Gennady Golovkin could square off against his IBF mandatory challenger Tureano Johnson (19-1, 13 KOs) on April 23rd at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Golden Boy Promotions vice president Eric Gomez told ESPN.com “We’ve had preliminary talks”.
However, a unification bout with Billy Joe Saunders (23-0, 12 KOs) would be preferred by Golovkin and according to Dan Rafael the IBF would also allow Golovkin to skip his mandatory in order to take part in a unification bout.
A unification bout with Saunders seems highly unlikely at this stage and Golden Boy will be keen to see Johnson get the Golovkin fight at this stage. Such a bout can only be beneficial if they are truly looking to make a Canelo vs. Golovkin bout later in 2016.
Canelo is set to fight on May 7th just after Cinco De Mayo but his opponent hasn’t been named as yet. If both Canelo and Golovkin can emerge victorious from their first bouts of 2016 then a matchup between the pair is likely toward the end of 2016. If they do meet this year then you can expect the bout to take place around the time of Mexican Independence Day in September. Oscar De La Hoya has previously stated that Canelo’s second fight this would be around this date.
It’s worth noting if Canelo fails to fight Golovkin as his mandatory after the voluntary defence he is likely to be stripped of his title by the WBC.