By Jim Dower: Gennady Golovkin and his promoter Tom Loeffler are expected to make their decision whether to fight on May 5th by next Wednesday or Thurman. Saul Canelo Alvarez will be meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 18.
Golovkin’s management is going to wait to see what happens with Canelo before they make their decision whether to fight on May 5th. Things aren’t good with Golovkin since Canelo pulled out of his fight with him on that date.
There isn’t enough money for Golovkin to get a high quality replacement opponent, and if he fights on that date without facing his IBF mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko, then he’ll likely be stripped of his IBF middleweight title. Golovkin doesn’t want to give up his IBF title.
154 lb. contender Vanes Martirosyan is the frontrunner to face Golovkin on May 5, but with the decision being made by Team GGG on Wednesday or Thursday, it suggests that they could very well wait to fight again until September for the Canelo fight. In other words, Golovkin would wind up giving up his May 5th date and sit inactive for an entire year until Canelo is able to fight him in September. That’s if Canelo is give a reduced 6-month suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after they meet with him on April 18 for his hearing on his 2 positive tests for clenbuterol.
Golovkin has an opponent that the California State Athletic Commission and HBO have both agreed on in 31-year-old Martirosyan, but the problem is the IBF hasn’t agreed on him and they likely won’t anytime soon, because they already have Derevyanchenko as their mandatory challenger that they want Golovkin to fight on May 5.
”At some point, we’re going to run out of time,” Tom Loeffler said to AP. ”Right now, it’s three weeks from Saturday. The arenas are all still working with us. The networks are working with us. … Unfortunately, when you have fights like this that fall out, not everything is under our control. We’re under the gun now just to save May 5.”
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There would be no real issue if Golovkin were willing to give up his IBF middleweight title. That’s the only thing that is holding up the process, because Vanes Martirosyan has already agreed to fight him on May 5. The problem is the International Boxing Federation and the IBF mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko and his promoter Lou Dibella are all pushing for GGG to defend against him next on May 5.
Loeffler has had zero luck in working out a deal with Derevyanchenko and Dibella, so it doesn’t look like he’s going to be able to fight on May 5 unless it’s against him unless he vacates his IBF belt. It would be so easy if Golokvin were willing to give up the IBF title, but he doesn’t want to do that. If Golovkin does give up the IBF title, he’ll be free to take the fight against Martirosyan on May 5th. That’s the reason why it’s a waste of time for fighters to get hung up on unifying their respective weigh classes.
If Loeffler can get the IBF to agree to let Golovkin fight Martirosyan next on May 5 and put off the fight with Derevyanchenko until later, then GGG will be good to go on that date against the Armenian fighter.
If Golovkin chooses to stay out of the ring until September to wait for Canelo, then his career will be hurt as well as the Mexican fighter. Golovkin winds up being punished just like Canelo by his suspension, even though he’s done nothing wrong. It works well for Canelo and Golden Boy promotions if Golovkin doesn’t fight, because he ages more, and he winds up inactive and ring rusty when they do eventually make the fight.
It’s unfortunate that Golovkin has made his job harder by collecting so many titles in the middleweight division. The problems with collecting titles, is that you must defend them. Sooner or later the champions must defend their belts, and it’s not always going to be great fighters that the boxing fans have heard of.
”I’m hungry,’‘ said Golovkin. “Just give me a fight.”
Golovkin fought twice in 2017 against Danny Jacobs and Canelo instead of his normal three times. In 2018, it’s quite possible that Golovkin will fight only once if he chooses not to fight on May 5 and instead wait for the Canelo fight in September. Of course, Golovkin can always fight in December if he wants to keep busy, but he’ll likely be forced to defend against Derevyanchenko at that time if he still has the IBF title.
”This is one of the longest layoffs of his career,” Loeffler said about Golovkin. ”We think it’s patently unfair that he doesn’t fight just because Canelo is suspended.”
Golovkin is in a situation where he can’t offer big money to get the better fighters to readily agree to fight him on 3 weeks’ notice, because his May 5th fight WON’T be on JHBO PPV. There’s not a lot of money to offer his opponents. Additionally, GGG has his IBF mandatory challenger Derevyanchenko who is insisting on fighting him on May 5. The IBF wants the Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko fight to take place next as well. If Golovkin gives up his IBF belt, all his problems are over in terms of his May 5th fight. He can then go ahead and face Martirosyan next on that date and the IBF won’t be able to do a thing about it to stop the contest, because GGG would no longer have their title.