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Canelo vs. Golovkin possible for Dodgers Stadium

By Jeff Aranow: Saul Canelo Alvarez’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya is considering an offer from Magic Johnson to stage the Canelo vs. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin fight on September 16 at the Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, California, according to Lance Pugmire. The stadium seats 60,000 boxing fans. De La Hoya is saying that the Dodgers Stadium offer from Magic Johnson is the leading offer he’s received. The one question is about the state taxes that would be taken out of Canelo and Golovkin’s purses for the fight. California has state income tax. Nevada and Texas don’t have a state tax, and neither does Washington state.

Having the fight staged in Los Angeles would be great for both fighters. Canelo has a large Mexican fan base in Southern California. Golovkin has a ton of fans in Southern California as well. It’s not hard to imagine Dodgers Stadium selling out quickly with all 60,000 seats being scooped up by eager boxing fans wanting to see what could be a much better fight than the dull affair between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao in 2015.

The fans obviously made a mistake in thinking that would be an exciting one. The fans initially called the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, ‘They called it the ‘Fight of the Century.’ After paying top dollar to see a defensive battle, some fans renamed the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, ‘The dud of the Century.’ Canelo vs. Golovkin promises to be a far better fight with almost guaranteed action.

The only way we might not see a great fight is if Golovkin chooses to stay on the outside and jab Canelo the way that he did against Danny Jacobs and David Lemieux. Those were not great fights to watch if you like seeing nonstop action. There’s a very real possibility that Golovkin may choose to jab Canelo all night, because the Mexican fighter likes to throw counter punches.

Canelo does well against fighters that come to him looking to slug. Of course, Canelo hasn’t fought anyone half as good as Golovkin in terms of punching power and offensive skills. Canelo fought Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather, but neither of those guys had the size, power or the offensive weapons that Golovkin has going for him. Cotto was little more than a blown up light welterweight, and Mayweather is a blown up super featherweight. Canelo didn’t have to worry about being hurt by Cotto and Mayweather. Canelo will have to worry about Golovkin, because he can stay inside on Canelo and give him problems with his body shots and hooks to the head.

De La Hoya could also receive possible offers on the Canelo-Golovkin fight a Jerry Jones’s AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, T-Mobile Arena and MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I can’t reveal details, but Magic Johnson made a very nice offer. It’s a nice package I have to consider,” De La Hoya said to the latimes.com. “From everything I know right now, Magic and the Dodgers are front-runners. It’s an exciting fight. Everyone wants it.”

It would be great to see Canelo-Golovkin staged in California. I think it would be bad news for the U.S boxing fans if the fight gets staged in the UK at Wembley Stadium in London, England. While some of the fans from the U.S would have the means to make the long and expensive trek to the UK, not all of them. That would be a huge commitment in time, resources and planning. A lot of U.S boxing likely doesn’t have passports, because it’s not needed in the U.S if you don’t travel outside of the country like it is for Europeans.

It’s unclear whether Canelo vs. Golovkin would be a big enough fight on its own to sellout the 90,000 seat Wembley Stadium. Unless the undercard had some popular British fighters, it’s highly unlikely that the British boxing fans would turn out in high enough numbers fill the entire 90,000 seat stadium for the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight.

What would be disappointing is if Golden Boy starts taking Canelo’s fights outside of the U.S the way that Manny Pacqquiao’s promoter Bob Arum did in having him fight in Macao, China and Brisbane, Australia. That would be sad. I don’t think that’s a good move for Pacquiao to be taking, even though he’s likely been getting good offers to fight in those countries. If Arum would do a better job of matching Pacquiao against popular fighters instead of the guys he’s been putting him in with [Brandon Rios, Chris Algieri, Tim Bradley, Jessie Vargas and Jeff Horn], I think he would sell better in the U.S. Golden Boy shouldn’t make that same mistake of doing soft with Canelo and taking him outside of the U.S in dull fights.

Las Vegas would be a great venue for the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight if they could find a bigger venue that seats more than just 20,000 boxing fans. The fight is big enough to fill a large arena than just 20K fans. That’s too minimalist. Of course, Golden Boy obviously still make a lot of money by increasing the ticket prices and the PPV costs the way that they did with the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight in 2015. I still think it would be better for the fans if Golden Boy could stage the fight in a large stadium.

Golovkin has chased the Canelo fight for 2 years now before Golden Boy finally let the match happen. De La Hoya says Canelo had to grow into the middleweight division. Fair enough, he’s now ready to mentally face the best guys in the division. Canelo has probably been heavy enough to fight in the middleweight division since 2011. Canelo has had the weight to fight at middleweight for many years now. The only thing that the 5’9” Canelo lacked was the height, and you can argue the power and the engine.

Canelo isn’t a huge puncher despite what some people say. Canelo has heavy hands for a junior middleweight, but not a middleweight. He doesn’t have one-punch power, and he never will. Canelo would have more knockouts on his resume if he was able to throw punches in a sustained manner without needing to take breaks. If you watch Canelo’s fights, he throws punches in short bursts and then he has to back off to rest. The late Emanuel Steward noticed that flaw in Canelo’s game a long time when he was in his early 20s.

Canelo is now nearing 27, and he’s not changed. If anything, Canelo is less able to throw combinations in bursts without having to back off and rest to restore his energy. That’s a flaw that Golovkin could take advantage of if he presses the attack and looks to take Canelo out on September 16. For Golovkin to do that, he can’t make the mistake of trying to box Canelo the way he did with David Lemieux and Daniel Jacobs.

Golovkin played it safe in those fights. If Golovkin does that against Canelo, he could find himself in a tougher fight than he expected. If Golovkin lets the Canelo fight go to the scorecards, he could find himself on the losing end of a questionable decision. Canelo is still the A-side, and his prompters at Golden Boy are the lead promoters for the card. I think that could make it tough on Golovkin to get a decision win unless he really beats Canelo down to the point where he’s totally dominated.

If Golovkin gets Canelo hurt, he’ll look to finish him off. In the Jacobs fight, Golovkin looked like he was afraid to push himself hard for some reason. He had the opportunity to finish Jacobs off in round 4, but he didn’t make the move. Golovkin should have been attacking Jacobs the way that Dmitri Pirog did in his stoppage win. Golovkin didn’t follow the blueprint that was already there in how to beat Jacobs. Golovkin chose to go a different route, and that made the fight harder than it should have been.

Golovkin can’t do that with Canelo. He’s got to either attack nonstop or try and box him from the outside. I wouldn’t recommend boxing Canelo, because that means the fight will go to the scorecards, and I don’t have faith that the judges would give Golovkin the decision over a popular fighter like Canelo. The crowd will likely be cheering more for Canelo than they will for Golovkin, and we know how the judges sometimes are said to be influenced by crowd noise rather than on what’s actually happening in the fight.

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