Second proposed Gennady Golovkin opponent turned down


A second replacement opponent has been turned down for Gennady Golovkin.

With a scheduled fight date a month away and TBA still manning the opposition corner, an attempt was made to switch the territory of the fight and bring in Vanes Martirosyan, but this has been blocked.

The Kazakh middleweight king was due to rematch Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez on Saturday May 5th, putting his IBF, WBC, and WBA belts on the line at the T-Mobile Arena, live on pay-per-view

This bout, however, was scuppered due to two positive tests for Clenbuterol from Canelo back in February and the Guadalajaran, who blames contaminated beef for the results, officially withdrew from the contest last week. Even before this, there has been a dash to secure a replacement opponent for Golovkin [37(33)-0-1] for the fight in Las Vegas, with Irishman Spike O’Sullivan [27(19)-2(1)] featuring prominently.

With the bout taking place on Cinco De Mayo, Golovkin’s team wished to bring in a Mexican and Jaime Munguia [28(24)-0] was put forward as the man to step in. The Nevada Athletic Commission rejected the 21-year-old light middleweight for being too small and too inexperienced at the top level. After this, the Asian’s team revealed that they had a shortlist of five other fighters they are considering bringing in, with O’Sullivan the only one of these named.

It has emerged that another light middleweight, Armenian-American Martirosyan [36(21)-3(0)-1], was another on the shortlist and was attempted to be installed as the replacement – only for the WBC, IBF, and WBA to reject him too.

FightNews reported earlier today that Golovkin’s team had attempted to move the host city of the bout to LA in the neighbouring state of California, with the 2004 U.S. Olympian seeming to confirm the same on social media. LA Times boxing journalist Lance Pugmire subsequently reported that the state’s athletic commission approving the Martirosyan match-up only for the governing bodies to intervene – as well as revealing that the California commission had also approved O’Sullivan

32-year-old Martirosyan has twice challenged for World titles at 154lbs, losing to both Demetrius Andrade and Erislandy Lara, and the Eastern European has not fought since this loss to Lara almost two years ago. Despite this, the fighter is currently ranked #1 by the WBC at light middleweight.

An announcement regarding Golovkin’s opponent is expected imminently, and today’s news could be seen to increase the chance of O’Sullivan – who accepted terms to the fight last week – being selected for the dream title shot.

The Mahon 33-year-old is currently deep in training in Dublin with Paschal Collins having previously been set for a headline Golden Boy on ESPN appearance in Vegas on Friday May 4th. It is assumed this fight – perhaps building toward a lucrative Canelo fight once the Mexican returns from an expected drugs ban – remains an option should one of the other three unnamed boxers remaining on the shortlist be chosen for Golovkin.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie