Either Canelo Alvarez got tired of hammering the human heavy bags that were placed in his path.
Or Oscar De La Hoya sensed that Gennady Golovkin was getting ready to join KARP (Kazakhstan Association of Retired People).
Or everyone feared the proposed Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather Gong Show might soak up all the remaining pay-per-view dollars in the universe.
We should not commit overanalysis on what broke the paralysis. Nor should we complain.
Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will fight Sept. 16, 2017, A.D. Yes, they will.
The announcement at T-Mobile Arena was a last-second bid to salvage Saturday night, to soothe the shame of devoting money and time to Canelo’s slow demolition of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Afterward, Golovkin walked into the ring to the tune of “Seven Nation Army,” which includes the lyric, “And I’m bleeding and I’m bleeding and I’m bleeding right before the Lord/All the words are gonna bleed from me, and I will think no more.”
Then the video board showed a promotion for “Bombs Away.”
Gee, you think this was in the works all along?
“We knew they were very close,” said Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer. “They had made a lot of progress the last few weeks. There are still some things to get done, like the location. We’ve gotten a lot of offers. I know people have said it will be in Las Vegas, and Gennady would like that because he’s never fought in Vegas, but we’ve not there yet.”
Jerry Jones has long wanted this fight to be at AT&T Stadium, and his Dallas Cowboys are not playing that day. Sanchez said the camps have heard from Dubai. Golden Boy has reserved the Sept. 16 date at T-Mobile, just in case.
The Canelo-Chavez pay-per-view numbers are supposedly very good. They will tell us if boxing has recovered from the $500 million Mayweather-Pacquiao eyesore, which attracted 4.4 million buyers and untold remorse.
Certainly the stars are lining up. Anthony Joshua’s win over Wladimir Klitschko in London nine days ago attracted 90,000 customers and was the best scrap between two legit heavyweights in 25 years (Riddick Bowe over Evander Holyfield).
In July Andre Ward will try to beat Sergey Kovalev again. Errol Spence, everybody’s favorite young welterweight, goes to London to challenge Kell Brook.
De La Hoya also waited until Golovkin turned 35 and finally showed some stretch marks
In March, Golovkin knocked down Danny Jacobs but couldn’t finish him and certainly didn’t intimidate him. He won a unanimous decision among the judges, not media and fans
Never mind that Jacobs didn’t make the 160-pound middleweight limit and was 180 when the bell rang.
“I guess it is a compliment,” Sanchez said, “when you’ve set such a high standard that people expect absolute dominance every time out.
“After Gennady destroys Canelo, as I expect him to do, he will move up in weight and then Danny Jacobs will be able to rule the middleweight division. On a scale of 1 to 10, I still think Gennady was an 8½ or a 9 that night.”
The early odds favor Golovkin nevertheless. The reason? Strength of schedule.
Golovkin not only beat Jacobs, he battered David Lemieux. Canelo hasn’t faced middleweights like that. He knocked out a blown-up Amir Khan, he dismissed the talent-challenged Liam Smith, and he won every round by miles over Chavez, who landed only 71 pitches in 12 rounds and always comes up small regardless of weight.
Anybody who really thought Chavez was a threat to Canelo deserves a free Floyd Mayweather Sr. T-shirt: “You Don’t Know (Bleep) About Boxing.”
And Canelo, who made the agreed catch-weight of 164.5 by half a pound, still didn’t knock him out.
“He (Chavez) is one of the most mismanaged fighters I’ve seen,” Sanchez said. “Everyone said (trainers) Nacho Beristain or Freddie Roach could straighten him out but they’re not magicians. Canelo did what he had to do, did nothing wrong, but I wasn’t surprised at what happened.”
Showtime analyst and former champion Paulie Maglinaggi thinks Canelo is an eaiser matchup for GGG than Jacobs was.
“It depends on how it goes,” Sanchez said. “If Canelo comes in and wants to exchange, it’s going to be like Joshua and Klitschko, and that will be good for us. But we’ll prepare for everything.”
Ten years ago the media ordained Mayweather-De La Hoya as “The Last Great Fight,” another chapter in the eternal boxing-is-dead narrative.
The truth is that you never know when the Next Great Fight happens. But we thought Canelo-GGG might never happen.
Think no more.
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