By: Kirk Jackson
Renowned Hip-Hop legend Notorious B.I.G. once posed the question in the form of a song, “What’s Beef?” from his Life After Death album.
While the conflict between Gennady ‘Triple G’ Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez presents different context and thankfully nothing to the extremes of what unfortunately unfolded between Tupac Shakur and The Notorious one, there is obvious animosity between the two camps.
Team Golovkin firing off shots. And ‘Canelo’ for his part, reminding Golovkin, “Mexicans don’t fuck around,” amply responded.
Look at what we have here. Genuine disgust and dislike between two parties. Drama unfolding in a dynamic storyline full of controversy with the potential for an even more provocative ending, dependent on a few variables.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission had its monthly meeting this past Wednesday, voting to uphold Alvarez’s suspension for failing two drug tests to six months.
The suspension kicks into effect the date of the initial failed drug test Feb. 17, lifting the suspension Aug 17, theoretically leaving just enough time for their highly anticipated rematch for September.
September also marks the anniversary of their initial encounter last year and September is a huge date for Golden Boy Promotions – fighters of Hispanic background featured to coincide with Mexican Independence weekend.
Alvarez underwent surgery to fix a minor ailment lingering in his knee, which makes sense given he has the free time now to do so.
“He had a cyst taken out of his knee,” Golden Boy Promotions President Eric Gomez clarified to ESPN on Friday night.
“It’s not an injury. Since the fight [with Gennady Golovkin] was canceled, now was the time for him to take care of it. It was something that has been bothering him. And so now, since he isn’t fighting, it was time to take care of it. But he would have been ready to fight on May 5 if there was a fight. There is no structural problem with his knee.”
Leaving room for September. If only Golovkin can manage to get past his opponent; Canelo’s replacement for May 5.
“Vanes Martirosyan is now the most important fight of my career,” Golovkin said.
“He has my respect, and I am training hard to defend my titles against him. I am happy to be back on HBO and fighting at StubHub Center because they have great boxing fans. I will give my fans another big drama show.”
By all appearances, this looks like a cherry-pick; granted this is a fight on short notice, but it’s not like Golovkin is without viable options.
The intention is not to discredit Martirosyan, as he is pitted in an impossible scenario, albeit a situation he volunteered for.
Martirosyan hasn’t fought in two years, his last fight a defeat to Erislandy Lara in the junior middleweight division. Martirosyan is now asked to face the best fighter pound-for-pound according to ESPN.
Other talented, qualified fighters are available for Golovkin.
IBF mandatory Sergiy Derevyanchenko 12-0 (10 KO’s) is a hungry contender and will be in prime position for the IBF strap if the sanctioning body strips Triple G of the title.
Undefeated former junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade 25-0 (16 KO’s) was another option, but unfortunately phased out of the equation.
The route for Golovkin appears to be the path with least resistance; a road quite familiar for one of boxing’s best fighters.
In spite of past success and earning three world titles, Triple G’s level of opposition was average until last year.
As Golovkin enters the final stage of his professional career, many questions remain.
Triple G is chasing the middleweight title defense record belonging to Bernard Hopkins and questions remain whether if he will surpass the record held by Hopkins, if he will travel the same path in regards to his ascension towards higher weight classes and if he’ll take on the young challengers aiming for the throne.
The middleweight division endured a lapse of overall talent for most of the decade, only recently experiencing a resurgence of talent with the emergence of Daniel Jacobs, Billie Joe Saunders, Jermall Charlo, Alvarez, Derevyanchenko and Andrade.
As we enter a burgeoning period of renaissance for the historic middleweight division, will Golovkin remain in the division to thwart off challengers and fellow champions alike?
Will he ascend to the higher weights, facing new challenges as the previous middleweight king before him?
Or is he on his way towards retirement, seeking one or two large paydays, aiming for further financial security?
If the latter option is the answer, securing one or two more fights with Canelo is on the menu for Triple G.
Fights with Alvarez will draw the most interest from the public because there is legitimate dislike between the camps. Controversy is involved and controversy sells.
Consequences from the ‘PED Scandal’ will incite interest, potentially magnifying the polarizing effect for Alvarez.
The drug test results along with the results from their fight dating back to last September created strong division amongst spectators and the narrative of good battling evil so-to-speak between two fighters (which is good theater).
Emotions continue to stir, will Golovkin and Alvarez meet in the ring again?