I hear it all the time.
"Boxing isn't what it used to be," they try to tell me.
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I don't necessarily agree, but it's certainly tough to defend at times, especially after watching Canelo Alvarez spend 12 rounds beating up a seemingly overmatched Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Saturday night, which led to a unanimous-decision win for Canelo in Las Vegas.
Canelo is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. And if you believe in the importance of lineal championships, then Canelo is your guy in the middleweight division, being the man who beat "the man" back in 2015, when he defeated Miguel Cotto in a unanimous decision.
But not even Golden Boy Promotions can call Canelo's latest fight an entertaining one. Which is why many with an interest in the fight game are more intrigued by the thought of Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor.
Whether or not that fight ever actually happens remains to be seen. But even without an official announcement, the anticipation for it has been set at a level that can only be described as a "must-see" event.
But I'm here to tell you that Mayweather vs McGregor isn't the fight you should be clamoring for if you're looking to be entertained when the bell rings. The fight you should actually want to see is Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin on Sept. 16, which was made official immediately after Canelo defeated Chavez Jr. on Saturday night. And as Canelo and Golovkin stood face-to-face in the ring, many of us boxing fans thought to ourselves, "Finally."
The pop-culture, social-media hungry world could care less about Canelo/Golovkin. But the build-up to a potential Mayweather/McGregor fight would be everything that entertainment stands for. From a promotional perspective, that fight has it all. It's the event that everybody will want to see, even if they're not necessarily fight fans. Until that fight begins, of course.
Canelo/Golovkin won't draw the same interest leading up to Sept. 16. But it probably should. Because it will be the better fight. And it's not even close.
Golovkin is the unified middleweight champion. He's the indestructible force in boxing that Canelo has been avoiding at all costs. It's the fight that the 35-year-old undefeated Golovkin has always wanted, and the fight that the 26-year-old lineal champion Canelo has been seemingly waiting out.
Well, after Golovkin was pushed to a 12-round decision for the first time in March -- which ended his 23-fight knockout streak -- Golden Boy Promotions decided the moment was right. And while Golden Boy will try its best to promote the fight's epic in-ring value, it just won't be able to match the hype that Mayweather/McGregor would receive.
Canelo/Golovkin doesn't have the same personalities. But it certainly has the more exciting boxers. It's a battle of two knockout artists going toe-to-toe in a fight that true boxing fans have been begging to see.
I'm not here to tell you that Canelo/Golovkin will somehow save the sport. I'm just letting you know that, regardless of the hype level and promotional appeal to the pop-culture world, Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin is the biggest, most-coveted fight that the sport has seen in a very long time.
Listen to “The Danny Picard Show” at dannypicard.com, iTunes, Google Play, and on the PodcastOne network. Danny can also be heard weekends on WEEI 93.7 FM. Follow him on Twitter @DannyPicard.