Boxing: With Canelo Out For 2016, Who Should Golovkin Fight Next?

By Kenny Ragwell, Posted: 09/22/16 05:00AM EDT
Boxing at O2 Arena
Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan (r) in action with Kell Brook of Great Britain during the WBC, IBF & IBO Middleweight titles fight at The O2 Arena on September 10, 2016 in London, England.(Photo : Leigh Dawney/Getty Images)

The highly anticipated showdown between Kazakh middleweight champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) and Mexican superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) has gone down the drain as a thumb fracture take Canelo out of the picture, at least for this year. With no Canelo to fight, who should the fearsom Triple G face next?

Yahoo! Sports reported that Alvarez suffered an avulsion fracture in his right thumb and won't be healthy enought to fight until early 2017. The Mexican champion will likely return to the ring for a middleweight bout on the Cinco de Mayo weekend next year before a potential clash with Golovkin in September at the earliest.

With plans of a December 2016 superfight between Golovkin and Canelo scrapped, boxing scribe Scott Christ of the Bad Left Hook boxing blog listed five sluggers who'll probably stand as a worthy replacement versus Golovkin. The middleweight boxing superstar recently knockoed out Kell Brook.

Billy Joe Saunders topped the list. The 27-year old British southpaw is undefeated in 23 fights, with 12 bouts won via knockouts. He recently won over the highly heralded Andy Lee and Chris Eubank, Jr. Another name on the list is American champion Daniel Jacobs, who holds an impressive record of 32 wins and a single loss, with 29 wins by way of knockout.

Both Saunders and Jacobs look to be the most logical choice for Golovkin's camp both on paper and in the ring, as both present a unification opportunity for Triple G. Saunders is the current WBO middleweight titleholder while Jacobs hold the WBA middleweight crown.

Andy Lee and Chris Eubank, Jr. are potential names in the Golovkin's hit list. Lee was scheduled to face the Kazakh in April 2014 before the latter canceled the fight to mourn the passing of his father.

Lee has power and is durable, but after an abysmal outing in his last two fights, selling him can be a difficult task for promoters. Eubank, on the other hand, was supposed to fight Golovkin when the former's camp bombed the deal that eventually went to Kell Brook.

Eubank has that combination of skills, power, and speed but has never faced an opponent in league with Golovkin. Saunders was his best opponent so far and Eubank failed to score a win.

Avtandil Khurtsidze or Tureano Johnson may also have their chance at Golovkin should all four fighters mentioned above pass at a shot for the undisputed middlewight champ. Both fighters will have slight chances of winning but their styles will probably make it an entertaining night for boxing fans out there. 

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