Opening bell: A modest proposal
When Canelo Alvarez enrolled last month in a year-round random drug-testing program (24/7/365) with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, it cleared a major hurdle toward putting his rematch with unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin back together.
It had, of course, been scheduled to take place on May 5 until Alvarez failed two drug tests for the banned substance clenbuterol in February. The fight was canceled, and Alvarez was suspended for six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
GGG went ahead and bludgeoned no-hope replacement opponent Vanes Martirosyan in the second round of the expected destruction, and then all attention turned toward the rematch once again. That Alvarez was not yet enrolled in a serious testing program well ahead of the planned Sept. 15 rematch was a deal breaker for Golovkin, so when Alvarez made the move, it appeared they would be able to get the deal done.
But there was also one other significant piece of the puzzle that needed to be solved: Because GGG lost out on a payday of probably at least $20 million in May when the fight was scrapped (and instead got around $1 million to smash up Martirosyan), and because he was so angry at Alvarez for the failed tests, he wanted a bigger piece of the pie.
The deal GGG had originally agreed to for the rematch called for a 65-35 revenue split in favor of Alvarez, but with all the trouble and aggravation Golovkin has gone though -- none of it his fault -- he now wants it to be 50-50. Alvarez, who can make a ton of money without Golovkin but nowhere near as much as he can with him, doesn't want to give him parity.
The way I see it, Golovkin is in la-la land if he thinks he can get 50-50. He doesn't deserve it, because Alvarez is still the much bigger draw. However, Golovkin definitely deserves a healthier piece of the pie for his trouble and because, for better or worse, Alvarez's failed drug tests and the legitimate bad blood it led to between the fighters has made the rematch an even bigger pay-per-view bonanza than it would have been had they squared off as planned on May 5.
So with the sides at a stalemate as to how to get this rematch done under a deal they can both live with, I have a proposal, one that I have previously advocated when things got dicey determining the split for a megafight.
Let's make this real prizefighting. Let's have them fight for stakes beyond the belts, legacy and a guaranteed chunk of the nine figures the fight will generate.
I propose that Canelo receive 50 percent of the revenue, with 40 percent going to GGG and with the winner of the fight getting the remaining 10 percent. That's real prizefighting.
Doing a deal under that split would show good faith on both sides. Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) would take a cut on his guarantee for testing positive twice, but he still would get at least half the money no matter what. And Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) would get the raise he deserves from 35 percent because of all the trouble Canelo caused.
Since both men are so supremely confident of victory, let 'em fight for the other 10 percent in addition to the belts and the glory. And if the fight is another draw (PLEASE, NO!!!!), they can split the 10 percent.
The first fight sold around 1.3 million units on HBO PPV and generated a live gate of $27,059,850, the third biggest ever. Due to what has happened in recent months, the rematch in my view is now bigger, and the intrigue of the fighters throwing down for an additional share of the money would only add to the promotion of the event.
If the fighters really want the rematch, they're going to have to compromise to get a deal done. This plan is about as fair as it gets.
Fights you may have missed
Saturday at Monterrey, Mexico
Junior featherweight Emanuel Navarrete (25-1, 22 KOs) KO12 Jose Sanmartin (26-5-1, 17 KOs), title eliminator.
Navarrete, 23, of Mexico, put himself in position for a mandatory shot at the winner of the June 16 fight between titlist Danny Roman and interim titlist Moises Flores by knocking out Colombia's Sanmartin at 46 seconds of the final round. In a tough fight, Navarrete methodically broke down Sanmartin, who had never been stopped. Sanmartin mounted a rally in the second half of the fight, but Navarrete, who said he hurt his hand in the fourth round, mounted a furious assault in the 11th round. After landing a ton of punches, he finally dropped Sanmartin to a knee with 30 seconds left. In the 12th round, Navarrete continued to attack, and when he landed a left hand to the body, Sanmartin took a step back and dropped to a knee. He remained there as referee Rafael Ramos counted him out.
Saturday at Rzeszow, Poland
Cruiserweight Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (55-4-1, 38 KOs) W10 Olanrewaju Durodola (27-6, 25 KOs), scores: 98-92, 97-93 (twice).
Former two-time cruiserweight world titleholder Wlodarczyk, 36, of Poland, won his second fight in a row since world titlist Murat Gassiev pounded him out in three rounds in October in the World Boxing Super Series quarterfinals. He outboxed the more aggressive and powerful Durodola, 37, of Nigeria, who lost his second fight in a row, having been stopped in the 10th round by Maxim Vlasov in February. Wlodarczyk now aspires to move up to heavyweight for an all-Polish showdown with former world title challenger Artur Szpilka (21-3, 15 KOs).
Friday at Melbourne, Australia
Light heavyweight Blake Caparello (27-3-1, 11 KOs) KO1 Trent Broadhurst (20-3, 12 KOs).
In a fight between Australian countrymen and former world title challengers, Caparello, 31, a southpaw who got smoked in two rounds while challenging Sergey Kovalev in 2014, handed Broadhurst, 29, his second consecutive first-round KO loss. Broadhurst had been blown out in the first round by titlist Dmitry Bivol in November. In this one, Caparello scored three knockdowns for the convincing victory.
Friday at Los Angeles
Junior welterweight Javier Molina (18-2, 8 KOs) W8 Jessie Roman (22-4, 11 KOs), scores: 79-73 (three times).
Molina, 28, of Norwalk, California, a 2008 U.S. Olympian whose career was sidetracked by various injuries, returned from a 2½-year layoff after a decision loss to Jamal James. Molina moved down from welterweight and cruised to a victory against Roman, 27, of Santa Ana, California, in the main event of Golden Boy Promotions' Estrella TV card. "I felt I fought really well," Molina said. "I got some ring rust off against a good opponent. I was off for 2½, so I'm happy to finally be back in the ring. This was something I needed. It's my first fight at 140 pounds, and I felt the difference."