Gennady Golovkin signed with DAZN and had one opponent in mind. On June 8, he’ll take the first step in securing a trilogy bout with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez when he faces the unheralded Steve Rolls at Madison Square Garden. A victory should put him in line for the Canelo fight in September, but the two sides will have to come to an agreement rather quickly considering it is almost the middle of June. If, for some reason, there’s a snag in negotiations, where does that leave GGG?
Here, we look at five other opponents for Golovkin if his dream contest cannot be finalized.
With options at 160lbs potentially looking scarce if a Canelo Alvarez rematch is his sole desire, Gennady Golovkin may look to jump a division north and see what opportunities exist there. 168lbs enjoyed a hot spell in recent years with the likes of Andre Ward, Carl Froch, James DeGale, and George Groves participating in great match-ups, but now the kingdom is occupied by Callum Smith and Golovkin might just like that fight.
The Liverpool star was identified as a world champion in making ever since his 2012 debut and those prophecies rang true last September when he demolished Groves in The Middle East. Now acquainted to boxing’s highest echelon, Smith is undeniably seeking big challenges and “GGG” certainly falls into that category if the Kazakh star decides to make the jump to super-middleweight.
As WBO world champion, Rhode Island’s Demetrius Andrade can afford to be vocal when the dissuasion on the world’s best middleweight comes around. Mismanaged for the bulk of his career, the confident Andrade has often been on the verge of superstardom, but the final step has never occurred. That could all change if he was to fight Gennady Golovkin, and it’s also a fight that makes perfect sense for the European puncher.
Basking in the glory of being a world belt holder, Golovkin took the role seriously, and if a rematch with Canelo Alvarez cannot be made then Andrade is the route to go if he wants to be in such a privileged position once more. Both fighters now operate under the DAZN umbrella, albeit with different promoters. But the huge stumbling block of television is removed if both fighters can agree to terms.
Billy Joe Saunders
An old rival of Gennady Golovkin and a fighter who came so close to sharing the ring with boxing’s pound for pound star. When WBO world champion at 160lbs, Billy Joe Saunders’ name was often in the mix for highly anticipated showdowns with both Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez. Victories over leading names such as Chris Eubank Jr, Andy Lee and David Lemieux have solidified Saunders’ standing as a world-class fighter, but a win over Golovkin takes him to the next stage.
Now up at super-middleweight and once against a world champion, Saunders will be hunting for massive contests after watching dream matches at middleweight fall by the wayside due to a number of issues outside of the ring. Him against Golovkin has been a long time coming, but it’s a fight that makes sense.
Already possessing a victory over Daniel Jacobs is perhaps not going to motivate Golovkin into trying to beat him once more as he searches for a fresh challenge, but the New Yorker is a big name in boxing circles and a rematch would do good business for both men. Despite the first fight being a fair result, it was close enough to perhaps warrant a rematch and with both fighters still aiming high following defeats to Canelo Alvarez, facing each other might be the best option.
A feature in the middleweight rankings who’s surely close to a big fight, Jermall Charlo could be a name that motivates Gennady Golovkin. The outlandish Texan, undefeated in 28 fights with several notable scalps including Austin Trout and Julian Williams, has been crying out for a major fight for a long time and after failing to secure a date with Daniel Jacobs last year, Charlo would be more than satisfied with testing himself against Golovkin.