 3?
Canelo Alvarez is Golden Boy Promotions' (GBP) cash cow and they weren't about to put their ace in the ring with GGG without some form of insurance or protection?
Had Canelo (officially) lost the first fight and Golovkin sought other challenges, GBP would have taken a major hit, financially, as their success is highly dependent on Canelo's stock. As a result, a rematch clause secured back-to-back superfights which guaranteed Golden Boy and Team Canelo would get a second, immediate opportunity to be well-compensated regardless the outcome of last year's encounter.
In addition, by imposing the rematch clause GBP is forcing GGG to beat Canelo twice to attain middleweight superiority. And yes, GBP likes the odds of Alvarez winning at least 1 of 2 against Golovkin.
Although there doesn't appear to be a re-rematch contractual stipulation for a third fight, Canelo vs GGG 3 is certainly well within the realm of possibility, whether it's immediate or not.
If the rematch is extremely exciting a la the Gatti vs Ward showdowns, Golovkin wins controversially or Canelo (non-controversially) upsets GGG, a third bout, even if not right away, would be a hot ticket.
And regardless of what happens Saturday, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will likely be each other's most lucrative option heading into 2019. But that's not the only reason a third fight could be likely.
In the event of a Canelo win Saturday night, Team Alvarez may not be ready for its man to face the giants (in physical stature) of the middleweight division. I'm referring to Daniel Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders and Jermall Charlo. All are well-skilled, have good movement and are very rangy.
While certainly not an 'apples to apples' comparison, Charlo, Saunders and Jacobs, from a dumbed down perspective, are essentially, rangier, stronger quasi-versions of Erislandy Lara, whose technical style and quickness gave Canelo a lot of problems in their 2014 junior middleweight title bout. And incidentally, Saunders, like Lara, is a southpaw.
Given Canelo can no longer fight comfortably at 154 lbs, there will certainly be some concern among Canelo's handlers about how their man, at 5'8", will match up against elite-level, long-armed middleweights with hit-and-move styles who'll look to use their reach advantage to outwork Alvarez from a distance. If you're Team Canelo, you might look for one more superfight opportunity with GGG prior to facing other elite opponents who'll be less favorable stylistically.
Should Alvarez best Golovkin, look for Canelo to face a contender or two, such as David Lemieux or Spike O'Sullivan, before seriously considering a rubber match with GGG.
Let's face it, if Canelo vs GGG 3 is still far more lucrative than Canelo vs Jacobs, Saunders or Charlo, why would GBP opt for lower money bouts that may also be less favorable style match-ups?
Third encounters can be high in demand if the first and/or second fight is entertaining - And, of course, they are even hotter when the combatants have a mutual disdain for each other, like Alvarez and Golovkin.
The fight, itself, may not be immediate, but fans should expect to hear Canelo vs GGG 3 rumours.