Tag Archives: Gennady

By Hook or By Crook They Cannot Make GGG Go Away


By: Ken Hissner

This fighter they call “GGG” came to the US from Kazakhstan after winning a Silver Olympic Medal in 2004. He was 350-5 in the amateurs losing to a Russian amateur in the finals who pitty pattered up points and knew as a professional he would never succeed as he did as an amateur. On the other hand his opponent Gennady Golovkin had a professional style and chased him.

Golovkin turned professional in May of 2006 in Germany and won his first 23 fights, 20 by knockout, when he debuted in the US. He was defending his WBA and IBO titles against the European champion Poland’s Grzegorz Proska, 28-1, having reversed his lost in gaining his title. It was held at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY. Proska found himself on the canvas in rounds one, four and five before the referee had seen enough and halted the mismatch. It was September of 2012.

The Proska fight was when the fans of the US were given their first view of Golovkin now living in L.A. under the watchful eye of trainer Abel Sanchez. His manager is Tom Loeffler, the architect that would guide his career. The people in attendance and those viewing him on the cable were star struck with this warrior who could box as well as fight and was very humble with a smile that was deceiving compared to the way he broke down his opponents.

This writer interviewed his next opponent “King” Gabe Rosado in a Philadelphia gym. Rosado had become the top super welterweight contender and warranted a title fight that he had a good chance of winning. When asked why jump up a division when a title in your weight class was at hand? He replied “if I beat “GGG” I too will be a super star,” said Rosado. This writer thought to himself “there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening!” I had spoken to Golovkin while in training for this bout on the phone thanks to US sparring partner Philly’s Dhafir Smith who told me “he hits like a heavyweight”. I asked how is Farah (Ennis) doing? I heard Farah who was the other Philly sparring partner yell out ”he’s kicking the shit out of me!”

I asked for Golovkin to come to the phone. I asked being from KAZ are you a Muslim? He replied, “no, I am Orthodox with my father from Russia and my mother from Korea.” I traveled for the first time to NY to the MSG Theater to watch this match. Philly Boxing History editor John DiSantos who had been there during the interview in Philly was pulling for Rosado as I was pulling for Golovkin. Except for half a round it was a “blood bath” with Rosado’s blood being spilled on the canvas and ropes! Rosado brought in his 21-5 record with a 7 fight winning streak. The referee finally stopped the one sided event at 2:46 of the 7th round with Golovkin ahead 60-54 twice and 59-55 once.

Rosado despite being declared the loser went to the corner and jumped up on the ropes with hands held high not in victory but in able to “survive” without going down into the 7th round against the best P4P fighter in the world, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. When the ring was cleared it took two attendants about ten minutes to get as much of the blood off the canvas and the ropes as possible. A star was born in his previous US appearance but how it did shine that night at MSG.

It was the twelfth straight stoppage by Golovkin. It was the fifth WBA defense and Monte Carlo in two months he would defend against Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida, 24-8-2 who had gone the distance in his two previous fights against interim WBO Super welterweight champion southpaw Paul “The Punisher” Williams, 40-2 and Russia’s Dmitry Pirog, 19-0, over 12 rounds each. But on this night he faced someone he had never encountered before, GGG! In the third round he found himself knocked out cold!

Next up for Golovkin would be European champion Matt “Mack the Knife” Macklin, 29-4, in June of 2013 at the MGM Grand, in CT, where in the second round Golovkin ripped open a cut over the left eye of Macklin with a right hand that hit like a razor blade! In the following round Macklin was counted out on his back!

Next would be NABF Middleweight champ Curtis Stevens, 25-3, looking to “expose” Golovkin. He found himself on the canvas in the second round and survived until the end of the eighth when he was not able to come out for the ninth round.

In February of 2014 Ghana’s Osumanu Adama, 22-3, out of Chicago, IL, was brought in proclaiming a knockout win. He was dropped in the first, sixth and seventh before the referee put a stop to the slaughter in Monte Carlo. Former IBF World middleweight champ James “Real Deal” Geale, 30-2, came to challenge Golovkin, at MSG, and lasted only into the third round.

In October of 2014 Golovkin would travel west to the Stub Hub Center in Carson, CA, among many Mexican supporters of his opponent Marco Antonio “El Veneno” Rubio, 59-6-1, with 51 knockouts, the interim WBC champ who didn’t make weight by several pounds. Rubio was knocked cold in the second round. The Mexican’s had a new hero who fought like a Mexican warrior named “GGG”!

In February of 2015 Golovkin found himself once again in Monte Carlo to face the UK’s Martin Murray, 29-1, the WBC Silver champion. Murray was knocked in the fourth and tenth rounds and finally stopped 0:50 into the eleventh round so far behind on points only a knockout would win for him.

In May Golovkin was back in CA, at the Inglewood Forum, facing southpaw Willie “Mongoose” Monroe, Jr., 19-1, who was down in the second and sixth rounds when halted in the sixth. The newly crowned IBF World Middleweight champion from Canada David Lemieux was brought in with the title belt wrapped around his shoulder into the MSG ring. He wouldn’t leave with it as he was down in the fifth and stopped in the eighth round.

In April of 2016 Golovkin face unbeaten Dominic Wade, 18-0, at the Inglewood Forum, dropping him once in the first and twice in the second where he was counted out on his back. In September the winner would travel to the UK to face their Kell Brook, 35-0, IBF World welterweight champion who came in at the same 159 as “GGG”. In the fifth round Brook had his right eye socket fractured halting the fight.

Back to MSG on St. Patty’s Day Golovkin would face a full-fledged middleweight in New York’s own Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 32-1, with 29 knockouts. After the day before weigh-in both fighters tipped the scales at 160. Jacobs pulled a “fast one” refusing to come to the day of the fight weigh-in as Golovkin scaled in at 170. By that night he would fight an overweight light heavyweight in Jacobs at what looked like 185. Jacobs would surprisingly fight the entire fight southpaw and give Golovkin a close but obvious win. Jacobs was down in round four which helped Golovkin win by scores of 115-112 twice and 114-113. This writer had Golovkin ahead 115-112. It would be eight months before Jacobs entered the ring again and it wasn’t against Golovkin.

Six months later on September 15th after the Jacobs fight Golovkin whose knockout streak of 23 straight was broken would face Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 49-1-1, with 34 knockouts only losing a majority decision to Floyd “Money” Mayweather, at 154. For five rounds they battled before Alvarez couldn’t handle the “heat” of Golovkin’s punches and kept moving away from the champion for the next seven rounds. When the decision was announced it was quite obvious a PPV payday for the promoters was influencing the judges. Byrd’s 118-110 for Alvarez had “fix or incompetent” written all over it. Was she blind? Moretti’s 115-113 for Golovkin was followed by Trella’s 114-114 draw! This writer had Golovkin a wide winner taking the second half of the fight as Alvarez was on the move. The look on Golovkin’s face told it all. He knew he had be had! In the meantime Alvarez was “celebrating” a draw! A PPV deal was probably set before the decision was announced.

Alvarez tested positive for two drug tests after this bout. Why the draw decision wasn’t changed to a No Contest or No Decision could be a first. Alvarez decided not to enroll into the WBC’s clean boxing program and therefore was removed from their rankings. He was put on a 6 month suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission in April prior to a May 5th rematch.

Filling in for Alvarez was 2004 USA Olympian Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan, 36-3-1 (21), having never been stopped and an Armenian from Glendale, CA. Though it had been two years since he had his last fight which was a losing one he was still ranked among the super middleweights. The bout was held at the Stub Hub Center, in Carson, CA. Martirosyan was dropped in the second and stopped at 1:53 of the round.

The IBF has informed Golovkin he’s been stripped of his title due to not fighting his No. 1 contender Russia’s Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko, 12-0 (10), living in Brooklyn, NY, he will be stripped of his title. The Russian and former WBA Middleweight champion Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs may be fighting for the vacant title. Jacobs is No. 3 in the IBF with No. 2 vacant. He is No. 1 in the WBO where the champion Billy Joe “Superb” Saunders hasn’t fought since December of 2017 and No. 1 in the WBA and No. 2 in the WBC.

