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?
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!
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.”
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:
“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.”
“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).”
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.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Results: Charlo Brothers and Lara Emerge Victorious
Showtime World Championship Boxing Results:
By: William Holmes
Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions televised three title fights in the junior middleweight division as the WBA, IBF, and WBC belts were up for grabs. Five the top six fighters in the junior middleweight division competed on tonight’s card.
Showtime networks televised the bouts live from the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, despite the fact three world titles were on the line a lot of empty seats were seen inside the venue.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Jermell Charlo (27-0) and John Jackson (20-2) opened up tonight’s broadcast with for the WBC Junior Middleweight Title.
Charlo, a large favorite, was giving up a few inches in height to Jackson. Jackson used his jab effectively in the opening round and even had Charlo briefly caught in the corner. Jackson attacked more to the body in the second round and was able to end the round with a strong counter right on a forward moving Charlo.
Charlo continued to have trouble finding his rhythm in the third round as Jackson was the more accurate puncher and was landing some good shots to the body. Charlo tried in vain to chase Jackson around the ring and trap him, but Jackson was throwing and landing more combinations than his opponent.
Charlo landed his first hard clean shot of the night in the fifth round with a sweeping left hook in the fifth round that got the attention of Jackson. Charlo was also able to put together a good body head right hook combination near the end of the round.
Jackson was able to go back to his lateral movement in the sixth round and was able to touch Charlo often with quick jabs and crosses before moving out of the way. Charlo was much more aggressive in the seventh round and was able to land some hard right crosses to the chin of Jackson, but Jackson was still able to land combinations of his own.
Charlo was able to get in close to Jackson in the opening minute of the ieghth round and blasted him with a right hook that had Jackson frozen and unable to defend himself, and he then followed it up with a left hook that hard Jackson falling back into the corner and out on his feet.
The referee quickly jumped in and stopped the fight before Jackson could get hurt any more. Jermell Charlo won by TKO at 0:51 of the eighth round.
Jermall Charlo (23-0) faced Austin Trout (30-2) in the co-main event of the night for the IBF Junior Middleweight Title.
Trout has been in the ring with high level competition such as Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto, but he was in the ring with a taller and younger boxer with a high level ceiling.
Jermall Charlo is considered by many to be the stronger puncher of the twin brothers.
Charlo had a strong jab in the opening round and Trout was throwing his jab to the body and connected with a left uppercut to the chin. Their feet got tangled up and Trout slipped to the mat. Charlo was able to land a good straight right lead in the final minute of the round.
The second round was close to call, but Charlo landed the hardest punch of the round with a short left hook. Trout however, was able to land more punches, especially to the body. The difference in power was evident in the third round, as Charlo was able to land several hard right hands to the cin of Trout which got the crowd roaring in approval.
Trout showed good head movement in the fourth round and was able to pepper Charlo from the outside. Trout stunned Charlo in the fifth round with a lead right hook, and he remained elusive enough to avoid the hard shots of Charlo. Charlo came on in the second half of the fifth round and was able to cause some swelling around the right eye of Trout.
It was clear that Charlo was not afraid of Trout’s power in the sixth round and he continued to come forward and was able to land some clubbing right hands.
Trout was able to land some solid counter left crosses and short uppercuts in the seventh round, but you could tell that Trout was very cautious of the power of Charlo. Charlo was able to land a hard straight right hand in the final seconds, but still, the seventh round was a good round for Austin Trout.
They both stepped off the gas pedal a little bit in the eighth round, but Trout was looking more confident in throwing and landing his combinations. Charlo stepped up his aggression in the ninth round and was effective with his heavy jabs.
A cut opened up over the right eye of Austin Trout in the tenth round, and boxers landed their fair share of punches, but Charlo was definitely landing the harder shots.
Trout likely needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the bout. But he fought well and could have won these rounds on some of the judges’ scorecards.
Unexpectedly, the judges scored the bout in favor of Jermall Charlo with scores of 115-113, 116-112, and 116-112.
The main event of the night was between Erislandy Lara (22-2-2) and Vanes Martirosyan (36-2-1) in a rematch for the WBA Junior Middleweight Title.
Lara, a southpaw, was using a lot of up and down movement and was active with his jab in the opening round. Martirosyan was most effective when he threw to the body, but Lara landed more to the head.
The second and third rounds were slow, but the slow pace favored the style of Lara who was able to pop shot Martirosyan and move safely out of the way.
Lara was aggressive at the start of round, and a hematoma started to form on the head of Martirosyan. Martirosyan was warned again in the fourth round to keep his body punches up.
The fifth round featured more action than the previous round, with Lara’s best punch being the straight left to the head and Martirosyan’s best punches being the hooks to the body. The same theme repeated itself in the sixth round, but Martirosyan’s body punches were beginning to land with more frequency.
In the sixth round, Lara’s high guard was getting banged by the shots of Martirosyan and some were sneaking through. Martirosyan’s activity was much higher than Lara in this round.
The seventh round was close but Martirosyan was able to land some good body shots. Lara opened up the eighth round with quick combinations and more aggression. Lara landed clean to the nose of Martirosyan with a hard straight left hand near the end of the round.
Martirosyan fought a good ninth round but constantly coming forward and attacking to the body and threatening the chin with short quick uppercuts. Martirosyan had Lara fighting while moving backwards in the tenth round by pressing the pace and banging hard hooks to the body and head of his opponent. A clash of heads occurred in the tenth and Martirosyan hit Lara with a low blow and received a hard warning for the referee.
Martirosyan hit Lara with another low blow in the eleventh round and was deducted a point by the referee. Martirosyan was infuriated, and fought with fury for the remainder of the round but was unable to hurt Lara. Martirosyan went hard for the knockout in the final round and likely won it, but Lara fought defensively and safely and was never in danger of getting knocked down.
Erislandy Lara retained his title with scores of 115-112, 116-111, and 116-111.