While “Meat-gate” left Canelo with a six month suspension and fans foaming at the mouth in anger, Team GGG promises to still give fight fans something special on Cinco de Mayo.
The undefeated world middleweight champion, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) returns to the ring on Saturday, May 5 against two-time world title challenger, Vanes “The Nightmare ” Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs), under the stars at the StubHub Center, in Carson, Calif.
This will be the first time Golovkin has fought in Southern California in over two years and while it’s not the fight fans craved, ticket sales should not be an issue as Golovkin has proven himself to be a gate attraction in his previous three fights in the Southland, selling out The Forum twice (2015 and 2016) and setting the all-time attendance record for boxing at StubHub in 2014.
Relive this year’s middleweight war between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. HBO celebrates boxing’s best of 2017 by featuring the year’s most unforgettable fights, with different bouts airing every night from Dec. 26-29, 2017.
GGG had originally been scheduled to defend his WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO middleweight titles in a rematch against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in the biggest and most-anticipated event on the 2018 boxing calendar. But that fight was canceled when Alvarez withdrew after twice testing positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol, opening the door for some viral sparring from Team GGG and Brand Jordan.
Gennady Golovkin trolled Canelo Alvarez sooo hard in this new clip. https://t.co/FuLcziBqzL
Now GGG will face off against Martirosyan in a live televised on HBO World Championship Boxing, and not only will this mark Golovkin’s first non-pay-per-view fight since 2016, it will also be his 20th consecutive, and record-tying, middleweight title defense. Yet despite all of that, the fight still feels like a let down after the fireworks in the first fight between GGG and Canelo.
Although, according to a release from Golden Boy Promotion, the Canelo fight will happen in September it is during this time that GGG could cement his dominance by challenging the new hot talent like Jermall Charlo. Charlo was very vocal about not wanting to be on the Broner vs. Vargas card and would have made the perfect fill in for Alvarez, harkening back to a time when Andre Ward accused GGG of ducking him before departing for the light heavyweight division.
No one from that team has mentioned Charlo’s name and it is unclear whether his advisor Al Haymon was jockeying for that opportunity for his young fighter but it would have benefitted GGG more than Charlo. Why? Because, if GGG truly wants to cement his rise as one of the best of his generation he will have to continue to test himself with opponents that will push him like Alvarez.
After a stellar career, GGG needs to take a page from the greats like Marvin Hagler and remember that his legacy will be defined by how he tests himself in these moments. Any fight with a widely believed pre-determined outcome will negatively affect the fighter’s brand long-term, Golovkin should fight only those that generate great interest, like Charlo or Danny Jacobs, or wait until Canelo returns from his suspension.
This upcoming fight is titled “Mexican Style,” an obvious nod to the way Golovkin describes his fighting style, an homage to the fans he adores and which loves him back. Like the JCC and the storied Mexican warriors of the past, GGG will be better suited exerting patience instead of taking any fight. Until then, this Cinco de Mayo is a masterpiece of mediocrity that does nothing more than salvage a training camp instead of pushing ahead the division.