Jermall Charlo, 27-0 (21), of Houston, TX, is the interim WBC Middleweight champion. Japan’s Ryota Murata, 14-1 (11), holds the WBA World Middleweight title. UK southpaw Billy Joe “Superb” Saunders, 26-0 (12) holds the WBO World Middleweight title. It had been rumored Golovkin was looking at meeting Saunders prior to the Alvarez to be his next opponent.

There is so much bad blood between the fighters at this point that there will not be a press conference or a press tour and the fighters won’t meet face to face until fight week. There will be a split screen press event on Facebook next week.

“Canelo can walk to the ring last. He can walk to the ring first. The important thing is who leaves the ring last,” said Golovkin. “I will demonstrate who is the best when I defeat Golovkin soundly on September 15th on (Mexican) Independence Day week-end,” said Alvarez. For some reason Alvarez with no belts again gets the larger percentage of the money. It will be the twenty-first title defense for Golovkin.

More Columns

GGG-Canelo: Did Golovkin Have the Better Poker Face?


By: Charles Jay

Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are set for their rematch on September 15 in Las Vegas, which is a year minus a day from the first meeting, although that wasn’t the plan, as you know. The numbers from sportsbooks around the world have GGG favored, but in a very competitive fight; the odds most prevalent on him are -175 (a little higher some other places), while Alvarez fetches anywhere from +140 to +160.

Ah, sports betting – that’s one pastime very popular on the Vegas strip.

Another pastime is poker, and that looks just like what these guys have been playing – through their representatives – in the negotiations leading up to the final agreement.

Both went all-in. So who got the better of the pot?

Well, Alvarez’s hand seemed to have weakened; he has been through the wringer as far as flak for his failing two drug tests, and no one seems to be buying the excuse that he ate some contaminated meat, although in Mexico that would seem to be altogether possible. Canelo’s manager is Chapo Reynoso, a former butcher.

Should he have known? Oh, the drama.

When this rematch was originally planned, GGG was going to get 35% of the pie, which was five percent more than he got for the previous fight. Of course, that’s before all the trouble started.

So the way this went is that, as the fight was rescheduled, Golovkin now wanted a 50% cut, since he was the champion.

Ultimately GGG settled for 45%, which was not a big concession on his part, and a big gain after getting no better than a draw, but then Alvarez’s side, presumably for the purpose of calling his bluff, wanted to cut him down to 42.5%, and set a deadline for him to take it and like it. Golovkin wasn’t coming off his figure. So we’re right there at the 55%-45% split. According to GGG’s promoter Tom Loeffler, “It was all about the principle and respect for him as the champion.”

Was it? Maybe, but not all the way.

If it was all about the principle, he may never have budged from 50%, especially as he insisted later that Canelo didn’t deserve to have 5% or 7.5% conceded back to him.

And looking at the other side, we have been hearing this theme lately about how Canelo’s image needs to be “rehabilitated,” but did he take such a hit that it was with 10 to 15 points of damage in terms of negotiating leverage?

Oscar De La Hoya, who holds the promotional paper on Alvarez, didn’t think so. He’s been maintaining that “Canelo is bigger and more popular than ever.” He probably won’t be far out of the ballpark when all is said and done.

Sure, there are probably a lot of Mexicans who were disappointed in him last September; not so much for the result but for the performance. It was not necessarily “blood and guts” and Alvarez did more than his fair share of retreating. But of all the boxers active today, Canelo is among the top two or three when it comes to bringing a built-in audience to the table, and it’s doubtful that his countrymen will want to see this fight any less. The media isn’t likely to give it less coverage either; in fact, the angle of the failed drug tests adds an element that might actually create more interest. It’s important to point out that this time around, the fight (which drew 1.3 million paid subscribers) does not come on the heels of a Mayweather-McGregor bout, which was a very expensive event for the more mainstream audience they’ll be trying to snag here. The point is, will revenues take a hit because of Canelo’s “image problem,” or will they instead experience a spike because of that and other factors?

Let’s push our point across even further. The business of Pay Per View (PPV) in boxing may not seem fair when the champion is taking less than the challenger, but it’s actually quite democratic, in the sense that the guy who can produce more fans and followers will pull in more revenue. Is there any question about Alvarez being that guy? If you ever watch those documentaries with wrestlers of years gone by, you’ll notice they always talk about the concept of “drawing money.” Well, same principle at work here. The guy who can do more of that should have more leverage.

And the fact is, Golovkin couldn’t carry a PPV on his own. He just couldn’t drive the big guarantees as the A-side of a matchup. Impatient after Alvarez got suspended, he fought a relatively known quantity in Vanes Martirosyan, who was handpicked not just because he was the right kind of opponent but because he had better “name” value than other alternatives. And GGG made a grand total of $1 million.

Meh.

Loeffler was talking about a backup plan for Golovkin, whereby he’d fight Billy Joe Saunders in Los Angeles on August 25, and would be more than happy to do that if Canelo wouldn’t come to terms. But even though there are some provisional odds at online sportsbooks that have Golovkin priced at -450, it’s still the kind of fight that may have given him more trouble than expected. And from the standpoint of money, what would that have really produced?

When you go beyond that, who else is there for him to make a bundle of money with? The Charlo brothers? Maybe, if he fought them on the same night. Other than that, pickings are slim.

So you wonder whether Alvarez’s people (Eric Gomez with Golden Boy in particular) could have stood firm, even at 35% or 40%, and still landed Golovkin’s name on a deal. That may well have been the case. But despite De La Hoya’s assertions, they may have valued the whole “rehabilitation” angle about as much as many of the media people do.

Who knows – maybe Alvarez is the guy who’s really fighting with principle on his mind, and was willing to pay for it.

And if he got bluffed, he wound up second best.

More Columns

Gennady Golovkin Treats His Fans to a Show while HBO Gives Viewers Boxing at a Bargain


By Vishare Mooney

Vegas’s loss ended up SoCal’s gain, as the Canelo-GGG pay-per-view cancellation yielded a bargain for boxing fans watching around the world, and in attendance, at the gorgeous and affordable outdoor boxing venue that is the Stubhub Center in Carson, CA. Despite the circumstances, GGG Promotions and HBO together produced a collection of solid bouts, including the first ever live telecast of a women’s fight and leading to the ultimate showcase of their featured fighters, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1 34KO) against Vanes Martirosyan (36-4-1 21KO). According to Nielsen Media Research, the HBO telecast peaked at 1,361,000 viewers, making it cable tv’s number one rated boxing telecast in 2018. Saturday’s show also broke StubHub’s record for highest grossing boxing event.

Triple G merchandise were worn by fans throughout the entire venue that evening and even the night before during Golden Boy Promotions Garcia vs. Velez bout. GGG merchandise were sold then too and fans were seen wearing GGG hats alongside young girls wearing Ryan Garcia “The Flash” tees. Such is the power of a champion – your merch is worn on fight nights when you’re not fighting.


Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/GGG Promotions

But enough shop talk. Let’s talk about the fight.

This fight seemed an unexpected pit stop for the Big Drama Show 2 that was teased last September seconds after the controversial draw that extended the Canelo-Golovkin saga – two fighters vying for the prefix “undisputed.” After the controversial draw came the controversial “tainted meat” followed by the controversial choice of replacement fighter. (Max Kellerman actually suggested Golovkin went from a fighter who was avoided to one who was avoiding top challengers. Oy.) Let’s not forget the posturing on social media from an angry Canelo and attention needy Billy Joe Saunders. There was all this drama but not the good kind, the junk kind, like a bag of Cheetos, easily consumed yet unsatisfying.

Golovkin wanted a fight. He didn’t want to waste a camp. Having fought two or three times per year throughout his entire pro career, wanted to stay active. He wanted to give his fans a show on Cinco De Mayo and then finally move on to the next, and more lucrative card his fame deserved. And maybe, as viewers saw, in the two rounds his opponent remained standing, he also needed to remind people just what his job was in the ring: seek, destroy, defend the belts.

It’s difficult for promoters and for media, to hype up a fight when the champion is a soft spoken Kazakh, whose English is limited, who smiles easily, avoids trash talk and can actually be mistaken for an IT guy on a date when he wears Bijan. I am sure it’s not easy to get ‘likes” when your fighter isn’t a charming 19-year-old, predicting a fourth round knockout with a left hook while simultaneously holding promotions on Instagram. And so, Golovkin, the old school fighter, has to make up for all of these shortcomings the only way he has ever known – on fight night.

On May 5th, under the stars and klieg lights, as the now familiar thudding beat of his fight song began and fans roared in anticipation, GGG walked out of the tunnel, in his hooded blue and gold Kazakh fight robe, looking like a royal grim reaper, his left arm on trainer Abel Sanchez’s shoulder and Jack White’s “Seven Nation Army” doing some trash talking for him.

I’m gonna fight ‘em all/A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back/They’re gonna rip it off/Taking their time right behind my back.

GGG spent round one surveying Martirosyan, finding his range, his opponents vulnerabilities. He threw a couple of tentative punches and got caught with a right and follow up left from Martirosyan. The crowd cheered in surprise and support for the challenger who had promised that he would not “run away” from GGG in the ring, as was the effective strategy of Golovkin’s last two opponents. Martirosyan, in his 36 bouts had never been downed. After the bell, Sanchez told his fighter he seemed tight, fight announcer Jim Lampley mused “It does look that way. As if Golovkin had a lot of pressure to deal with. A lot of outside the ring stuff.”

Golovkin had taken a few solid shots from Martirosyan and it seemed, at the start of the second round that it would be a longer night than anticipated. After all, the last time Golovkin fought at StubHub it was 2014 against veteran Marco Rubio and that fight only lasted two rounds before the KO…But we all know what happened. Deja Vu.

12 seconds into Round 2, when Golovkin threw a vicious uppercut to Martirosyan’s chin, that would have brought Martirosyan down had he not literally hung onto Golovkin to avoid a knock down call, the crowd sensed danger. At 1:26 left in the round, Golovkin throws Martirosyan a hard left hook that ultimately puts Martirosyan against the ropes to a barrage of nine, yes nine, punches to his head: a powerful overhead right cross, jab, jab, jab, right cross, right, big left hook, right, big left hook. And down.


Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/GGG Promotions

From my seat I saw Martirosyan’s back against the ropes, his head violently bobbing right and left as Golovkin’s fists met their target. As his opponent collapsed to the floor, Golovkin backed away and looked grimly on as the referee counted.

“Boxing is not easy,” said Golovkin, before the fight. “Boxing is not a game. It’s serious business.”

Golovkin knows his fans. He gave them what they wanted. No hype. A show of pure boxing. Let’s hope Golovkin, in the rarefied world of high stakes fights, finds his way back to StubHub in the not too distant future and that HBO finds a way, and not by accident, to provide amazing non pay per view fights for the masses – for true boxing fans.

More Columns

HBO Boxing Preview: Braekhus vs. Reis, Golovkin vs. Martirosyan


By: William Holmes

Gennady Golovkin was supposed to face Canelo Alvarez in a highly anticipated rematch this Saturday in Las Vegas, but a positive drug test for Clenbuterol skirted those plans and have placed the legacy of Canelo in doubt, even though the claim is that the positive test was caused by tainted meat.

Instead Golovkin will get a new opponent in a new venue on Saturday night and the fight will no longer be on Pay Per View. Vanes Martirosyan has offered to set up to the plate to face Golvokin on short notice. The co-feature of the night will be a woman’s bout between Cecilia Braekhus and Kali Reis for Braekhus WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF Welterweight Titles.


Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/GGG Promotions

Boxers such as Ryan Martin, Bredis Prescott, Nam Pham, Ruslan Madiyev, and Brian Ceballo will be competing on the undercard.

The following is a preview of the two planned televised fights.

Cecilia Braekhus (32-0) vs. Kali Reis (13-6-1); WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF Women’s Welterweight Titles

Cecilia Braekhus is one of the best women boxers that is currently competing. She’s undefeated, has held a major world title since 2009 (WBC and WBA Titles) and is considered a legend in the sport of women’s boxing.

However, she is thirty six years old and is nearing the end of her athletic prime. Her opponent is five years younger and will have a slight half an inch height advantage, but Reis has never defeated an opponent near the caliber of Braekhus.

As an amateur, Braekhus is a former World Silver Medalist. Reis does not have any notable amateur accomplishments to discuss.

Braekhus is 12-0 against former world champions. She has defeated the likes of Makela Lauren, Eva Bajic, Anne Sophie Mathis, Mia St. John, Oxandia Castillo, Myriam Lamare, Ivana Habazin, Jennifer Retzke, Chris Namus, and Erica Anabella Farias,

Reis is a former middleweight world champion, but none of her past three opponents had a winning record. Two of them had a losing record and one had an equal number of wins and losses.

Neither boxer is known for their power. Braekhus has nine stoppage victories while Reis only has four stoppage victories. Both boxers have been fairly active in the past two years. Reis fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Braekhus fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016.

Braekhus will make history as the first woman to compete on an HBO televised female boxing match. This will only be her second fight in the United States, but she does not have an opponent in front of her that should present a major challenge.

Age will catch up to Braekhus soon, but she should have a good showing on Saturday night in her American debut.

Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1) vs. Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1); WBA/WBC Middleweight Titles

Gennady Golovkin was hoping to rematch Canelo Alvarez and get a definitive win, but instead he has to face the determine but heavy underdog Vanes Martirosyan.

Golovkin is thirty six years old and will be four years older than Martirosyan on Saturday night. Golovkin is already showing signs of slowing down. He has thirty three knockout wins on his resume, but his opponents in his past two fights were able to go the distance. Martirosyan will also have a slight one inch height advantage. Their reach is the same. Martirosyan is not really known for his power, he only has twenty one knockouts as a professional.

Golovkin was a 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist for Kazakhstan and Martirosyan competed for the United States in 2004 in the Olympics but failed to medal.

Golovkin has been fighting what is now considered a normal schedule for a top tier fighter. He fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016. Martirosyan has not been very active and it should be a concern for his camp. He’s fighting arguably the best middleweight in the 21st century and he only fought once in 2016 and did not fight at all in 2017. In fact it will be nearly two years since he has stepped in the ring.

Golovkin has defeated the likes Daniel Jacobs, Kell Brook, Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Martin Murray, Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, Gabriel Rosado, and Kassim Ouma.

Martirosyan has defeated the likes of Ishe Smith, Willie Nelson, Saul Roman, and Kassim Ouma. His losses were to Erislandy Lara, Jermell Charlo, and Demetrius Andrade.

Martirosyan has been known to do better than expected in big fights, but fighting a current top five pound for pound boxer after not competing for two years will be a tall task to overcome.

However, if Martirosyan makes it to the final bell, the bigger question will be how much longer does Golovkin has left as one of the world’s best?

More Headlines

Abel Sanchez Looking To Prolong GGG’s Legendary Career


By Vishare Mooney

Is age becoming an issue for Gennady Golovkin, the 37-0-1, 33KO machine who, with a body seemingly made of iron, a mind like a chess champion, who has never been downed, never been hurt and boasts the highest knockout ratio in middleweight history? Will age be a factor as he enters the storied StubHub Center in his 20th consecutive title defense against Glendale, California’s Vanes Martirosyan 36-3-1. 21KO, also known as, given the unexpected circumstance, the fighter who is not Canelo? If trainer Abel Sanchez has done his job, the answer is probably not, and frankly, probably never. As GGG gets older, it is Sanchez’s desire to prolong his legendary fighter’s career in the ring with a mix of tactics outside the ring. I spoke with him on a recent media workout as he explained how.


Photo Credit: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/GGG Promotions

When asked if we can expect to see Golovkin’s hard hitting, aggressive approach in the ring change as he becomes a more mature fighter, Sanchez replied with an emphatic no. “I don’t look at his age in terms of what he can or can’t do. His style will remain basically the same. I’m trying to prolong his career as much as possible without interfering with his actual fighting style,” said Sanchez.

Which is good news and bad news for future contenders to the throne. Good news is GGG won’t suddenly be adding a frustrating Mayweather type defense or Lomachencko’s blustery footwork. The bad news is Golovkin will continue to outthink you, force you in a corner, and knock you out.

If there are any changes to Golovkin’s boxing, Sanchez says, it is in the gym. “I try to keep things as constant as possible. I have been tweaking things in the gym for the last 7 or 8 fights. It’s not that I see anything deteriorating in the gym. I have reduced amount of rounds, I reduced a lot of the things we do so that I can conserve as much as I can for the fight.”

How much does nutrition play in keeping Golovkin’s body in top shape throughout his career? Sanchez disclosed he is not a fan of supplements and vitamins and prefers to keep nutrition in his camp basic, old school, but nonetheless clean.

“I want him to eat what he eats..Obviously we don’t have sodas, we don’t have liquor and the breads and the sugars, we stay away from. I think basic nutrition is something that we can’t overlook.”

Sanchez added, “ All these new supplements, (Golovkin) takes no vitamins. I have another fighter in the gym who is also a feared fighter like him, who takes no vitamins either and yet they are the two of the strongest guys in their divisions.”

”I think you have to feed yourself, you have to eat. Gennady loves mexican food, he loves ribs he loves shrimp quesadillas.”

Sanchez ended the interview and joked that Golovkin bleeds hot salsa. Que viva el alcalde de Cinco de Mayo, GGG!

More Headlines

Vanes Martirosyan’s Goal: “To Beat The Baddest Man On The Planet”


By: Sean Crose

“Ronda’s going to come to the event on Saturday,” promoter Tom Loeffler said during a Monday conference call promoting this weekend’s Cinco De Mayo bout between middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin and ring vet (and Ronda Rousey pal) Vanes Martirosyan. Loeffler also added that “Chris Cyborg,” another MMA star, “is supposed to come.” Whether such well known fans will add buzz to a fight that is essentially a quick replacement for a failed megabout between Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez remains to be seen. This Saturday’s match was supposed to be a rematch between Golovkin and Canelo of their 2017 bout, which ended in a controversial draw. Canelo, however, famously tested positive for Clenbuterol, a banned substance, back in February, causing the high profile event to be cancelled.


Photo Credit: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/GGG Promotions

“He was very frustrated when the positive test first was announced,” said Loeffler. “Gennady really is the party that’s the most affected by this (the Canelo situation).” Loeffler also made it clear that Golovkin is not only eager to move on, but is taking his replacement opponent, Martirosyan, very seriously. “This is a very unique situation,” said Loeffler, who added that “Gennady just kept training” throughout the Alvarez scandal. Likewise, Martirosyan is said to be well prepared. “We just got ready for Golovkin,” the California fighter said when I asked what tweaks were made to his training in preparation for the feared Kazakh.

“Styles do make fights,” he added. “GGG’s style and mine fit very well.” Martirosyan has complained that some of his more notable opponents have avoided him in the ring. Unlike slicksters such as Erislandy Lara, however, Martirosyan feels Golovkin will show up on Saturday to fight. “It’s a perfect fight for Cinco de Mayo because it’s going to be two guys going head to head,” Martirosyan said. Martirosyan also claimed that “this is what we dream about. I’ve always wanted these fights.” He’s only been set to face Golovkin for a few weeks, but Martirosyan is exuding complete confidence.

“We’re ready,” he said. “You can wake me up in my sleep and I’d be ready to fight.” With just days to go before the fight, Martirosyan let the media know that he’s still prepping. “I’m in the gym right now,” he said. “I just go done sweating my butt off.” Although he’s eager to engage in an action fight, Martirosyan comes across as a pleasant individual who’s not afraid to engage in humor. As he said good naturedly during the call: “Most of my fans are also GGG fans.” Not that they won’t support Martirosyan during the fight.

As the clock ticks ever closer to the weekend, Martirosyan, who is a huge underdog, has a singular goal in mind:

“To beat the baddest man on the planet.”

More Headlines

Quotes from Gennady Golovkin and Vanes Martirosyan


Fellow 2004 Olympians and soon-to-be opponents GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN and VANES “THE NIGHTMARE” MARTIROSYAN met with the media — and each other — on Monday at Martirosyan’s gym, the Glendale Fighting Club. It was the first time the fighters addressed the media, and each other, since announcing their Cinco De Mayo world championship rumble. Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, boxing’s longest-reigning world champion (since 2010), will be defending his World Middleweight Championship crown for the 20th consecutive and record-tying time, against former two-time world title challenger and current No. 1 contender Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs), from Glendale, Calif. They collide on Saturday, May 5, under the stars at StubHub Center. The fight will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Promoted by GGG promotions, in association with Don King Productions, and sponsored by Tecate, Chivas Regal, Jordan and Hublot, remaining tickets to the Golovkin vs. Martirosyan world championship event are priced at $750, $500, $300, $200, $100 (sold out) and $50 (sold out), and may be purchased online at https://www.axs.com/events/353331/golovkin-vs-martirosyan-tickets?ref=edp_twpost, by phone at (888) 9AXS-TIX, or by visiting the StubHub Center box office.


Photo Credit: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/GGG Promotions

Here is what the fighters had to say:

GENNADY GOLOVKIN

“I am glad to be back in the ring and giving a fight to my fans. I am happy that Cinco De Mayo will still have boxing. It is good for the sport. I want to stay active. I would like to fight four or five times every year. Cinco De Mayo is a big night for a fight and for a Mexican-Style fighter like me. It is very important to me to be fighting again, to be fighting on Cinco De Mayo. I didn’t want to disappoint the fans who wanted a fight on a Mexican holiday. I am grateful to the Mexican fans who support me and who supported me after the fight with Canelo and during the past two months.

“When my fight with Canelo was canceled I never stopped training. I wanted a fight on Cinco De Mayo. I stayed in Big Bear working hard with Abel hoping I would still be able to have a fight.

“Canelo? Right now he is over. Do I want to have the rematch in September? We’ll see. It’s a different deal. The boxing business is crazy. I’ll fight Canelo again. Ask him if he wants to fight me.

“I no longer think about Canelo. I am only focused on this fight. I just want to fight Vanes. I remember him from the 2004 Olympics. I know he is not easy. Vanes is a strong and active fighter in the ring. He is a good fighter . Vanes is a real guy. A real fighter. He is tall and strong. In 2004, I thought Vanes was the best boxer on the U.S. Olympic team.

“I have watched some tapes of Vanes’ fights. His fights with Lara. The minute the fight was signed Abel brought new ideas to the gym workouts. And no, I am not going to tell you those new ideas. The fans at StubHub Center will be watching two Mexican-style fighters from the area.

“I am still comfortable at 160 pounds. There are no big money fights at 168 pounds and besides, I am small at 160.

“I only ask for fights. I want more big fights. Huge fights. Title unification fights. I want to stay champion. It should be a clean sport. That is important to me.

“This fight is very important for boxing. Fans should not have to miss having a fight on Cinco De Mayo. This is my gift to the sport. Thank you to everyone for watching me and supporting me.”

VANES MARTIROSYAN

“This fight is the biggest test for me. It will show where I belong in this sport. I was able to take advantage of this opportunity because I never left the gym, even when previously scheduled fights kept falling through. I would take a week off and then return to the gym. It was hard but I never lost faith. A good fighter stays ready, stays in shape. How many times have we heard that about an opponent falling out and a replacement getting that golden ticket to fight for a world title?

“Regarding Canelo, you have to ask, ‘Why did he flunk two drug tests. Why did he withdraw from VADA? I don’t believe him. I don’t buy his excuse about tainted meat. If, God forbid, I had tested positive because of accidentally eating something, I would have myself tested every day to prove I was clean. No one wants to see someone cheat his way into a fight.

“That’s why fans love Triple G. Because he is so good in the ring and because he is clean. He has always been tested. He wants boxing to be a clean sport as do I.

“I have been counted out before and I have shined. This is my time. Fate has reached out to me and I am ready to seize the moment. You can never plan for something like this, but you can be prepared, and that’s why I never left the gym.

“I am excited to show everyone how good I can be. I feel so fresh and strong. Fans and Gennady will be amazed . We may not be Mexican but I guarantee you it’s going to feel like two Mexicans are going to war on Cinco De Mayo.

“I’m not afraid of Gennady. I’m psyched to fight him. This is why I became a fighter. I’m not the only one taking this fight on short notice. Everyone has a soft spot. I’ll find his. I have no fear. We are going to war — Mexican Style. Two trains colliding. We both love the Mexican Style of fighting. We’re both hard headed and heavy handed. To me, it’s not a REAL fight without a lot of Mexican fans. I’m not fighting to survive. I’ll be fighting to win!

“I don’t run like the guy who pretended to eat a bad steak. Let’s see how Gennady reacts to a fighter who doesn’t move away after being hit. Gennady’s chin hasn’t been tested the way I’d like to test it.

“Canelo is an easier fight than Gennady. Gennady has a fan-friendly style. Canelo ran from my mandatory challenge. That says a lot about him. That tells you everything about him.

“When I got the call from Don King, I was laying in bed with the kids. ‘Hey, man, there’s this guy they call Triple G or something like that, you want to fight?” I said, ‘Of course.’ That’s how I found out I got the fight.

“Before I knew I had this fight, I asked my wife who her favorite fighter was, besides me. She told me Gennady Golovkin. So now I have to beat his ass for that (laughing).”

More Headlines

Martiosyan On Golovkin: “Everyone Is Beatable”


By: Sean Crose

“Everyone is beatable,” says middleweight title challenger Vanes Martirosyan. “Everybody.”

The 37-3-1 Californian, known for his friendship with former UFC star Ronda Rousey, is scheduled for what is unquestionably the biggest fight in his career when he faces 37-0-1 multi-titlist Gennady Golovkin on May 5th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Golovkin was expected to rematch superstar Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas that evening in a pay per view spectacular, but Canelo got popped for having Clenbuterol in his system and subsequently dropped out of the match before receiving a six month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

“Every time I talked to my promoter Don King,” says Martirosya, “I would tell him my passion. I would tell him ‘give me a fight, let me show you what I can do.’ I knew he had been working hard to get me a fight then he got me this fight.” Martirosya makes it clear he was quick to answer the call from team Golovkin, which was looking for a May 5th replacement for Canelo. “When they asked me if I wanted it I said ‘of course.’ They asked me if I could be 176 by Friday and I said I am 176 right now. Thank God we were training and in such good shape. King got me the biggest fight and now it’s time to go.”

Martirosya is also eager to face down talk that he’s an unworthy opponent for the fighter known as GGG. “The fights that I didn’t look good in are against the people that ran from me,” he says, “like Lara and Andrade. They just try to run and outbox. I couldn’t make them fight. But GGG is coming to fight and that’s what I’ve been looking for – to show the boxing world what I can do.”

The veteran fighter exudes nothing but confidence in the lead up to the title match. ““Everybody has a chance to tell their story,” he says. “This is my story in boxing and it’s going to start May 5th.” Martirosya also admits that, aside from himself, Golovkin is his wife’s favorite fighter. “So, you know,” he says kiddingly, “I gotta kick his ass.” On a more serious note, Martirosya understands that Golovkin is one of the most feared men in boxing.

“I feel like people are scared of him because of his power,” he says. “We’re gonna go to war. It’s not going to be Mexican style fighting there but it will feel like it.” As for jumping up in weight to battle Golovkin: “The weight is not an issue,” says Martirosyan, whose most recently fought as a super welterweight. “I think it’s a benefit for me. I get to eat a little bit.”

And how surprised is he to be facing GGG on the night the titlist was supposed to be facing Canelo?

“I didn’t even think I would get the call,” Martirosyan says.

More Headlines

Jermall Charlo and Gervonta Davis Ask For Golovkin and Lomachenko


By: Ken Hissner

After Saturday’s quick knockouts on Showtime two of the winners shot their mouths off after destroying lesser opponents and asking for something they may regret in the future. In other words “Watch what you ask for!”

Houston’s Jermall Charlo, 27-0 (21) won the interim WBC World Middleweight title knocking out Hugo Centeno, Jr., 26-2 (14), of Oxnard, CA, in the second round. Charlo only had one fight in 2017 against a much overrated Jorge Sebastian Heiland, 29-5-2 (16), from Argentina in the 4th round.

The former IBF World Super Welterweight Champion called out Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 37-0-1 (33), of KAZ and L.A., CA. who on May 5th will be defending his title or title’s against the WBC No. 1 Super Middleweight against Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan, 36-3-1 (21), of Armenia and Glendale, CA., who has lost to twin brother Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, 30-0 (15), back in March of 2015 via a 10 round decision. Martirosyan has never been stopped in his 40 bout career. He was the USA 2004 Olympian at welterweight.

The other winner Saturday night was Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 20-0 (19), of Baltimore, MD, but having moved out to Las Vegas, NV. He stopped Jesus Marcelo Andres “El Jinete Cuellar, 28-3 (21), former WBA World Featherweight Champion in the 3rd round to win the WBA Super World Super Featherweight title.

Interviewer Jim Gray brought up the name WBO Super World Super Featherweight Champion Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, 10-1 (8), of the Ukraine now living in Oxnard, CA. He will be fighting WBA Lightweight Champion Jorge “El Nino de Oro Golden Boy” Linares, 44-3 (27), of VZ now living in Tokyo, Japan May 12 at Madison Square Garden.

This writer considers Lomachenko P4P No. 1 and Golovkin P4P No. 2. Both are former Olympians with Lomachenko winning Gold Medals in 2008 and 2012. Golovkin won a Silver Medal in 2004 after defeating Andre Dirrell losing in the final to Russian Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov who never turned professional.
My thoughts are Charlo meeting the Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 33-2 (29), of Brooklyn, NY, and Maciej “Striczu” Sulecki, 26-0 (10), of Warsaw, Poland, winner on April 28th at the Barclay Center. Sulecki stopped Centeno in June of 2016 in the 10th round.

I’m sure that though under suspension for six months Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 49-1-2 (34), of Guadalajara, MEX, and Golovkin will meet in sometime on or around September pending on the length of the suspension. That controversial draw that Golovkin got ripped off on should be changed to a NC or ND.

This writer felt that Golovkin could meet WBO World Champion Billy Joe Saunders, 26-0 (12), of Hatfield Hertfordshire, UK, with all the titles on the line. He will meet Martin Murray, 36-4-1 (17), on June 23rd in the UK, whose only stoppage loss was to Golovkin in June of 2015 in Monte Carlo in the 11th round.

If Charlo and Davis get “WHAT THEY ASKED FOR” I’m sure it will not before 2019.

More Columns

Golovkin to Return May 5th


Undefeated World Middleweight Champion and boxing superhero GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN is saving Cinco De Mayo for boxing fans! Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, boxing’s longest-reigning world champion, returns to the ring, Saturday, May 5, against two-time world title challenger VANES “THE NIGHTMARE ” MARTIROSYAN (36-3-1, 21 KOs), from Glendale, Calif. The fight will headline an exciting world championship card which will take place, under the stars, at StubHub Center, in Carson, Calif. It’s the first time Golovkin has fought in Southern California in over two years. Golovkin has proved himself to be a sterling gate attraction in his previous three fights in the Southland, selling out The Fabulous Forum twice, in 2016 and 2015, and setting the all time attendance record for boxing at StubHub Center in 2014. Golovkin vs. Martirosyan will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 11 p.m. ET/PT. Not only will this mark Golovkin’s first non-pay-per-view fight since 2016, if successful, it will also be his 20th consecutive and record-tying middleweight title defense.

Golovkin and Martirosyan boast a combined record of 73-3-2 (54 KOs) — a winning percentage of 94% with close to 3/4 of those victories coming by way of knockout.

Golovkin had originally been scheduled to defend his WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO middleweight titles on May 5 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

Promoted by GGG promotions, in association with Don King Productions, and sponsored by Tecate, Chivas Regal, Jordan and Hublot, tickets to the Golovkin vs. Martirosyan world championship event go on sale Today! Wednesday, April 18, at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT. Priced at $750, $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50, tickets may be purchased online at AXS.com, by phone at (888) 9AXS-TIX, or by visiting the StubHub Center box office.

“Vanes Martirosyan is now the most important fight of my career. He has my respect and I am training hard to defend my titles against him,” said Golovkin. “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.”

“Gennady has had such a terrific training camp in Big Bear. It wouldn’t be fair to him to let it go to waste just because Canelo was being punished,” said Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer. “Gennady is going to light up Cinco De Mayo as only a true Mexican-style fighter can. I can’t wait to unleash him.”

“We are adding extra bleachers to accommodate the demand from Gennady’s fans. We are prepared for Gennady to break his own StubHub Center attendance record for a boxing event, which he set in 2014,” said Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter. “When you think about all the great champions and exciting world title fights StubHub has hosted, that’s quite an accomplishment. Vanes Martirosyan brings a passionate Armenian fan base from nearby Glendale and an aggressive style of fighting. Best of all, he is ready and wants the fight. Golovkin vs. Martirosyan will definitely be the fiesta de résistance of Cinco De Mayo.”

“I’ve been training my ass off. I’m sparring, I’m on weight,” Martirosyan recently told the Los Angeles Times. “When they asked me if I’d take this fight, I said yes. I didn’t ask about money at all. It’s a good show for L.A. Cinco De Mayo. Armenians will pack the place. I have a lot of Mexican fans. I do believe in my heart I’m going to beat (Golovkin) because he’s never fought someone with my style.”

Golovkin, the 36-year-old wrecking ball who has reigned over the middleweight division as world champion since 2010, was a dominant amateur standout and Olympic Silver Medalist before turning professional in 2006. Since then, Golovkin has been on an historic trajectory, knocking out one opponent after another to unify the WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO World Middleweight Titles. During this run, Golovkin maintained an unblemished record that included a 23-fight knockout streak, which ended with a unanimous decision victory against then-undefeated world champion Danny Jacobs in March 2017. In September of the same year, Golovkin went the distance in a historic and controversial split draw against Alvarez, which most scored as a victory for Golovkin. The hotly-anticipated rematch, which had been scheduled for Cinco De Mayo, was canceled when Alvarez withdrew from the fight. Golovkin has sold out the most iconic arenas of the world, including T-Mobile Arena, Madison Square Garden, O2 Arena, The Fabulous Forum and StubHub Center.

Martirosyan, 31, is a two-time world title challenger and a former amateur standout who represented the U.S. in the 2004 U.S. Olympics, the same Summer Games where Golovkin won the silver medal. A native of Abovyan, Armenia, who fights out of Glendale, Calif., Martirosyan’s resume boasts NABF, NABO, WBO Inter-Continental, WBA International and WBC Silver championship victories against the likes of former world champions Ishe Smith and Kassim Ouma, as well as a draw against Erislandy Lara. Martirosyan’s only professional blemishes have been decision losses in world title fights against Demetrius Andrade, where Martirosyan scored a knockdown, and a rematch with Lara, as well as a controversial 10-round loss to WBC super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo. Standing at six-feet tall, Martirosyan will enter the ring as the taller and the younger gladiator. He is currently the WBC’s No. 1 world-rated super welterweight contender.

More Headlines

Gennady Golovkin and the Scramble to Find an Opponent


By: Kirk Jackson

Middleweight champion Gennady ‘Triple G’ Golovkin 37-0-1 (33 KO’s) is stuck between a rock and a hard place; with the recent dilemma stemming from ‘PED fallout’ with his original proposed opponent for Cinco de Mayo weekend, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 49-1-2 (34 KO’s).

With Alvarez dropping out of the original scheduled rematch – due to two failed drug tests (Clenbuterol), Golovkin is left without a dance partner.

There are discussions of the proposed rematch to occur at a later date; September later this year or at some point next year, depending on the results from Alvarez’s hearing and length of suspension handed out from Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Amid the Alvarez scandal, Team Golovkin’s stance remains firm in regards to still fighting Cinco de Mayo Weekend.

In spite of multiple attempts from Team Golovkin, his promoter Tom Loeffler, the HBO network and those responsible for the opponent selection of Triple G, securing a fight is hard to come by.

The date is still intact although the location of venue changed from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to the Stub Hub Center in Carson, CA.

“All the venues have told us that they are going to keep the date as long as we feel it’s still possible to promote a show,” explained Loeffler. “HBO to their credit, they originally had a pay-per-view scheduled on May 5th, they’ve adjusted their schedule to accommodate ‘Triple G’ which is not easy to do with less than 30 days.”

One would think, if the original opponent is not available, surely Golovkin can satisfy one of the mandatories for one of the championship titles he covets – as he has done ever so often in the past right? Golovkin is the current WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight champion.

Sergiy Derevyanchenko 12-0 (10 KO’s) is an interesting contender and the mandatory challenger for the IBF title.

According to Derevyanchenko’s manager Keith Connolly, as reported via ESPN, Team Derevyanchenko is calling for the fight with Golovkin.

“Now that Canelo-Golovkin has been called off the IBF mandatory is due. Sergiy has worked his whole life to earn a mandatory position and I will be doing everything in my power from a legal standpoint to protect my client’s rights.”

“I feel very comfortable in our legal position that we are owed the title shot immediately. Sergiy is ready to fight Golovkin now. If he chooses not to fight us the IBF should strip him and we will fight whoever is next in the rankings for the title.”

It looks less likely we’ll see this match-up May 5th as Team Golovkin appears not as interested in booking that particular fight at this time.

It appears Derevyanchenko and former junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade 25-0 (16 KO’s) may duel for the rights to the IBF title in near future.

Andrade is another fighter vying for position to face Golovkin and called out the Kazakhstani champion for many years now.

Taking on someone with the talent of Andrade on short-notice is a tall order, but Andrade would be facing the same inconvenience. It can be argued Andrade is not fully acclimated to the middleweight division with only one fight under his belt at the weight class.

But if Golovkin is regarded by ESPN as the no.1 pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, shouldn’t we hold that fighter to the highest of standards?

Golovkin needs an opponent and Andrade is willing to fill the void.

Team Golovkin is smart with their match-making, so it’s understandable taking another route.

The other routes included Spike O’Sullivan, who wisely declined the fight, WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders 26-0 (12 KO’s) recovering from injury and Jaime Munguia, an inexperienced junior middleweight.

While Munguia 28-0 (24 KO’s) maintains an undefeated record, the 21-year-old prospect hasn’t fought anyone even close to the level of Golovkin and hasn’t even been in a scheduled 12-rounder to this point in his career.

He is a naturally smaller fighter in a lower division (154 lbs.) and this brand of match-making is the epitome of a cherry pick.

But what about facing Jermall Charlo 26-0 (20 KO’s)?

Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez mentioned many times in the past, his disapproval of matching his prized pupil against the likes of former junior middleweight titlist and current no. 1 WBC middleweight contender Charlo.

“He (Charlo) knocked out a cripple, Sanchez said of Charlo stopping Heiland.

“I think he has to earn the right to fight Golovkin. Just like a guy like Keith Thurman is telling Spence he has to wait to fight because he’s not known. I think these guys have to earn a shot to fight someone like Golovkin or Canelo. Reason they want to fight Golovkin or Canelo is because they want to cash out.”
Sanchez continued, “They want a big purse. Golovkin was no. 1 rated for Felix Sturm for two years and then Martinez.”

“Then we were mandatory for Cotto and even for Canelo it took a while. You have to make sure the people want the fight. Can you imagine what Charlo would do in sales? He wouldn’t sell nothing. I think we like to make title fights but obviously you have to earn them and he hasn’t earned it.”

With that said, there are flaws with Sanchez’s argument points.

It can be argued Golovkin is essentially doing the same thing accused of other fighters as they were supposedly “ducking” him for all these years.

Using money as the sole justification to explain why Sanchez doesn’t want Golovkin sharing the ring with Charlo is precisely the same justification previously cited by the big name middleweights (Sergio Martinez, Miguel Cotto, Alvarez) and even welterweights (Floyd Mayweather) as their reasons for not agreeing to fight Golovkin, which led to them subsequently being accused of “ducking” by Team Golovkin, his fan-base and mass media outlets such as ESPN and HBO particularly.

If Team Golovkin’s actions are the same as those who were accused of “ducking” Golovkin, does that mean Golovkin is “ducking” Charlo?

