WHAT’S NEXT FOR GGG?
Photo by Moteisom.wordpress.com
Golovkin won in dramatic fashion in his last bout against Vanes Martirosyan, where he won by knockout in just the second round. This last win for Golovkin ties Bernard Hopkins’ record for 20 consecutive middleweight title defenses. Golovkin, who is a unified middleweight champion, was being mandated by the IBF sanctioning body to defend his title against Derevyanchenko, who is an undefeated and upcoming contender. Instead of defending his title against a threat like Derevyanchenko, he fought Martirosyan, who had not fought in over 2 years after his last loss, had to go up in weight, and has been an acquaintance, as well as even a sparring partner for Golovkin in the past. This was the late substitute they chose to fight for Canelo who withdrew due to failed drug tests. The very short-lived bout proved Martirosyan to be no match for Golovkin. The IBF has decided to not sanction the Martirosyan fight as an IBF title defense, and that he must now fight his mandatory against Derevyanchenko within the next 90 days. Although it would not be wise to fight a threat like Derevyanchenko a few months before a possible rematch against powerhouse Canelo Alvarez, was this late substitute the best option for paying boxing fans when there are so many interesting 160-pound division fighters? And what about the highly anticipated rematch between Golovkin and Canelo?
Boxingtalk.com illustrates that it was Golovkin’s attorney who wrote a letter that forced the Nevada Athletic Commission’s hand in suspending Canelo Alvarez. This was a bout between two well-respected fighters with good sportsmanship, one could say now the drama has called for more attention to this rematch. As Max Kellerman put it, “It’s a grudge match now”.
In a recent interview with First Talk, Stephen A. expressed his opinion about Golovkin’s claims against Canelo being a drug user. “He brought into question whether or not Canelo was fair for the first fight...you’ve set the stage [for] ‘if I lose to this guy, don’t wonder why’, ‘the draw that took place in terms of me failing to knock him out, you see why it probably happened’- all of those things convolute the issue- All of this chirping is delegitimizing the competition to some degree.”
Canelo’s suspension is active a total of 6 months from the date of his failed drug test back in mid-February, meaning he would be cleared to fight again in time for a Mexican Independence Day bout in September. In a post-conference interview after the Cinco De Mayo bout, Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez confirmed that the team wishes for the fight with Canelo to happen, only under the conditions that Canelo must be enrolled for testing with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. Testing does not seem to scare Canelo away, seeing as how those were the original terms both fighters agreed to, and he recently volunteered to take a more accurate hair follicle test to prove his innocence and accidental ingestion of contaminated meat, which he actually passed.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Golden Boy Promotions’ CEO Oscar De La Hoya revealed that Canelo will be fighting in September. “Whether it happens with Triple G or not, then so be it, but Canelo is trained, is moving forward.” Golovkin took a major pay cut fighting Martirosyan, where he made roughly one million dollars, whereas, his rematch against Canelo was pushing 30 million. Canelo brings money to the table that Golovkin has not been able to produce on his own.
In the past, the California Boxing Commission has cleared and allowed Mexican fighters with minute traces of clenbuterol to continue to fight, given the state of the country’s meat production. Refusing to fight Canelo over his clenbuterol results just might prove to be the end of the Canelo-Golovkin rematch, given both of the fighter’s stubbornness and the bad blood over accusations of dirty fighting. This would be a huge loss of a paycheck to both fighters.
So what is next for GGG-or shall I say WHO is next for GGG if the Canelo rematch falls through?
In a post-conference interview after the Golovkin-Martirosyan bout, GGG’s trainer Abel Sanchez gave the exact order of who he wants GGG to fight next. “After Canelo- Murata, Daniel Jacobs, Charlo, Derevyanchenko.”
Here’s the rundown on Abel Sanchez’ list of contenders.
Ryota Murata (14-1-0), a 32-year-old Japanese fighter, has 11 wins by knockout and has held the WBA middleweight title since October 2017. He also won the Gold Medal at the 2012 Olympics.
Daniel Jacobs (34-2-0), a 31-year-old American fighter, has 29 wins by knockout and was ranked as the world’s third best active middleweight by The Ring magazine and is known for his exceptional punching power.
Jermall Charlo (27-0-0), a 27-year-old American fighter has 21 of his wins by knockout, and has held the WBC interim middleweight title since April 2018.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko(12-0-0), a 32-year-old Ukrainian fighter, who has had 10 out of 12 wins by knockout, an Olympics history, as well as, an outstanding amateur record, is possibly GGG’s next IBF title defense mandatory fight, seeing as how he will be stripped of his title if he does not.
GGG expressed after his Cinco De Mayo fight the desire to clear out the middleweight division. Given this group of up and coming middleweight fighters of great potential, the future for GGG fans and boxing is looking bright.
WRITTEN BY NATALIE ORTEGA