It’s a night for the record books when HBO Sports presents WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: GENNADY GOLOVKIN VS. VANES MARTIROSYAN AND CECILIA BRAEKHUS VS. KALI REIS, to be seen SATURDAY, MAY 5 at 11:00 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team will call the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino. (photos by Tom Hogan/Hoganphotos).
The fights will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming services.
Undefeated middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, now living in Los Angeles, takes on Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs) from Abovyan, Armenia, now living in Glendale, Calif., in a 12-round championship bout.
Golovkin, 36, looks to defend his middleweight title successfully for the 20th time, a feat previously accomplished only by surefire Hall-of-Famer Bernard Hopkins. Despite battling Canelo Alvarez to a stirring 12-round draw last September, Golovkin boasts an astonishing 87% knockout-to-win ratio. He’s coming off back-to-back efforts against Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs, perhaps the finest opponents in the 160-pound division.
Martirosyan, 31, is moving from the super welterweight division to 160 pounds to challenge “GGG,” and will be seeking a title for the third time.
Both fighters were amateur standouts who appeared in the 2004 Olympic Games, with Martirosyan representing his adopted nation of America, while Golovkin won a silver medal for Kazakhstan. Boasting a combined pro record of 73-3-2, 54 KOs, Golovkin and Martirosyan have a 94% winning percentage.
The opening bout marks the first women’s boxing match on HBO, with Cecilia Braekhus of Cartagena, Colombia (32-0, 9 KOs) meeting Kali Reis (13-6-1, 4 KOs) from Providence, RI, in a ten-round welterweight title bout. Braekhus seeks to extend her nine-year world championship reign in her 22nd consecutive title defense.