And while we’re on the subject of ducking and fighting mandatories, something Team Golovkin is keen to doing in years past, why not face one of his mandatories now?
Is it that Team Golovkin is still trying to preserve the big money fight with Alvarez? And by preserving the lucrative fight with Alvarez, does this include taking the road involving the least amount of risk?

Another note on the Charlo situation and referring to lack of quality wins to earn a shot at Golovkin, it’s not like Golovkin ran through a murderer’s row of opposition prior to securing his big money fight against Alvarez last year.

No disrespect intended, but Dominic Wade, Willie Monroe Jr., Osumanu Adama, Nobuhiro Ishida, Gabriel Rosado, Makoto Fuchigami, Lajuan Simon, Kassim Ouma, Nilson Julio Tapia, Milton Nunez, Marco Antonio Rubio, David Lemieux are not exactly tier one opposition.

Lemieux eventually became world champion, fighting for a vacant WBC title – in which he eventually lost to Golovkin via his first title defense.

It may be disputed, Triple G’s first run at tier one opposition occurred when he faced the undefeated welterweight champion Kell Brook, followed by battles against WBA champion Daniel Jacobs and Alvarez.

Brook moved up two weight classes for their encounter – an encounter that transpired last minute due to the negotiation issues between Golovkin and Chris Eubanks and Brook and Jessie Vargas.

These battles against top opposition, transpiring with Golovkin approaching his mid-thirties. Point being, Charlo has a legitimate claim to call for and pursue a fight with Golovkin.

Time is running out and options are slim for the fight still scheduled for May 5th.

One of the last options appears to be Vanes Martirosyan 36-3-1 (21 KO’s) and by all accounts appears to be a good match-up according to Triple G’s promoter Loeffler.

Martirosyan turns 33 on May 1st, hasn’t fought in two years, his last fight was a loss to Erislandy Lara – another fighter having called Golovkin out for many years.

Martirosyan is not a top-ranked fighter in the middleweight division or in the division he last competed in – junior middleweight.

Golovkin can’t be blamed for the folly of Alvarez; failing two drug tests and jeopardizing not only the initial scheduled rematch for May 5th but any future potential fight between the two.

Golovkin should be applauded for conducting himself as a clean athlete and preparing himself for battle physically and mentally in spite of the ‘PED scandal’ with Alvarez.

However, lining up an easy fight when there are logical, suitable match-ups available, especially as Golovkin is marketed as ‘Boxing’s Boogeyman’ and is regarded by ESPN as the no.1 pound-for-pound fighter is inexcusable.

With less than four weeks to go, perhaps it’s a wise idea to call the fight off altogether because of the lack of securing a top opponent for Triple G.

At this point and it appeared as so last year, Golovkin was aiming to secure a large payday, along with his signature win before riding off into the sunset against Alvarez.

Golovkin secured a nice payday, but not the signature win he wanted.

These recent attempts with match-making expose that sentiment, as it appears Team Golovkin is not trying to travel the road with much resistance.

As a world class fighter, as a person risking his life every time he steps in the ring, he has the right to choose who he wants to fight, nothing wrong with that.

But with that said, he should held to the same standard other fighters are often criticized for.

More Columns

Is This It For Gennady Golovkin?


By: Greg Houghton

As we once again await a last minute opponent for GGG on May 5th, is it possible that we could never see him in another fight of the magnitude of Canelo vs GGG?

I’ve thought for some time that 2018 might be Gennady’s last year in professional boxing, thinking that if he were successful in the Canelo rematch, he could finally have that long awaited unification fight with Billy Joe Saunders, and then retire having achieved his goal of unifying the division. Middleweight unification is still not out of the question for this year, however if Saunders’ hand injury were to keep him from facing Golovkin, or the Kazakh be conveniently called out once again after initial negotiations of a different fight had already been made, then it’s a possibility that Golovkin may never get the opportunity, at least not until he is physically deteriorating.

If either the Canelo rematch or the unification fight were to materialise in the fall of this year, GGG would be 36 and a half years old by this point. His conditioning is such that he has shown no signs of aging yet as we witnessed him come straight at Canelo for all 36 minutes when they met in September last year. The likes of Wladimir Klitschko and Floyd Mayweather have defied age and managed to dominate their weight classes well in to their late thirties. But stylistically, Golovkin’s method is not conducive to a lengthy reign at the top of the sport. Whilst it’s great for boxing fans to watch the likes of Kell Brook, Daniel Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez throw the kitchen sink at him and see him barely bat an eyelid, you have to wonder how much more of this punishment his body and brain can take. It is a forgone conclusion that he, at this stage in his career, will not be able to adapt his style, and it stands to reason that using one’s chin as a main form of defence can only sustain at elite level within the sport for so long.

Golovkin has received a very mixed reaction since coming to the U.S. and making his HBO debut in 2012. It is perhaps more a reflection of his outwardly spoken trainer Abel Sanchez as to why Golovkin has received such a bad rap with certain fans. I for one have been hugely grateful for the fire and excitement that Golovkin has bought to middleweight boxing in bringing the authentic ‘Mexican style’ to the forefront of the division.

Regardless of whether you’re a fan or not, GGG seems to have struggled numerous times to find willing opponents. Thus far we have indeed seen an almost superhuman display of punch-resistance in almost every fight since he brutally dismantled Grzegorz Proksa in 5 rounds during his first HBO outing. Boxing fans have watched in awe as he’s absorbed the same right hand from Jacobs that took out Peter Quillin in a single round, as well as the same overhand right which appears to have ruined Amir Khans life from Canelo, and continued to march forwards.

I for one hope that he gets the opportunity to either get closure on the Canelo situation without a judge’s influence, or face Billy-Joe Saunders for that coveted unification fight. Either way, the clock is ticking for GGG.

More Columns

MGM Offers Refunds on Canelo GGG Tickets Based on Uncertainty of Commission Decision


Word broke on Wednesday that MGM Resorts will be offering full refunds for tickets that have already been purchased for the May 5th Canelo Alvarez – Gennady Golovkin rematch, which is still scheduled to go down at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “In the event a fan requested a refund, they could get one at the original point of sale and in full,” Gilbert Manzano, of the respected Las Vegas Review-Journal, quotes an MGM rep as stating. MGM’s decision is yet another ominous sign as the much anticipated Canelo-GGG fight remains effectively up in the air.

The mega bout was put on hold for all intents and purposes after the Nevada State Athletic Commission ruled last week that Canelo (49-1-2) is temporarily suspended. In early March, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association informed team Canelo that it’s fighter had shown traces of the banned substance Clenbuterol in his system on two distinct occasions (2/17 and 2/20, respectively). Canelo has reportedly tested clean since that time, but the Commission suspended the middleweight until at least April 10th, when a hearing will be held. Canelo’s team has blamed the incident on Canelo consuming tainted meat, an assertion which has been met with considerable criticism.

While Mexican beef is known to contain Clenbuterol, the Commission may not be under any obligation to find the tainted meat excuse acceptable. And, should the Commission find team Canelo’s defense lacking, the bout with Golovkin (37-0-1) might well be cancelled, or at least pushed back for some time, as Canelo’s suspension could be extended. While there are many who believe the fight will go on as scheduled due to the Commission having a reputation (fair or not) for giving Canelo preferential treatment, and of putting money before all else, some well-known individuals in and out of the fight game aren’t so sure.

As things stand, HBO, which is broadcasting the bout, via pay per view, is currently behaving as if the fight isn’t even happening. What’s more, Golovkin’s own harsh words on the matter have put the Commission in a bit of a corner. Declaring that Canelo had previously cheated and that the Commission were essentially “terrorists,” the middleweight titlist effectively sided with those whose opinion is the Commission is corrupt and is hurting the sport of boxing. Such actions from Golovkin put pressure on the Commission to prove its fairness.

And now there’s the matter of tickets being refunded. While no one knows whether or not the May 5th match will go on as planned, the road has become far rockier than anyone could have reasonably expected it to.

