Golovkin-Canelo rematch talks break down – Spike O’Sullivan to step in?

The arduous negotiations for a middleweight title rematch between champion Gennady Golovkin and controversial Mexican Canelo Alvarez have broken down, potentially securing a massive fight for Ireland’s Spike O’Sullivan [28(20)-2(1)].

Golovkin and Canelo [49(34)-1(0)-2] fought to a contentious draw last September – with most feeling the Kazakh had done more than enough to win – and the pair were due to rematch in Las Vegas earlier this month. This rematch was shelved, however, when it emerged that Canelo had twice tested positive for Clenbuterol, with the Guadalajaran withdrawing from the bout and subsequently receiving a ban until August.

IBF, WBA, and WBC champ Golovkin [38(34)-0-1] still defended his titles on the Mexican holiday of Cinco De Mayo, destroying Vanes Martirosyan in Carson, California.

New negotiations between Team Golovkin and Golden Boy Promotions for a September 15th rematch have been ongoing in recent weeks but these look to have broken down and the fight has been taken off the table indefinitely.

With IBF mandatory Sergey Derevyanchenko pushing for a shot at the Asian powerhouse, and Golovkin keen to keep all of his belts, Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya has pulled out of talks and has stated that they will be looking at new options – including a moustachioed Irishman.

De La Hoya, in a post to social media, named three such options, WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders who is promoted by Frank Warren, two-time title challenger Danny Jacobs who is promoted by Eddie Hearn, and Cork’s O’Sullivan who is a promotional stablemate of Canelo.

In a, perhaps, telling move, O’Sullivan was the only one of the three boxers ‘tagged’ by De La Hoya.

The Mahon 33-year-old was snapped up by Golden Boy following an impressive win over Nick Quigley last September and he announced his arrival with an upset victory over the touted Antoine Douglas in Canada.

During the build-up to the ill-fated May 5th Golovkin-Canelo rematch it emerged that O’Sullivan was being lined up for the Mexican superstar regardless of the result. The Leesider would fight the night before and then take on Canelo in September either as a Las Vegas comeback opponent or for the world titles in a Texas stadium.

With Canelo, who maintains that the positive tests were due to consuming contaminated meat, withdrawing and being slapped with a ban, O’Sullivan then became a potential replacement opponent and was engaged in talks with Golovkin. The Celtic Warriors man stated that he accepted an offer but, following a long delay during which the figure dropped dramatically, O’Sullivan pulled out of the running and signed an improved deal with Golden Boy.

O’Sullivan instead fought on May 4th, destroying Berlin Abreu, and a fight on the Golovkin-Canelo undercard in September with a view to facing the winner was the mooted plan. However, recently, there had been increasing talk of a straight shot at Canelo and the Murphys Boxing man now, again, looks to be within touching distance of a life-changing fight.


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie