Ward’s camp wants Golovkin fight this fall, then Kovalev
By Dan Ambrose: Andre Ward’s camp are reportedly interested in setting him up with a fight against WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) this fall, according to Dan Rafael. After that, they want to move Ward up to 175 for him to face IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev.
The idea is go tight Golovkin at whatever catch-weight that he can get for the fight, and then move up in weight. They don’t want Ward to move up in weight to take the Kovalev fight first and then have to move down in weight to face Golovkin. It would obviously be hard on Ward to move back down after he moves up to 175 for the Kovalev fight.
Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler recently spoke of fighting Ward at a catch-weight of 164 in a 50-50 deal. But it was thought by many that Loeffler was just blowing smoke, and thinking more in terms of the distant future for the fight rather than a fight that he was seriously interested in entertaining for this fall.
“GGG would fight Ward on a 50-50 basis, the best 160-pounder versus the best 168-pounder (at) 164 (and) a 50-50 split on all proceeds. But it seems like Ward needs more tune-up fights,” Loeffler said to ESPN.com.
That’s a crazy deal because it gives Ward an even money split of purse as well as a catch-weight. It’s a great deal for Ward, but it’s not so great for Golovkin because he’s been the one who has been bringing in huge ratings recently on HBO. Golovkin can arguably ask for a bigger purse split and he can also ask for Ward to come down to 160 to make the fight happen rather than him come up in weight.
The biggest drawback of a Golovkin-Ward fight is that it likely wouldn’t be worthy of pay-per-view. HBO can always stick it on pay-per-view if they want to, but I think it would bring in low numbers, perhaps really low.
If Cotto vs. Sergio Martinez fight brought in only 350,000 pay-per-view buys on HBO, then you can bet that Golovkin-Ward would bring in even less numbers. I think it would be lucky if it brought in even 100,000 pay-per-view buys. It’s just not a PPV worthy fight. For Golovkin to be fighting on pay-per-view, he needs a proven PPV star like Cotto or Canelo, and even then it might do huge numbers.
“The Ward camp told me today their preference is to make GGG for this fall and then go after Kovalev, which makes sense,” Rafael said on his chat on Friday at ESPN.com. “Ward isn’t going to go to light heavyweight and then come back down to face GGG. So face GGG now at whatever weight they can agree on and then, if all goes well, move to 175.”
I don’t see Loeffler making the Golovkin-Ward fight until after he faces the Cotto-Canelo winner, because if Golovkin takes the fight and loses to Ward, it could lead to lower pay-per-view numbers for a fight against the Cotto vs. Canelo winner. He might not even be able to face them on PPV. Fans might not be eager to pay to see Golovkin fight Canelo or Cotto after he gets beaten by Ward.
It’s going to be really difficult for Golovkin to shoot up to 164 to take a difficult fight against Ward, and then look to follow that up with a fight against the winner of the Cotto-Canelo fight.
“Ward can go from an afterthought having fought one nothing fight in 19 months to a huge deal quickly if he were to face GGG and Kovalev in a row and win both,” Rafael said.