By Keith Idec
Gennady Golovkin’s promoter acknowledged Thursday that he has had serious discussions regarding Golovkin facing Vanes Martirosyan on May 5.
Tom Loeffler, Golovkin and trainer Abel Sanchez had hoped to announce Golovkin’s upcoming opponent during a hastily arranged, informal press conference in Los Angeles. Loeffler was unable, however, to finalize an agreement with a replacement for the temporarily suspended Canelo Alvarez in time to do that.
That left Loeffler to acknowledge Thursday that it could take until the middle of next week to either announce Golovkin’s opponent for May 5 or cancel a fight that likely would take place at StubHub Center in Carson, California. Loeffler probably would’ve been able to announce Golovkin’s upcoming opponent, but the unbeaten middleweight champion’s IBF mandatory predicament still hasn’t been resolved.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs), the mandatory challenger for Golovkin’s IBF 160-pound championship, wants to replace Alvarez as Golovkin’s opponent. Unless Loeffler can come to an agreement with Lou DiBella, Derveyanchenko’s promoter, that would allow Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) to fight someone other than the unbeaten Ukrainian, Golovkin would get stripped of his IBF title.
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin doesn’t want to lose that title, which is among the reasons Thursday’s gathering amounted to much ado about nothing. Several media outlets reported Thursday that Loeffler was prepared to name Martirosyan as Golovkin’s optional opponent for May 5, but that plan changed once he couldn’t come to an agreement with DiBella and the IBF.
“Vanes has expressed interest,” Loeffler said. “He is training. He is local in L.A., so for a number of reasons he would make sense. But there are – trust me, I’ve been in contact with so many people – there are other people that are interested. Like I said, I’ve been in contact with Lou and we’ll see what we can work out to make the best of this situation.”
The 31-year-old Martirosyan isn’t ranked at middleweight by any of boxing’s recognized sanctioning organizations.
The Glendale, California, native is a longtime junior middleweight contender, however, and has not been knocked out during his 13-year pro career. Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs) has not fought since May 2016, though, and lost his last bout by unanimous decision to former WBA/IBO super welterweight champ Erislandy Lara.
Another delay Thursday leaves Loeffler with barely three weeks remaining before a fight Golovkin is adamant about taking May 5.
Alvarez officially withdrew from their lucrative middleweight championship rematch April 3 because his handlers were advised that the Nevada State Athletic Commission wouldn’t have allowed him to fight Golovkin on May 5 when the temporarily suspended Alvarez appears before the NSAC next week.
The NSAC is expected to extend Alvarez’s suspension Wednesday because he failed two performance-enhancing drug tests in February. Alvarez has blamed contaminated meat for testing positive for clenbuterol, a banned substance, on February 17 and February 20.
Loeffler also stated Thursday that he wants that rematch to be rescheduled as soon as possible for Golovkin.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.