Golovkin: Martirosyan Was Best Fighter on 2004 US Olympic Team

By Keith Idec

Gennady Golovkin beat one of the most talented fighters on the 2004 United States Olympic Team to qualify for the middleweight final in Athens.

Golovkin doesn’t believe Andre Dirrell was the best boxer on the American team that year, though. The unbeaten IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion doesn’t think that distinction belongs to Andre Ward, either, even though Ward won the light heavyweight gold medal that year.

Kazakhstan’s Golovkin revealed this week that he remembers Vanes Martirosyan being the “best boxer” on the American team that year. Martirosyan, who’ll challenge Golovkin on May 5, lost to Cuba’s Lorenzo Aragon, 20-11, in the second round of the welterweight bracket at those Olympics.

golovkin-vanes (4)

“I remember [Martirosyan] from the 2004 Olympics,” said Golovkin, who had a rivalry with the since-retired Ward when there was rampant talk of them fighting a few years ago. “I know he is not easy. Vanes is a strong and active fighter in the ring. He is a good fighter. Vanes is a real guy, a real fighter. He is tall and strong. In 2004, I thought Vanes was the best boxer on the U.S. Olympic Team.”

In addition to Ward, Dirrell and Martirosyan, the 2004 U.S. team included Rau’Shee Warren (light flyweight), Ronald Siler (flyweight), Vicente Escobedo (lightweight), Rock Allen (light welterweight), Devin Vargas (heavyweight) and Jason Estrada (super heavyweight).

After defeating Dirrell, 23-18, in the middleweight semifinals in 2004, Golovkin lost to Russia’s Gaydarkbek Gaydarbekov, 28-18, in the middleweight championship match. The silver medalist turned pro in May 2006, six years before he came to the United States for his American television debut in September 2012.

The 31-year-old Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs) hasn’t been as successful as Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) as a professional. The Glendale, California, native has only lost, however, to former 154-pound champions Demetrius Andrade (split decision in November 2013), Jermall Charlo (unanimous decision in March 2015) and Erislandy Lara, who beat Martirosyan by unanimous decision in their 12-round rematch in May 2016.

Martirosyan hasn’t fought since his loss to Lara nearly two years ago. He took the Golovkin fight on less than three weeks’ notice because Golovkin’s original opponent, Canelo Alvarez, withdrew from their lucrative rematch due to a PED-related suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

“I have watched some tapes of Vanes’ fights, his fights with Lara,” Golovkin said. “The minute the fight was signed, [trainer] Abel [Sanchez] brought new ideas to the gym workouts. And no, I am not going to tell you those new ideas. The fans at StubHub Center will be watching two Mexican-style fighters from the area.”

HBO will televise Golovkin-Martirosyan from StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing. 

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Jubei on 04-28-2018

Haha i love it. Yes Martirosyan was indeed the best [B]fighter[/B] of the 2004 US Team, he wasnt talking wrestlers or billygoats.

Comment by Sid-Knee on 04-28-2018

[QUOTE=mrjoeblive;18715491]Ggg fought Willie Monroe a man that had 255 fights. With two wins by ko.[/QUOTE] And how does this dispute what I said? There have been worse world title fights than G against Vanes. Many more in fact.

Comment by Sid-Knee on 04-28-2018

[QUOTE=Shadoww702;18714748]Lemuix good??? You DO know he got beat by CAREER 154lb Alcine. Who was KTFO in round 1 by Angulo??? And Ricky Martin Rubio KNOCKED Lemuix out. Which YEAR you got these 3 going into the HOFame??? Not a HATE…

Comment by b00g13man on 04-28-2018

[QUOTE=SkillspayBills;18712778]Uhhhhh wasn't Andre Ward on that Olympic team 😂😂😂[/QUOTE] He sure was. The fear of Ward forced him to repress some memories.

Comment by mrjoeblive on 04-28-2018

[QUOTE=Sid-Knee;18713280]Oh you haven't have you? How about Crawford against a shot Molina? How about Ward against a badly drained Chad Dawson? How about Wilder against a shot Arreola? A shot Stiverne? A bum called Duhupas? A bum called Spilka? A…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (70)
Top Headlines Frampton, Barnes, Conlan Discuss Rise of Belfast Boxing Scene Horn: If Crawford Rematch in Australia - Might Be Different Story! Miguel Gonzalez Beats Yader Cardoza By Unanimous Decision Raza Hamza To Fight, First Time Since Tragic Death of Brother Golovkin's Coach: Kellerman is One of The Most Biased on TV! Jorge Linares Would Love Jose Ramirez or Mikey Garcia Next Vinny Maddalone Reflects: I Was Always One Fight Away Sanchez Rejects Claims That Golovkin Faded in Canelo Rematch Sampson: Sergio Martinez Taking Dangerous Risk With Chavez Jr. Victor Ortiz, Days Before Fight, Charged With Sexual Assault Photos: Jorge Linares, Romero Duno Hold Open Workouts Gennady Golovkin Meets With Promoter, Discusses Future Plans Dogboe, Teofimo Lopez in Line For Lomachenko-Pedraza Card Wilder's Manager Doubts Joshua Fight Will Happen in 2019 Canelo-Golovkin - No Robbery, Embrace The Fight For What It Is George Groves Warns Smith: I'm in The Form of My Life Saul Rodriguez To Return on Berchelt-Roman ESPN+ Card Photo: Carl Frampton, Josh Warrington - Face To Face at Presser Canelo-GGG Rematch Earned Less $$$ From Tickets Than 1st Fight Claressa Shields-Christina Hammer Set For 11/17 In Atlantic City Wilder's Team Have 'No Desire' For New Meeting on Joshua Deal Matchroom Inks Eight Year Content Deal With DAZN Canada Lomachenko vs. Pedraza Official For December 8, MSG Theater Angel Acosta vs. Abraham Rodriguez Tops Golden Boy Card News: Zhang Zhilei, Junior Younan, Kai Robin Havnaa, More Billy Joe Saunders Hit With £100,000 Fine By The BBBoC Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme To Have WBC Silver at Stake Cunningham: I'll Resurrect Lubin, Guarantee He Will Rule at 154 Hearn: If Fury Beats Wilder, Rematch Will Prevent Joshua-Fury WBC Prez on Porter-Spence Unification, Thurman's Direct Shot Tony Bellew: I Know I'll Find A Way To Beat Usyk; I Always Do JJ McDonagh Blasts Eubanks as "Fakes" Nicola Adams Aims To Blast Out Millan For WBO Crown Usyk: One Reason We Agreed To Face Bellew - Is To Get Joshua! Michael Conlan: Vladimir Nikitin Will Be My First Step Up Golovkin's Coach Doubts Age Will Be a Factor in Canelo Trilogy Brian Rose Vows To Make His Comeback in Top Form Incessant Sanctioning Silliness Prompts Alternative Crusade Canelo Has No Issue Working Out New Deal With HBO Anthony Joshua: Dillian Whyte Deserves it More Than Tyson Fury

Latest Active Forum Threads