Quick to make up for an uneventful main attraction to a stacked fight card, Golden Boy Promotions pulled of a maverick of sorts in a WWE like manner.
On the aftermath of a one-sided beating inflicted by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvares(49-1-1 34 KOs) on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.(50-3-1 32 KOs), everyone expecting a routinary post fight interview was treated for a big surprise. HBO panelist, Max Kellerman asked a question that caught everyone off-guard:
“We have been told that there is a plan in place for your next opponent, who is it?” Kellerman asked. “Golovkin, you’re next my friend!”. Canelo responded.
Gennady Golovkin(37-0 33 KOs), earlier seen watching from the ringside was suddenly nowhere to be found. All the lights then went off with loud cheers drowning the rock music of a teaser on the big screen, GGG was then shown storming out of the dugout escorted by security to face Canelo in the ring.
Minus the fireworks and fancy costumes, a mega-fight between two of boxing’s current stars was announced for September.
Before the fight was conceived, both camps traded barbs at each other for the past couple of years. Since 2014, Golovkin has been calling out known middleweights like Miguel Cotto, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Saul Alvarez. Among the three, only Canelo has responded decisively to GGG’s challenge, but not before questioning the caliber of opponents the latter has previously faced. Since then, lengthy rounds of negotiations ensued, none came to fruition. Often blaming the other for the fight not pushing through, both accused each other of screwing the negotiations and ducking. Canelo took much of the criticisms when he vacated his WBC Middleweight belt with GGG as his mandatory challenger, thus adding to the rumor of him avoiding a fight with the Kazakh.
A Proven Successful Business Blueprint
Not so long ago, two boxers also featured in a much publicized affair. Most of the jabs and punches came through social media and media interviews that lasted for six years. In that duration, interest built increasingly with the media writing almost everything about the anticipated much up between two of the best fighters of their generation pound for pound. In May 2015, they finally met in the ring in what was dubbed as “The Fight of the Century”. The event shattered all-time revenue records and gave the boxers the biggest payday of their entire careers in a 36-minute show. Those two boxers are Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, two of the most financially successful boxers of their generation.
Witnessing how the events unfolded in the buildup to the super fight, one can’t help but ask, were the negotiations and hype intentionally prolonged to maximize the potential profit of the fight?
The same question is also being asked in the wake of another mega fight between Canelo and GGG in September. Did they follow the same blue print? Maybe. This fight is currently the most profitable product the industry can sell with the fight at the height of public interest. Of course, that’s discounting the possibility of Floyd coming out of retirement to fight UFC star Connor McGregor in a boxing match. With all the drama and hype, plus the impeccable timing of the announcement of the fight, the bout has all the makings of a classic, thus, drawing parallels with the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight build up. The real question is, will the fighters also follow the blueprint of the fight itself? If so, you might just have to wake me up when September ends.