Chavez-Golovkin showdown talks hit snagMay 8, 2014
A showdown between super-middleweight contender Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and middleweight title holder Gennady Golovkin, which loomed as one of boxing's most anticipated fights, is all but dead, the promoters for each fighter told ESPN.com.
The fight was being planned as the main event of an HBO PPV card on July 19 at the Forum in Inglewood, California, but Golovkin is looking at alternatives because Chavez has been unable to come to an agreement with Top Rank, his promoter.
"I give it no better than 10% chance of happening," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told ESPN.com. "There is not enough time now to do all the stuff we need to do to promote the fight, and then there is also the Canelo [Alvarez] fight on pay-per-view against [Erislandy] Lara in front of us [on July 12]. If we would have gotten this done when we should have gotten it done, we could do it, but we are out of time."
Arum said he has Top Rank president Todd duBoef making a last-ditch effort to close a deal with Chavez.
"They pulled the starting pitcher. They yanked me and the relief pitcher, Todd, is in. But I don't think he's going to have any more luck than I did," Arum said.
K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler, Golovkin's promoter, said he is beginning to pursue other options for his fighter.
"We had agreed to terms with Top Rank a while ago and made many concessions to make the fight with Chavez happen," Loeffler told ESPN.com. "It has now dragged out much longer for Chavez to agree to the fight. While we would still like to make the fight, we are pursuing other plans under our HBO multi-fight [contract] to have GGG back on HBO in July."
Golovkin, who was willing to move up in weight, signed for the 12-round super-middleweight fight weeks ago, but Chavez and Top Rank have been going back and forth, unable to come to terms. Arum said Chavez's contract with Top Rank expires in October 2015 and one of the central issues in the negotiation for the Golovkin fight was Top Rank's desire to have him sign an extension, but Chavez did not want to.
Arum said he relented on insisting on the extension and instead presented Chavez with two proposals. Under one proposal, Chavez would earn a certain amount of money to fight Golovkin without an extension. He would earn far more for the fight if he accepted the proposal with the extension.
"But what Chavez wants is the bigger purse without the futures," Arum said. "Why would we take a risk losing money on the fight with Golovkin and then we lose the kid as well? If we can make money and then he wants to go on his way, OK. But he can't have it both ways.
"So if he doesn't do the Golovkin fight, we'll offer him another fight, maybe for an HBO fight or a pay-per-view fight, but we're not going to offer him a fight where we are taking a big risk and we could lose money. For what?"
Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti said he is glad Chavez turned down the offers, especially the one without the extension.
"Why pay that kind of money without having anything moving forward? I'm happy he turned the deal down. It was too heavy, too much," Moretti said. "I'm not worried about it today. I'd rather deal with fighters who want to fight."
Chavez's manager Billy Keane did not return a message seeking comment. Loeffler said he hopes the fight can still be made but is not holding out hope.
"While the Chavez fight remains the fight that we would want the most, we cannot risk GGG not fighting in July," he said. "I know Bob has worked very hard to try close the deal with Chavez because it is a great fight with a huge interest from media and fans. There will definitely be upside for both fighters on the pay-per-view. We made concessions, such as coming up to the full weight limit of 168 [lbs], and other financial concessions to make this fight happen. There is enough money on the table for all sides to benefit financially.
"I don't like to give deadlines or try to force a fight to happen, but I told Bob that if the fight wasn't closed by the beginning of this week, we will start to look at a different fight in July under our HBO deal. We had to cancel the April fight because of the sudden death of [Golovkin's] father and we will not risk GGG not fighting in July under any circumstances."
Who Golovkin would fight on HBO in July has not been determined, nor has what Chavez would do for his next fight.
"HBO has given its full support under our agreement where we will get a July date. If the Chavez fight does not happen now, we would always entertain that fight in the future," Loeffler said. "We also hope that Top Rank can work out the deal with Chavez. If not, we will look for the best available guy that is willing to fight GGG in July."
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 in San Antonio.
Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs), 32, made his 10th middleweight title defence on February 1 in Monte Carlo, pummelling Osumanu Adama en route to a seventh-round knockout - his 16th stoppage victory in a row. An April 26 defence against Andy Lee was cancelled because of the death of Golovkin's father.
This article originally appeared on ESPN.com