LAS VEGAS – Gennadiy Golovkin is certain that he will fight again.
The longtime middleweight champion’s 12-round, unanimous-decision loss to Canelo Alvarez hasn’t made him contemplate retirement. The 40-year-old Golovkin felt good in his debut at the super middleweight limit of 168 pounds, but he won’t decide whether to return to the middleweight division until promoters propose fights to him.
“Well, it will all depend on offers that I might receive,” Golovkin said through his translator during his post-fight press conference late Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. “At the same time, I have three belts at 160, like I just said, so I have certain obligations in connection with that.”
Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KOs) owns the IBF, IBO and WBA middleweight titles. Until Saturday night, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist had competed at or near the middleweight maximum of 160 pounds throughout his 16-year pro career.
The Kazakhstan native alluded to potential mandated matches he might need to entertain to keep his middleweight championships. A showdown with WBC champ Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) is the most intriguing title unification fight for Golovkin the 160-pound division, but facing Houston’s Charlo would require Golovkin to work with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime.
Golovkin revealed before he suffered his second defeat versus Alvarez that their third fight marked the end of his contractual commitment to DAZN, which signed him to a six-fight agreement in March 2019.
Janibek Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8 KOs) owns the WBO middleweight title, but Kazakhstan’s Alimkhanuly reveres Golovkin and might not want to fight him. Alimkhanuly is promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc.
If Golovkin were to remain at super middleweight, he’d have to accept a non-title fight next because Alvarez owns the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 168-pound crowns. Regardless, Golovkin doesn’t plan to call it a career just yet.
“Indeed, I still have this fire burning within me,” Golovkin said. “I have [more] passion for boxing. And don’t forget that I have three belts [at] 160. I feel good, like I said. I did not allow any serious shots [against Alvarez]. And I’m not tired. I’m fresh. I feel the strength. I feel the power within me. … If the right opportunity comes, I’ll be looking to continue to return [to] the ring.”
Golovkin got off to a very slow start Saturday night, when he didn’t throw many power punches during the first eight rounds. He trailed Alvarez by the same margin, 78-74, on all three scorecards entering the ninth round.
The challenger rallied in the later rounds and closed the gap on each judge’s card. Dave Moretti scored Alvarez a 116-112 winner, whereas David Sutherland and Steve Weisfeld credited Alvarez with a 115-113 victory.
Mexico’s Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs), who is eight years younger than him, is the only opponent to beat Golovkin during his pro career. Golovkin lost a majority decision to Alvarez in their 12-round middleweight championship rematch four years ago at T-Mobile Arena, a year after their highly controversial split draw, also at T-Mobile Arena.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.