It was thought that IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) would seek out a unification fight with WBO 160lb champion Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) once Triple G got past Saul ‘Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs), but it looks like that’s no longer the case.
Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez whether Saunders, 28, gets a fight against GGG will be determined by public demand by the boxing fans. If the fans demand the Golovkin-Saunders fight, then it’ll get made.
Right now, the public ISN’T demanding the Golovkin vs. Saunders fight. They could change if Saunders takes a risk and accepts the fight with Daniel Jacobs and beats him. Saunders’ 12 round decision win over David Lemieux last wasn’t enough in Abel Sanchez’s mind to prove anything other than the fact that he could beat a “punching bag.”
“I am not saying he would not make for an interesting fight, maybe not the most appealing, not the most fan friendly…and his demands will determine if he ever gets those elite fighter fights,” said Sanchez to badlefthook.com.
It sounds like Golovkin won’t automatically go after the WBO middleweight title after he gets done with his rematch with Canelo on May 5. If Sanchez knows something that the boxing fans don’t, then it’s possible that Golovkin will forget about wasting his time fighting Saunders. If the boxing public doesn’t care to see Golovkin fight Saunders, which appears to be the case, then there’s no point in that fight getting made.
If Golovkin wants to fight someone from the UK, he’s much better off moving up to super middleweight and taking on the winner of the World Boxing Super Series tournament [WBSS] in 2018. Golovkin vs. the winner of the WBSS will be huge in 2018. There will be money in Golovkin facing the likes George Groves, Chris Eubank Jr. or Callum Smith. Golovkin fighting Saunders is probably not going to interest the U.S boxing public to any extent. Before Saunders fought Lemieux, he’d done very little to impress recently in his fights against Artur Akavov and Willie Monroe Jr.
“He beats a punching bag and someone with wishful thinking and a platform wants to anoint him the best ever,” said Sanchez about Saunders’ win over Lemieux. “Saunders looked mediocre against Artur Akavov (in December 2016) and now he fights a guy with two left feet, on a Sunday stroll, of course he had ring generalship!” Sanchez said.
Saunders had an easy mark in front of him in Lemieux, who looked a little thicker around the middle than he’d been in the past. Lemieux was perfect for Saunders to beat last Saturday.
We’ll need to see if Saunders will challenge himself by taking on Jacobs in the first quarter of 2018. A win for Saunders over Jacobs would greatly increase his popularity. It would be hard for Canelo and Golovkin to ignore Saunders then, because there would be a demand for them to face him. But right now, there’s not enough boxing fans excited about his win over Lemieux to push for Canelo or Golovkin to fight him.