Friday, March 21, 2014
Chavez-GGG getting closer
By Dan Rafael
Gennady Golovkin's toughest test to date could come in the form of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at 168.
Promoters Top Rank and K2 Promotions are getting closer to making what could be one of the best fights of the year: a super middleweight showdown between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin, who would move up to 168 pounds for the 12-round bout.
The fight, which would be on HBO PPV, is being negotiated for July 12 and would take place at the newly renovated Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
"The July fight with Chavez looks good," K2 promotions managing director Tom Loeffler, Golovkin's promoter, told ESPN.com. "It's not finalized [but we are] just working out some final details with Top Rank."
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is also bullish on getting a deal done.
"Tom and I are not far apart," Arum said. "We're getting close on the Golovkin side and I presented everything to the Chavez side and they are getting back to me next week. I think it's coming together."
Arum said his meeting with Chavez manager Billy Keane last Saturday in Los Angeles went well.
"They definitely like the Golovkin fight. They listened to the numbers I laid out and they were very receptive to what I had to say," Arum said. "But you have to finalize everything. But they like the idea of fighting Golovkin. This is a fight that is a win-win for everybody. I have confidence we will get it done because it makes all the sense in the world. But, of course, it's boxing and [sense] doesn't always carry the day."
Arum, however, is confident enough that he said that he already spoke to officials at the Forum and was able to have a concert scheduled for July 12 moved to July 13 to accommodate the anticipated fight, which would be the second boxing event at the arena since its renovation. Top Rank is putting on the first fight on May 17 when Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado face off in a welterweight bout.
Golovkin had been scheduled for a middleweight title defense against Andy Lee on April 26 in an HBO main event at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. However, Golovkin's father recently died and he withdrew from the fight to be with his family in Kazakhstan as well as to observe a ritual 40-day mourning period.
Loeffler said that although the April fight is off and Golovkin is with his family, he is working to get his next fight with Chavez finalized.
"He is still with his family," Loeffler said, adding that if it works in Golovkin's schedule he wants to bring him to Las Vegas for the April 12 rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr.
It would stand to reason that if Golovkin can get to Las Vegas it would be an ideal time to hold a news conference to announce the fight with Chavez.
"It's a tremendous fight," Arum said. "It's the kind of fight that I believe can be right up there [in terms of pay-per-view sales] with Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez [on June 7]. Maybe a little less, but up there."
Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs), 31, made his 10th middleweight title defense on Feb. 1 in Monte Carlo, pummeling Osumanu Adama en route to a seventh-round knockout -- his 16th stoppage victory in a row.
Chavez (48-1-1, 32 KOs), 28, of Mexico, bounced back from a poor performance in a highly controversial decision win against Bryan Vera in September -- for which Chavez also badly missed making weight -- to clearly outpoint Vera in the rematch on March 1. Chavez came in a half-pound under the 168-pound limit and looked strong and motivated.
"Without that performance from Chavez this deal with Golovkin wouldn't work. We wouldn't be able to make the fight and have it be credible," Arum said.
Now it is and it's going to be a helluva lot of fun if they finish the deal.