By Keith Idec
Gennady Golovkin might fight a Mexican opponent on Cinco de Mayo after all.
ESPN.com reported Thursday morning that Tijuana’s Jamie Munguia is likely to replace Canelo Alvarez as Golovkin’s opponent for his upcoming defenses of the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBC middleweight championships. Ireland’s Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs) was believed to be the frontrunner to land that daunting assignment on short notice, but apparently Munguia has moved into position to challenge Golovkin on May 5 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Munguia is undefeated (28-0, 24 KOs) and a powerful prospect commonly considered one of boxing’s best young fighters. He is just 21 years old, though, is completed untested at the championship level and most recently has competed as a super welterweight, a division below middleweight.
Munguia fought at welterweight as recently as 11 months ago. He made his pro debut near the super lightweight limit of 140 pounds in July 2013, when he was just 16.
Organizers of the May 5 card believe having Golovkin face a Mexican opponent will help promote an HBO Pay-Per-View event that’ll take place on Cinco de Mayo.
Representatives for Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs), a former WBA super welterweight champ from Providence, Rhode Island, and Ukraine’s Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs), the mandatory challenger for Golovkin’s IBF 160-pound title, have repeatedly expressed those fighters’ willingness to step in for Alvarez on short notice.
Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) withdrew from his highly anticipated rematch against Golokvin on Tuesday. Alvarez and his team cited the probability of his temporary suspension being extended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission at a meeting April 18 in Las Vegas as his reason for pulling out of their lucrative pay-per-view bout.
Alvarez twice tested positive for clenbuterol in February, but claims contaminated meat was the source of that banned substance turning up in his system. He could be suspended retroactively for a year when he appears before the NSAC later this month, but hopes to reschedule his rematch with Golovkin as soon as possible.
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) and Alvarez fought to a very controversial 12-round draw September 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.