By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Andre Rozier understands Gennady Golovkin’s reluctance.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko’s trainer knows why Golovkin doesn’t want to fight the unbeaten Ukrainian contender on such short notice. Rozier realizes as much as anyone that this would be a difficult fight for Golovkin if the middleweight champion had two months to prepare for it, forget two weeks.
“I don’t blame him,” Rozier told BoxingScene.com. “There’s not enough time to prepare and Sergiy can fight. He’s the real deal.”
That doesn’t mean, though, that Rozier wants to give Golovkin a pass for trying to avoid making his mandatory IBF title defense against Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) on May 5. Golovkin wants to fight junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan that night, but Derevyanchenko’s promoter, Lou DiBella, has pushed the IBF to strip Golovkin of its 160-pound championship if he doesn’t fight Derevyanchenko two weeks from Saturday night.
“If he doesn’t wanna fight, then he must be stripped,” Rozier said. “What are we gonna be the mandatory for five years? It makes no sense. It’s time to do the right thing, or don’t have sanctioning bodies.”
The IBF would need to grant Golovkin an exception to fight Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs) on May 5 if Golovkin were to go through with a Martirosyan match without getting stripped. Kazakhstan’s Golovkin also owns the WBC, WBA and IBO middleweight titles.
The 36-year-old Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) was supposed to face Canelo Alvarez in a lucrative middleweight championship rematch May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) withdrew from that bout April 3 because he was advised that the Nevada State Athletic Commission will extend his temporary suspension for two failed performance-enhancing drug tests when Alvarez faces the NSAC on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
As much as Rozier wants Golovkin to fight Derevyanchenko, the veteran trainer recognizes that this predicament isn’t Golovkin’s fault.
“Basically, with Canelo coming up dirty and really just destroying the whole event, I think there won’t be a fight May 5th,” said Rozier, who also trains middleweight contender Daniel Jacobs. “Golovkin has been put between a rock and a hard place. No one wants to see him box anybody that he’s not supposed to be in the ring with. And he wants to make money, but he’s never gonna make the kind of money he would’ve made with Canelo.
“So he’s almost left to the point where he has to wait for the next fight [against Alvarez] to take place. I feel bad for him, but I honestly think nothing’s gonna happen, nothing at all.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.