Boxing promoter Tom Loeffler has confirmed that the winner of the upcoming middleweight title fight between Amir Khan and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will be mandated to face Gennady Golovkin. Khan, who has typically fought at welterweight and light-welterweight throughout his career to date, will step up two weight divisions to 155 for the very first time as he takes on the popular WBC champion on Cinco de Mayo weekend at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
WBA and IBO title-holder Golovkin, meanwhile, next steps into the ring on 23 April as he provides the first defence of the IBF belt – which he took from David Lemieux – against mandatory challenger Dominic Wade in California. The undefeated Kazakh is renowned for his powerful punching and has developed a reputation as one of the sport's most formidable fighters, with a proud record of 31 knockouts from his 34 professional bouts.
In an interview with FightHype.com, Loeffler said: "It's not a verbal [contract]. Everything is in writing. It's been signed by our side, by the Golden Boy side and by the WBC. We have a good relationship with Golden Boy and a lot of respect for Canelo.
"It was part of allowing the voluntary defence that they requested and now everything is mandated. Just like the IBF mandated Wade, it's mandated from the WBC. The winner of Canelo and Khan has 15 days to commit to either fighting Gennady or not. If they commit, then we will start negotiating and putting that fight together."
With Canelo boasting an obvious size advantage, many eyebrows were raised when the fight with Khan was announced, completely out of the blue, in early February. Few give the 2004 Olympic silver medallist much hope of springing a surprise, with Golovkin himself this week stating his belief that it was nothing more than a business fight.
"I think this is a business plan, a business fight," he told BoxingScene.com. "Thank you very much to HBO and my team because I bring a true fight... not just my fight but a true event. And [Roman] Chocolatito Gonzalez is [fighting] on the same day as me. This is a good gift, a good gift to people, a good bonus."
If Canelo does overpower Khan as expected, Golovkin has no plans to fight the Mexican at 155. He added: "He's not serious. He's middleweight champion. Middleweight is 160. 155? Why not 140? It's crazy."