Golovkin could lose IBF title by facing Martirosyan
By Jeff Aranow: Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will be using Vanes Martirosyan as a replacement for Saul Canelo Alvarez on May 5 as his opponent at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. However, this move could result in GGG having his IBF title stripped from him by the sanctioning body for failing to defend against the fighter they want him to face Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Loeffler hopes the IBF will allow Golovkin an exemption to fight on May 5th without facing Derevyanchenko. Loeffler is confident that the IBF will allow GGG to do that, according to Dan Rafael.
Loeffler’s reason for not wanting to have Golovkin defend against Derevyanchenko now is there’s not much time to market the fight in just 3 weeks. The fight would be a lot bigger if there were two to three months to publicize it on HBO instead of just 3 weeks. Derevyanchenko still wants to fight Golovkin even on short notice. If Derevyancehnko doesn’t push for the fight now, he could be waiting until 2019 before he gets his title shot. Last weekend, Loeffler said there was absolutely no chance that Derevyanchenko will be fighting Golovkin on May 5.
If the IBF strips Golovkin, it’s still not a win-win entirely for Derevanchenko, because he’ll need to fight he next available and willing contender in the International Boxing Federation’s rankings, which at this time is Daniel Jacobs. But since Jacobs is fighting for the WBA mandatory spot with Maciej Sulecki this month on April 28, it’s quite possible that he’ll chose to go in that direction rather than take a potentially difficult fight against his former sparring partner Derevyanchenko.
It would easily be the fastest route for Jacobs to take if he were to take on Derevyanchenko for the IBF belt. Jacobs wants the Golovkin rematch, and he possibly gets that depending on whether the WBA orders the fight. The WBA has two champions at 160 – Golovkin and Ryota Murata. If the WBA orders Murata to fight Jacobs, then he’s going to be waiting possibly a long time before he gets a rematch with GGG. Derevynachenko would still likely be a much harder fight for Jacobs than Murata, who is kind of slow, mechanical and limited as a fighter.
The IBF could use this rule to strip GGG of his title for him electing to face Martirosyan, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN:
“If a champion participates in an unauthorized bout within his prescribed weight limit, the title will be declared vacant if the champion wins or loses the fight The championship committee, with the approval of the president (of the FIB), will establish a new champion in that division according to the procedures established and prescribed in these rules.”
Since the IBF hasn’t approved Martirosyan as a suitable opponent for Golovkin, it puts him in the position where he could lose his title. GGG obviously fully understand what the repercussions of that move. You can argue that it’s more important for Golovkin to stay busy with his career than it is for him to guard his IBF title. It’s not only important for Golovkin to stay busy to remain sharp in terms of his boxing skills, but it’s also crucial for him to be active to keep his boxing fans happy. Moreover, Golovkin can’t win new fans if he’s just fighting once a year. One of the main reasons why Golovkin was able to win over so many boxing fans in such a short period of time from 2012 and 2017 was because he was active and fighting frequently, sometimes three times per year. Last year, Golovkin fought only twice. If Golovkin chooses not to fight on May 5 so that he’s not stripped of his IBF title, then he’ll only fight once this year against likely Canelo in September.
There’s less than three weeks to go before the May 5th date, which means the Golovkin vs. Martirosyan fight isn’t going to have a lot of time to be marketed to the boxing public. Martirosyan, 31, had already been given the green light to face GGG by the WBA, WBC and California State Athletic Commission. The IBF chose not to sanction him as a suitable opponent unfortunately.
Team Golovkin has obviously decided that it’s worth it to take the Martirosyan fight and potentially lose the IBF title, which he can obviously go after at a later time. Scheduling a fight against Derevyanchenko or whoever captures the IBF title, will be simple for Golovkin, as he’s one of the two most popular fighters in the 160 lb. weight class. In the past, Golovkin had problems getting fights against guys like Sergio Martinez, Miguel Cotto and Felix Sturm. None of those fighters are around any longer. Now it’s Golovkin that is the big star, so the IBF can strip away but it likely won’t be a problem at all for Golovkin to fight for the eventual winner of that belt if the sanctioning body does take his belt.
Martirosyan is not an ideal opponent for GGG to fight, as far as the boxing public goes. The knowledgeable fans aren’t pleased with this choice, because Martirosyan hasn’t fought in 2 years, he’s coming off of a one-sided loss to Erislandy Lara, and he’s a junior middleweight. Those are the negatives. The positives are that Martirosyan in a 2004 U’S Olympian, and he’s from Southern California. It used to mean a lot for an American fighter to have Olympic credentials, but now with cable and the high number of channels for the consumers to watch, many of them fail to pay attention the Olympics nowadays.
It doesn’t matter as much if a fighter is an Olympian in the U.S when it comes to the boxing public compared to in other countries. Martirosyan likely won’t have much problems as far as his size goes. He’s always been a big junior middleweight, but with well-known stamina problems. If Martirosyan runs out of gas against Golovkin on May 5, it could be a short night for him.
Golovkin has always wanted to unify the middleweight division by capturing all four of the titles in the weight class. As of now, Golovkin is in possession of 3 of the 4 belts. If he chooses to let the IBF strip him of one of his titles by not facing Derevyanchenko, it will give the impression that he’s no longer looking to win all the titles. Golovkin won’t make a lot of money fighting Martirosyan on May 5. If he takes that fight, it will be just a stay busy fight for Golovkin, but without the money and the prestige that goes along with fighting a better fighter.
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