Frank Warren has revealed that Gennady Golovkin rejected an offer to fight Billy Joe Saunders in June – but the promoter says the pair are in talks to meet on these shores for the undisputed middleweight title in September.
GGG is looking for options after Canelo Alvarez withdrew from their May 5 rematch withdrew following two failed drugs tests. Spike O’Sullivan and Jaime Munguia are being touted as potential opponents for the WBA, IBF and WBC champion.
That date comes too soon for Saunders, who is recovering from a hand injury ahead of his fight with Martin Murray in June. But despite Warren claiming that Golovkin swerved a summer showdown with the WBO titlist, the veteran promoter insists the pair could still meet in the UK down the line.
But should Canelo have the book thrown at him for his doping offences, a ban would open up the Kazakh’s schedule. And Warren believes that should be the case, if the sport wants to have itself taken seriously.
‘I don’t think he (Canelo) can just be forgiven,’ he told Boxing News. ‘He has been caught and if he is guilty, he has to get a ban which is one-year in Nevada, I believe.’
‘We couldn’t just cut corners to make that (May 5) date. It’s not just about being ready to fight Golovkin, it is about being ready to beat him.
‘We would have been ready to beat him in June, but Tom Loeffler has said they will go ahead and fight on May 5, probably against Spike O’Sullivan, which is ridiculous.’
He continued in a statement: ‘(Saunders-GGG) would be a huge fight and one we would love to make here in the UK. Golovkin has said many times that he wants to add the WBO belt to his collection and it’s a fight that Bill would jump at.
‘There should be no problem making it – on paper it is a brilliant fight and one fans have been calling for. This is a fight that will define Bill’s legacy and I genuinely believe he will win. If anyone can beat Golovkin then it’s Bill, he has the style and the boxing skills. But first he has to deal with Martin on June 23rd.’