Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez II: How the rematch fell apart before coming together

After one full year of controversy, debate, intense negotiations and trash talk from either side, unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will finally get his second chance at lineal champion Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas.

The pair of middleweight stars will headline their second pay-per-view at T-Mobile Arena for nearly the same exact stakes as their disputed and exciting split draw last September. The only thing separating the bouts the second time around is the increase in money thanks to a spicy 12 months of ordeals and the fact that both fighters enter the rematch having lost respect for their opponent.

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Let's take a look back at how we got here since Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) and Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) first shared the ring last year in what has been a whirlwind of headlines that has played out like a soap opera.   

Sept. 16, 2017: Despite controlling Alvarez with his jab throughout and outlanding him 218 to 169, according to CompuBox, Golovkin was forced to settle with a controversial draw in a fight most media observers and fans felt he won close but comfortably. While the scorecards turned in by veteran judges Dave Moretti (115-113 for Golovkin) and Don Trella (114-114) were considered narrow yet understandable, Adelaide Byrd's 118-110 score for Alvarez was an atrocity that screamed of incompetence at worst and outright corruption at best. Not only did the first fight prove to be a commercial success after selling 1.3M PPV buys, both fighters voiced interest in a rematch to settle the score. 

Sept. 22, 2017: Formal negotiations between Golden Boy, Alvarez's promoter, and Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler began, with both sides identifying Cinco de Mayo weekend in Las Vegas for May 2018 as the likely time and site for the rematch. 

Oct. 2, 2017: With negotiations still in progress, the WBC ordered the Golovkin-Alvarez rematch during the sanctioning body's annual convention in Azerbaijan. Golovkin, who held three recognized world titles (WBC, WBA, IBF) in the first bout, was originally awarded the WBC title in May 2016 after Alvarez was stripped for refusing to face GGG. As a result of the subsequent fallout, Alvarez refused to contend for the WBC title in their first meeting. 

Jan. 29, 2018: After months more of posturing between both sides, HBO formally announced the rematch would take place May 5 on PPV. T-Mobile Arena beat out a bid from New York's Madison Square Garden as the site. 

March 5, 2018: Alvarez failed a pair of drug tests administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) in late February while training in his native Mexico. It was revealed he tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, which Alvarez instantly blamed on his consumption of contaminated beef. 

March 21, 2018: During a roundtable with reporters at his training camp in Big Bear Lake, California, Golovkin called out Alvarez and promoter Oscar De La Hoya as "dirty cheaters" and compared the NAC to "terrorists" for their handling of Alvarez's excuses. 

March 23, 2018: With an angry Golovkin unwilling to let the story die down publicly, forcing pressure upon the Nevada Athletic Commission, the May 5 rematch was placed in serious jeopardy after Alvarez was temporarily suspended by NAC until an April 10 hearing to decide his fate.

March 28, 2018: MGM, the parent company of T-Mobile Arena and many of the resorts in close proximity in Las Vegas, began to offer full refunds to those who bought tickets to Glolovkin-Alvarez II as whispers of the fight's demise continued to swirl. 

March 29, 2018: NAC chief Bob Bennett filed a formal doping complaint against Alvarez, delaying his hearing to April 18 and adding more uncertainty. 

April 3, 2018: Two weeks before his scheduled hearing amid rumors of a likely suspension, Alvarez held a media conference call to announce he was withdrawing from the bout just 32 days out from the scheduled rematch. The Mexican star continued to plead innocence and apologized to fans. 

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Alvarez's failed test nearly destroyed any hopes for a rematch. Getty Images

April 13, 2018: Alvarez underwent cosmetic surgery on his right knee to prepare the internal femoral cartilage and eliminate a pathological fold. He was expected to return following 3-4 weeks of recovery. 

April 18, 2018: Alvarez was suspended for six months by the NAC for failing a pair of out-of-competition urine tests. With the lenient suspension retroactive to the failed tests in February, Alvarez was deemed eligible to return in August, which kept open the door for a September rematch on Mexican Independence Day weekend. 

April 18, 2018: On the same day as Alvarez's suspension was announced, Golovkin revealed he planned to keep his May 5 date intact and announced he would face former junior middleweight title contender Vanes Martirosyan in Carson, California. 

May 3, 2018: Still upset at Alvarez's excuses and the boxing media's acceptance of his reasons, Golovkin told reporters in California there was only "a 10 percent probability" that he would be interested in facing Alvarez a second time. 

May 5, 2018: Golovkin made quick work of Martirosyan via violent second-round TKO to tie Bernard Hopkins' middleweight record of 20 title defenses. Although GGG defended his WBA and WBC titles, his IBF title wasn't at stake after the sanctioning body refused to accept his opponent as a legitimate title contender. 

May 15, 2018: While talks of a fall rematch continued to swirl, Alvarez was removed from WBC rankings after failing to submit to year-round drug testing. Although Alvarez maintained his innocence from his failed tests in February, he said he would only undergo testing once Golovkin officially signed the contract for a rematch. Alvarez quickly changed his stance following the WBC's ruling. 

June 5, 2018: Negotiations for Golovkin-Alvarez II began to go south after De La Hoya publicly derided GGG's demand of a 50-50 financial split due to Alvarez's failed drug tests (Alvarez enjoyed a 70-30 split in the first bout). Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez revealed on the same day that his fighter would be more than willing to walk away should his demands not be met. 

June 6, 2018: Golovkin was stripped of his IBF middleweight title for not agreeing to face mandatory opponent Sergiy Derevyanchenko within the 90-day timeframe provided by the sanctioning body.

June 6, 2018: On the same day GGG was stripped of his IBF title, De La Hoya publicly declared that negotiations for a September rematch had hit a dead end, saying, "the Canelo train has left the station." In addition, De La Hoya revealed he was in talks with promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport about matching Alvarez against top contender Daniel Jacobs for Sept. 15. 

June 12, 2018: After Golovkin shot down the original Golden Boy offer of a 65-35 financial split, De La Hoya issued 24-hour deadline for Golovkin to accept a final offer of 57.5-42.5 for the rematch. 

June 13, 2018: Hours after the imposed deadline came and went, with De La Hoya telling reporters the fight was dead, a tweet from the "Golden Boy" himself announced that an eleventh hour deal had been made. After GGG reportedly stuck to his principals and didn't budge from his financial stance, De La Hoya later revealed it took additional money he was forced to post himself in order to get Golovkin's signature.

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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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