Report: Gennady Golovkin to skip June return and focus on Canelo Alvarez

Despite recent talk of a June unification bout against England’s Billy Joe Saunders, unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin appears ready to sit out and wait the final months in hopes for a fall showdown with Canelo Alvarez.

According to a report by Yahoo Sports, Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) will focus exclusively on setting a long-awaited fight with Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs), the lineal champion at 160 pounds who gave up his middleweight title last year in order to avoid facing his mandatory opponent Golovkin.

With negotiations ongoing between Glolovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler of K2, and Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Alvarez, GGG has chosen to rest after a hard-fought decision victory over Daniel Jacobs in March. 

“He was sore,” Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez told Yahoo Sports. “He had a 12-round fight. I didn’t see it the first day in the dressing room. Usually the second or third day you start to feel it, and I didn’t check in with him right after. After a long training camp, I’m the last person he would want to see. He is not a complainer. It’s just natural soreness. It was a difficult fight.”

A potential fight between Golovkin and Alvarez has been discussed for two years and would be the biggest event boxing could make in 2016, outside of Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor. Alvarez will first face Mexican countryman Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May at a catchweight of 164.5 pounds. 

Golden Boy took issue publicly in recent weeks with the idea of Golovkin, who has kept an active schedule since debuting in the United States in 2012, taking such a quick turnaround in June, which the promotion felt would cut into the time needed to properly market a fall superfight.

Asked about the Golovkin report on Monday, Golden Boy founder Oscar De La Hoya sounded supportive of the development. 

“All our focus is on Canelo and Chavez. I actually didn’t know he was not going to fight in June,” De La Hoya said. “That’s obviously a great indication but all of our focus is on Canelo and Chavez.”

CBS Sports Insider

Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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