Now what?

Imperial Valley Press - - SPORTS -

GGG has op­tions, op­tions, op­tions.

NEW YORK (AP) — Op­tions, op­tions and more op­tions.

All the talk if Gen­nady Golovkin suc­cess­fully de­fended his mid­dleweight ti­tles against Danny Ja­cobs was cen­tered on GGG fi­nally get­ting in the ring with Canelo Al­varez. Now, there might be an­other big-money pos­si­bil­ity after Satur­day night’s close de­ci­sion win: a re­match with Ja­cobs.

Ac­tu­ally, Golovkin most likely will next fight Eng­land’s Billy Joe Saun­ders, who owns the only belt in the weight class not in the Kazakh’s pos­ses­sion, the WBO’s ver­sion in the al­pha­bet soup of cham­pi­onships. That could hap­pen in Golovkin’s home coun­try in June dur­ing the EXPO 2017 - a world’s fair type event .

Golovkin likes that idea, though it wouldn’t be a lu­cra­tive pay­day. The idea of com­pletely uni­fy­ing all the mid­dleweight crowns is en­tic­ing for the 34-yearold power puncher who, for the first time in 24 fights did not stop an op­po­nent.

He out­pointed a crafty Ja­cobs at Madi­son Square Gar­den.

“My goal is all the belts in the mid­dleweight di­vi­sion,” he said after win­ning 115-112 on two cards, 114-113 on an­other. “Of course, Billy Joe is the last one. It is my dream.”

GGG hasn’t fought at home since 2010, when he won the WBA crown against Nil­son Julio Tapia. It sim­ply hasn’t been a prof­itable place for boxing, though his han­dlers think there po­ten­tially could be a big­ger purse dur­ing the expo.

The Al­varez matchup, should the Mex­i­can beat Julio Ce­sar Chavez Jr. in May, is where the big bucks are. That’s been true, how­ever, for sev­eral years, and put­ting to­gether such a fight has been elu­sive.

Tom Lo­ef­fler, GGG’s pro­moter, re­peated many times after the Ja­cobs fight that he be­lieves Golovkin-Al­varez can hap­pen be­fore the end of 2017. Sev­eral of his lis­ten­ers re­sponded, ba­si­cally, with a “We’ve heard that be­fore” mantra.

“I be­lieve both sides want this fight and we are get­ting closer to it,” Lo­ef­fler said.

His boxer was asked in the ring Satur­day night after the ex­haust­ing bout with Ja­cobs to dis­cuss meet­ing Al­varez, the su­per wel­ter­weight cham­pion whose only de­feat in 43 fights was to Floyd May­weather in 2013.

“Of course I am ready to fight Canelo. Of course I want that fight,” Golovkin said. “I am like an an­i­mal for that fight.”

The ele­phant in the ring, though, could be Ja­cobs. Nick­named “Mir­a­cle Man,” after over­com­ing bone cancer in 2011-12 to win 10 straight fights, he nearly pulled off the huge up­set. In do­ing so by keep­ing GGG off-balance — Ja­cobs’ pe­ri­od­i­cally switch­ing to a left-handed style was a very ef­fec­tive tac­tic — and clos­ing with a flour­ish, He put him­self in the mix for an­other go with Golovkin.

“They want the big fight and Daniel Ja­cobs got X’d out,” he said. “I am look­ing for­ward to the fu­ture; I think I gained a lot of fans. My style is good, I am a fan-friendly guy, and I thought I won the fight.”

Ja­cobs didn’t, barely. But he won tons of sup­port, par­tic­u­larly after get­ting off the can­vas in the fourth round and not just sur­viv­ing but pros­per­ing. He won the last three rounds with two of the judges, and two of three on the other card.

“After the knock­down, I told him he had to kill me,” Ja­cobs said. “When I got up I thought, ‘This is all he has?’ There were many times dur­ing the fight I went toe to toe be­cause I knew I could.”

Go­ing toe to toe with GGG again is not in Ja­cobs’ con­trol. But at least he re­mains in the con­ver­sa­tion.

“He’s my best op­po­nent, he is very smart, he had very good boxing skill,” Golovkin said. “He don’t mind fight­ing, he doesn’t lose con­trol.

“I am ready for any­body. It’s my job.”

Daniel Ja­cobs re­acts after the de­ci­sion was an­nounced in his mid­dleweight boxing match against Gen­nady Golovkin, of Kaza­khstan, early Sun­day in New York. AP PHOTO

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