Editor's Note: Although a source close to the WBA has advised BoxingScene.com that a favorable ruling is expected to come down on Golovkin-Geale - both promoters, K2 Promotions and Gary Shaw, have yet to receive any type of written decision from the World Boxing Association.
By Keith Idec
The WBA cleared the way Monday for a Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Geale middleweight title fight July 26 at Madison Square Garden by agreeing to make Golovkin its “super champion” at 160 pounds.
The Venezuelan sanctioning organization previously ordered Golovkin’s representatives to begin negotiations with another Australian contender, relatively unknown Jarrod Fletcher (18-1, 10 KOs), because he was the leading available contender against whom Golovkin could make an overdue mandatory defense of his WBA title. HBO Sports executive wouldn’t approve Fletcher as an opponent for Golovkin’s next fight on the network, though, which prompted K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler to request that the WBA either elevate Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs) to “super champion” status or grant him an exception to make an optional defense against Geale (30-2, 16 KOs), a former IBF and WBA middleweight champion.
Russia’s Dmitry Chudinov (13-0-2, 8 KOs) already is the WBA’s interim middleweight title-holder. Chudinov is ranked No. 1 among middleweight contenders by the WBA, Fletcher is No. 2 and Geale is No. 3.
The Golovkin-Geale fight, which will test Golovkin’s star power because it’ll be held at 20,000-seat Madison Square Garden, will be officially announced Thursday during a news conference in Los Angeles. Another news conference will be held Saturday in New York, before the Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden (HBO Pay-Per-View; $64.95 in HD; 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Sources close to the situation also confirmed that the HBO co-feature July 26 will pit Philadelphia heavyweight Bryant Jennings (18-0, 10 KOs) against Cuban southpaw Mike Perez (20-0-1, 12 KOs) in a WBC elimination match. Jennings and Perez initially were scheduled to fight May 24 in Corpus Christi, Texas, but Perez suffered a shoulder injury during sparring and the fight was postponed.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.