By Ryan Maquiñana
Gennady Golovkin vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. would be a prime candidate for 2014 Fight of the Year, but if the much-anticipated super middleweight showdown cannot be finalized, there might be a backup plan.
Abel Sanchez, who trains Golovkin, told BoxingScene.com Wednesday that if a deal can’t be made for Golovkin-Chavez on July 19 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., then the middleweight titleholder would stay at 160 pounds and face someone else on the same date in New York City.
In addition, Sanchez was informed such a bout would move from HBO Pay-Per-View to regular HBO instead. The trainer offered an update on his fighter, who has been mourning the loss of his father in his native Kazakhstan.
“He’s supposed to come back in May,” Sanchez said. “As far as who he would fight on July 19 if it’s not Chavez, we haven’t really talked about that yet. Right now a couple of minor things need to be negotiated, but I talked to (ZanFer executive) Sean (Gibbons), and I think the Chavez fight is close to done.”
When asked about the potential New York backup plan for Golovkin, HBO Sports president Ken Hershman would not comment, but did touch on his desire to get the Chavez clash completed.
“If we can get that fight done, it would be great,” Hershman said.
Sanchez believes his budding superstar can defeat Chavez within the distance, but not in the same manner that Golovkin has obliterated foes by sending them to the canvas.
“If Gennady stops him, he might be able to do it in the later rounds,” Sanchez said. “I think it will come by knocking him down, though, because Chavez has such a good chin, but I think he can do it with a body shot.”
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a boxing column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine's Ratings Panel. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, check out his blog at Norcalboxing.com or follow him on Twitter@RMaq28.