Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin reached terms on a deal Wednesday for a rematch despite prolonged contract negotiations, and that may have all but destroyed any hopes of another potential super fight from taking place in 2018.
Deontay Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion, wants to face unified world heavyweight world titleholder Anthony Joshua badly enough that he accepted a below-market offer to meet the 2012 Olympic gold medalist.
But there are a few major problems. Wilder accepted an offer on Monday to meet Joshua at Wembley Stadium in England in what is sure to be a classic bout that would crown an undisputed heavyweight champion, barring any unforeseen circumstances. However, the offer is for Sept. 15, the same day that Canelo-GGG II is set to happen at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. According to Shelley Finkel, Wilder's co-manager, it is a two-fight deal, with the rematch set to take place in the United States.
Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn, who represents Joshua, is already in deep negotiations with former world champion Alexander Povetkin, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist, to fight Joshua in London in September. If Joshua fights Povetkin, the chances of Joshua-Wilder in the U.K. in 2018 are very slim due to the weather. With the money that both fighters are demanding, the only way to make the bout will be financially feasible is to host it at an outdoor facility, like Wembley, which can hold 100,000 people, and is the same venue where Joshua drew 90,000 for his electrifying 11th-round stoppage of legendary ex-champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2017. The average temperature in October in London is around 53 degrees Fahrenheit, but it would be much colder during the evening hours.
Another option is Las Vegas, which would work better in regards to pay-per-view sales, but since Wilder has already agreed to fight Joshua in the U.K., Hearn is unlikely to budge. After all, Joshua is the A-side.
Hearn could still channel his inner Floyd Mayweather and schedule the bout a few weeks before the rematch between Canelo and Golovkin, but that would also leave him with significantly less time to promote the fight. On the other hand, Joshua is his cash cow, and perhaps it would not hurt to have him fight someone else first. ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas, a legendary trainer who notoriously warned Alexander Povetkin not to fight the aforementioned Klitschko before he was knocked down five times en-route to a unanimous decision loss in 2013, has also said in recent weeks that Joshua's handlers should keep him away from Wilder for the time being.
Although a significant amount of progress has been made towards making Joshua-Wilder a reality, there appear to be too many hurdles to make it happen this year. The announcement of Canelo-GGG II may have been the nail in the coffin.