Gennady Golovkin is looking forward to Saturday's showdown with Vanes Martirosyan after acknowledging going the distance is not good for a boxer.
The fearsome Kazakh will put his WBA, WBC, IBO and IBF middleweight titles up against Martirosyan after Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez – Golovkin's expected opponent for a rematch of their 2017 draw – tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol and was suspended for six months.
Golovkin was on a mightily impressive 23-fight knockout streak before being taken the distance in a unanimous-decision win over a plucky Daniel Jacobs in March 2017.
Alvarez also went the full 12 rounds with Golovkin in a bout that ended in a contentious draw last September.
Golovkin's new opponent following Alvarez's ban was only announced on April 18, but the 36-year-old says the quick turnaround is part and parcel of boxing.
It's become a boxing tradition to stage a big event on the weekend of Cinco De Mayo.
Tom Loeffler, promoter for Golovkin, says the fight with Vanes was the prefect solution to save the Cinco De Mayo date for the fans.
"This is a very unique situation not only on the promotional side but also on the training side. Luckily Abel runs a very professional training camp. Gennady is real disciplined. It was really me working the late nights worrying and trying to figure out a solution on how we would save the date," Loeffler said.
"Gennady just kept training and sparring and he’s focused but he was frustrated when Canelo first announced the positive test. He was extremely frustrated and disappointed when people were saying why this fight wasn’t happening in Las Vegas – Gennady was the person most affected by this because he had been training for the biggest fight in the sport of boxing then it was a big shock wave that came with the test.
"He is a professional and he wants to fight and if he is successful on Saturday he’ll tie the middleweight record that Bernard Hopkins set at 20 defenses and it is a very momentous occasion for his career. He is giving Vanes a huge opportunity – one of the biggest platforms that Vanes will be performing on HBO against arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.
"This is a huge opportunity for Vanes being extremely frustrated for not getting a fight for over two years now on the biggest stage in his hometown no less – it was the solution to save the Cinco de Mayo date for the fans."