More Headlines

Canelo Responds To His Critics


By: Sean Crose

There are those – and there are quite a few of them – who feel Canelo Alvarez deserved to lose his November 2017 megabout with Gennady Golovkin. Indeed, the close, exciting contest was ruled a draw, a decision decried as unfair by many in and around the fight world. Judge Adelaide Byrd’s outrageous score of 118-110 didn’t help stem the tide of charges that Canelo was a favored child of the fight world, and particularly of Las Vegas, where the bout was held. During a Tuesday press conference to kick in the pre-fight hype for Canelo-Golovkin II showdown this coming Cinco De Mayo weekend, however, Canelo himself responded to numerous accusations.

“I respect all judges,” he said. “Some people see things differently.” The Mexican superstar made it clear that he himself wasn’t happy with how things turned out during the first match with Golovkin. “I saw myself winning by two points.” While admitting that Kazakh warrior Golovkin was a tough opponent (“It was a fight I had to work hard for.”) Canelo acknowledged that he could have performed better in the ring. “I learned a lot,” he said of the experience. “I made him miss. There were a lot of openings I didn’t take advantage of. Things we’re going to work on in the gym. We’re going to take advantage of the those openings (in the rematch).

Canelo was particularly rankled by criticism that he “ran” from Golovkin during their first match instead of standing and trading with the knockout artist. “I did what I had to do,” Canelo said. “I did what I planned out to do. I went in there. I outboxed him. I laid on the ropes. I made him miss. I controlled from the center of the ring.” No fighter likes the charge of being a runner, as it insinuates a lack of courage. Canelo is clearly no exception. “ Its not he same thing,” he claimed. “I’m a technical fighter that knows how to make a fighter miss, that knows how to counter punch, (rather) than just a jackass coming forward throwing punches and being hit.” Canelo continued to defend his style when faced with the criticism of Able Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer. “I know how to box,” Canelo stated. “I know how to use other techniques. He (Sanchez) should know that if he’s the so called best trainer.”

Canelo, who first became famous as a very young man when he faced the iconic Floyd Mayweather in 2013, now feels he is a far more complete fighter than his younger self was. “ It’s totally different,” he said in response to a query regarding his respective fights with Mayweather and Golovkin. “When I fought Floyd, I think I lost to experience…today, give years later, I have a lot more experience. It was two different eras.” Canelo was also asked about Golovkin’s vaunted power, which had taken many opponents before Canelo out before the final bell. “Look,” he said of Golovkin, “he landed some good punches. I can withstand them. I didn’t really feel it. I hope it was his best punch.”

There’s no doubt that perhaps the most famous fighter in the world is confident heading into the rematch. He’s also eager to make it clear who the better fighter is out of Golovkin and himself. “Now we have an opportunity to break that tie,” he said. As for Golovkin: “I can end it before the distance and knock him out.” Canelo-Golovkin II will do down May fifth at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be aired live via HBO par per view.

More Headlines

Beyond The Crossroad: Canelo vs. Golovkin 2


By: Niki Ross

January is typically a bleak month for boxing cards, big match ups with the most significance always feel like years away, heaven forbid fighters should enjoy the festive period too. Thankfully, in the last week of the darkest month of the year, the Canelo vs Golovkin rematch was announced as a done deal. Surprise surprise May 5th, the revered Mexican holiday which was hijacked by business savvy broadcasting suits holds the key date with a venue still to be established. Don’t hold your breath for anything other than a Las Vegas T- Mobile Arena do over.

In the aftermath of the first fight over 20,000 people took part in a HBO post fight Twitter poll. Over 70% of those voted in favour of Golovkin having won the fight and with a compubox reading of 218- 169 punches landed in Golovkin’s favour its hard not to agree. Especially since he landed more in all but 2 rounds. It was too much for the usually cool-headed Lennox Lewis who took to twitter to voice his displeasure of what was strongly perceived as a scandal, “These scorecards were ridiculous!”, a sentiment shared by a string of other celebrities and fighters across social media. On paper, this should give Golovkin a clear opportunity to cement his status as the linear middleweight champion. Providing an opportunity to right a wrong which was born out of inexcusable incompetence from a judge who is already well known for producing controversial, inconsistent scores. But it may not be that easy. In his last three fights Golovkin has shipped some punishment. Its not often people talk about his defensive abilities which are sadly underrated but this is because he is simply too happy to walk through a punch. Amongst his many attributes his chin is something to be marvelled. He’s never tasted the canvas in over 300 amateur fights and almost 40 in the pro ranks. And because he can take a punch it seems to make him all too willing to accept one. Whether its to land his own or to demonstrate that he is made of sterner stuff than mere flesh and blood, he’s walked through some big punches with nothing but a shrug of the shoulders. Is it finally catching up with him?

After the 2013 schooling from Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez went home to lick his wounds and came back as a vastly improved fighter. Not to say he wasn’t a competent operator at elite level pre Mayweather. After spending 12 rounds in a ring being toyed with by one of the finest defensive masters in the game, he has evidently learned a lesson or five. So much so that you can see Floyd in some of his defensive and countering work. His performances from this point have been proof that he could be boxings number 1 pound for pound figure once he picked up some career defining victories. An accomplishment which was hindered by some cute matching making by his promoters at Golden Boy. After letting him off the leash, albeit tentatively and after relinquishing the WBC title to Golovkin, he has come through the first test by the skin of his teeth. He failed to cope with Golovkin’s pressure which is nothing to be ashamed of, nobody has. He was tagged by jabs all night long and seemed happy to let Golovkin steal the door mat from under his feet. He went backwards an awful lot and didn’t throw enough punches in the process. But he survived. He survived one or two big shots but he made Golovkin think twice about throwing any heavy artillery more often than not. The stand out was that he made Golovkin, one of the most accurate punchers in the sport, miss wide of the mark on numerous occasions. And when he did, he often slashed him with razor sharp responses.

The rematch is hotly anticipated as another “fight of the year” candidate and it may be so, but do not expect the same script to play out. Canelo has proven adept at adapting and improving after fights so his dance with Golovkin the first time round should yield some marked improvements. Golovkin, for all his dominance in the first fight struggled to make many of his power punches count, possibly a combination of the wear and tear showing on the old veteran and Canelo’s incredibly elusive defence. The defining point of any of his fights is Golovkins heartbreaking jab. He rammed it in the face of Canelo just like he did to the face of Danny Jacobs 6 months prior. Its fair to say he has the most effective jab in the sport right now. Golovkin has always been synonymous with mythical Thor like power, however in his last two fights it has failed to have its usual impact. Yes, Danny Jacobs was dropped in the 4th. But he got up. And that fear we’ve seen in other fighters failed to materialise. In fact Jacobs seemed happy to trade at times taking confidence that his power was forcing Golovkin backwards. Noticeably, during the fight with Canelo, Golovkin had his man on the ropes and where we used to see uppercuts and left hooks to the body, he was reluctant to pull the trigger, reduced to tapping at the guard and waiting for openings, openings that he used to blast open himself. He was hesitant, he seemed to respect Canelo’s power and efficient countering. On the flip side, Canelo respected Golovkins power, but he didn’t seem scared by it. So what next?

The rematch is the most likely contest to produce Golovkins first loss. Whether you bought into him or not his fights over the last 6 years have been unadulterated entertainment but now it seems that his mentality has shifted. He’s no longer as free flowing with his hands, granted, the level of his opposition has increased significantly but this is what elite prize fighting is about. Showing the world what you can do against the man everyone thinks might have your number. By the time the fight takes place he will be 36 years old, he has many miles on the clock. He takes into this fight the chin of a superhero, the stamina of a marathon runner and a unique ability to place relentless pressure on his opponent for every second of every round, spearheaded with boxings best jab. But his aggression has waned, replaced by caution and so by default has his power or his ability to wield it. Canelo Alvarez will be 27, he is at the peak of his physical powers and is naturally blessed with blazing hand speed and reflexes. He is possibly the best counter puncher in the world and his punches have some fizz in them. He’s gone the distance already with his opponent and never before has someone had a second chance to dethrone the man who 12 months ago seemed an immortal force of violence. Canelo has shown that he learns very well from his fights, the first fight was a crossroads which unfortunately produced a bad result. We’re beyond the crossroads now and down this path we should see Canelo making the right adjustments and fighting with more belief. The belief that he has what it takes to become the undisputed middleweight champion of the world.

More Columns