By Rick Reeno
Greg Cohen, the promoter of WBA mandatory Jarrod Fletcher (18-1, 10KOs), is planning to push for an agreement to get reached for a July title fight with WBA/IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. The WBA recently ordered Golovkin to make a mandatory defense against Fletcher. Both sides have until June 13th to reach a deal - or a purse bid will be scheduled.
In earlier article on BoxingScene.com, Golovkin's promoter, Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, revealed that his company has already applied for a special permit to face former IBF/WBA champion Daniel Geale on July 26th at Madison Square Garden.
"The WBA sent out legal notices to both teams and we have a 30 day negotiation period and after that, if we can't come to terms, we go to purse bid. Golvokin's people have every right to file for a special permit to avoid their mandatory, but Golovkin has been champion for almost four years and he's never made a mandatory [defense]. It's not necessarily his fault because a few times I think he wanted to and the guys who were his mandatory challengers declined. We didn't decline, we pushed for this fight. We've been trying to enforce the mandatory for quite some time and it's finally been enforced. I'm very doubtful that they are going to allow him to circumvent us," Cohen told BoxingScene.com.
"I understand getting a special permit to fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a major pay-per-view bout. Daniel Geale got his shot on HBO and he lost. He's a good fighter, he's a former champion, but it's not like he's Floyd Mayweather Jr. or some hot commodity. Geale and Fletcher are very similar. Both are from Australia. Fletcher actually has much more pedigree than a guy like Geale. Geale is certainly more known, but how do you get known unless you get a shot."
"We're talking about a kid who is a two-time Olympian, captain of the Australian boxing team, beat Adonis Stevenson and James DeGale in the amateurs. The guy won a gold medal in the Commonwealths. In his last fight, he beat one of Golovkin's stablemates [Max Bursak], a K2 fighter, a guy who was top 5 across the board, and he earned his way here. He's won regional titles, he's defended them and he deserves his chance."
At the end of the day, Golovkin has the right to select any opponent - but it doesn't mean HBO will purchase the fight. HBO is willing to approve Geale, but they don't appear to be as willing to approve Fletcher. For now, everything is going to come down to the WBA's ruling with respect to K2's request for a special permit for Golovkin to face Geale.
If the WBA denies K2's request, there is always the possibility of a deal being reached where Fletcher steps aside, which Cohen admits is possible - but he prefers to go forward with the bout.
"Anything is possible, but we are not looking to step aside. We want the fight," Cohen said.