With the news that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has officially withdrawn from his rematch with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, the big question is, who is next? Last September GGG and Canelo fought to a controversial draw, a fight in which many (most) boxing aficionados agree that Golovkin won. As is the unfortunate norm in this sport, a rematch was devised to hopefully erase doubt and crown a decisive winner. The fans will have to wait however, as Canelo has officially withdrawn from the rematch after testing positive for banned substances on two separate occasions during his preparations for the fight. Golovkin and his team are still standing by the May 5th date and are looking for a credible opponent to fill the spot. Let’s take a look at a few of the front runners.
Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2 19KO): Spike is a fan friendly fighter. He has a come-forward, aggressive style that seeks to smother his opponents action, upset their timing and abuse the many fighters in this era that lack infighting skills. He is riding a five fight win streak since his 2015 loss to Chris Eubank Jr. (four by knockout) and is coming off a career best performance, knocking out prospect Antoine Douglas in the seventh round this past December. Everything looks good on paper, but as we know, the stats don’t tell the whole story. While Douglas had some buzz going into their fight, he was still just an unproven prospect, not a world class contender. Spike’s two previous attempts to step up in class (against current Middleweight Title Holder Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr.) were met with defeat. O’Sullivan is a solid fighter, but his style and record hint to me that he is tailor made for Golovkin, who has a solid chin and loves fighting against aggressive opponents.
Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. (50-3-1 32KO): Chavez Jr. is the least deserving candidate to offer to share a ring with Golovkin. His last outing was atrocious. He appeared completely out of shape, drained and beatable by anybody in the Top-10 list of Middleweights (and Super-Middleweights for that matter). The only thing he brings to the table is a name and possibly money, if everyone gives him a pass for his most recent performance(s) and is willing to watch another travesty of a boxing match. Sorry but Chavez has left a bad taste in my mouth too many times to want him to get spoon fed another payday to get beat up. This fight would only serve to show that GGG can hit a moving heavy bag for 12 rounds, go another direction!
Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (25-0 16KO): This is a fight that I can get behind. Andrade not only has the amateur credentials as a Former National Golden Gloves Champion and 2008 Olympian, he also comes into the fight as a former Junior Middleweight World Champion. He made his jump into the middleweight division last October against an undefeated (albeit untested) Alantez Fox, who he beat by unanimous decision. Andrade appears to have the goods to test Golovkin and seems to be best positioned for a potential upset. This may not be the most lucrative option for an opponent, but is certainly the best option as far as building a legacy.
There have been some other fighters throwing their name in the hat with varying degrees of seriousness, but these are the three names I keep seeing tossed around. Who would you like to see Golovkin in the ring with next? Of the fighters I covered, which would you pick? Let me know in the comments, through email (PugilistsParadise@columnist.com) or on Twitter @TheGreatToddMan.