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Golovkin: “I will be defending my titles on Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas”

Image: Golovkin: “I will be defending my titles on Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas”

By Jeff Aranow: With Saul Canelo Alvarez bowing out of the picture frame for May 5, Gennady Golovkin says he be back on Cinco de Mayo without the Mexican star, defending his titles in Las Vegas, Nevada. Golovkin’s opponent will soon be announced. At this point, it’s no secret that the fighter they plan on bringing in to face Triple G is Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs).

The Irish fighter was destroyed by Chris Eubank Jr. in a 7th round stoppage in 2015. O’Sullivan was only effective for the first three rounds. After that, O’Sullivan was exhausted and little more than a punching bag until the fight was halted in the 7th. It was not a great fight to watch because it was not competitive after round 3.

O’Sullivan has slow hand speed, so Golovkin doesn’t have to worry about opponent with faster hands than himself like he’s had to deal with in his last three fights against Canelo, Daniel Jacobs and Kell Brook. The 33-year-old O’Sullivan is slow, but very powerful. He stopped his last opponent Antoine Douglas in the 7th round on HBO Boxing last December on the Billy Joe Saunders vs. David Lemieux card.

Golovkin will be facing a contender at least in 33-year-old O’Sullivan. It’s still not official that Golovkin will be fighting O’Sullivan on May 5th, but it’s very likely. Demetrius Andrade wants the fight with Golovkin, and he’s made a number of posts on Twitter letting the boxing fans know that he would like to be the replacement opponent. Andrade’s southpaw stance, lack of popularity, and his recent less than spectacular performances against Alantez Fox and Jack Culcay might have ruined his chances.

After all the drama and uncertainty regarding Canelo’s two positive tests for the banned substance clenbuterol, Golovkin and his promoters was given the green light to officially replace the Mexican star with another opponent for the May 5th card in Las Vegas. There had been talk for the last 2 weeks that Canelo would likely be suspended when he meets with the Nevada Commission. Like everyone else, Golovkin was waiting for Canelo to meet with the Commission so he could find out if he would be suspended or not. Canelo saved Golovkin the wait by pulling out of the fight.

Canelo’s selfless move saved Golovkin and his promoter a lot of worry about whether the fight would still take place on May 5th. Now GGG can start looking for another opponent for that date. It’s still going to be a rush job for Loeffler to find an opponent, but it’s not as bad as if would be if they had to wait until April 18th before they started to look for somebody to replace Canelo.

Golovkin will be making a defense of his IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight titles at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Golovkin had been scheduled to fight at the 20,000 seat T-Mobile Arena in Vegas, but his promoter Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions chose to move him to the smaller 17,000 seat MGM Grand Garden Arena.

There’s expected to be a smaller crowd that will be on hand to see the Kazakhstan fighter. Golovkin will still be fighting on HBO pay-per-view on the date. I think the rationale for Golovkin staying on HBO PPV is perhaps a gamble that his popularity has increased enough from his last fight against Canelo. Golovkin might not need a popular opponent to bring in a lot of PPV buys. The choices for Golovkin to fight are basically guys with a lot of talent but with little in the name recognition department. These are the best options for GGG:

• Billy Joe Saunders – Injured and already scheduled for June 23 fight against Martin Murray

• Jermall Charlo – scheduled to fight Hugo Centeno Jr. on April 21

• Daniel Jacobs – fighting Maciej Sulecki on April 28. Jacobs would be an excellent option for GGG, but he’s not going to pull out of his fight with Sulecki.

• Sergiy Derevyanchenko – a tough fighter with little name recognition

• Demetrius Andrade – a southpaw with small fan base

• Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan – a powerful puncher from Ireland

“I am looking forward to returning to Las Vegas for my 20th title defense and headlining my first Cinco De Mayo event on May 5,” Golovkin said via “It is time for less drama and more fighting.”

Canelo will still be trying to be cleared to continue fighting when he meets with the Commission on April 18th to discuss why he tested positive for clenbuterol twice last February. It might take a minor miracle for Canelo to be cleared by the Commission. It’s not looking good for the Golden Boy star. He says his positive test is from contaminated meat he ate in Mexico. That excuse has worked for others in the past, but it might not be effective for him.

It’s generally believed that the Commission no longer accepts the contaminated meat excuse. That excuse has worked well for others, but that was a different time. But if Canelo is cleared, it’s going to be interesting to see if he can quickly reschedule the fight with Golovkin for May 5th. Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez stated earlier Tuesday that they’re pulling Canelo out of the May 5th fight because there won’t be enough time to promote the fight after his April 18 hearing with the Commission.

Canelo and Golovkin will almost surely wind up facing each other in September if the Commission reduces his likely 1-year suspension to 6 months. It would be on the Mexican Independence day holiday. It will sure be interesting to see what Canelo looks like at that time. Up until recently, Canelo wasn’t well defined like Anthony Joshua. But in his last fight with Golovkin, Canelo revealed a new Rambo like physique with rippling muscles and very little fat on his frame.

We’ll have to see if Canelo’s body still looks like that when he faces Golovkin in September if the Nevada Commission gives him a 6 month ban. The two fighters fought to a 12 round draw last year in September. That was an ugly fight with both guys using styles that they normally don’t use. Golovkin jabbed for 12 rounds instead of slugged it out. For Canelo’s part, he moved along the outside and stayed on the ropes for most of the fight. It was a chess-match instead of a war.

With the money that Golovkin can make in the rematch with Canelo Alvarez, it’s not likely that he’s going to take a risky fight against someone that could give him problems and potentially out-box him. Golovkin is probably going to take it easy by fighting O’Sullivan. Golovkin has the built in excuse to take on O’Sullivan by saying he didn’t have enough time to train for a better opponent. Who would blame Golovkin for not taking on a tougher fight against Andrade or Derevyanchenko on 3-weeks’ notice.

Golovkin is about to turn 36, and he looks to be trying to maximize the amount of money he can make at this point of his career. Golovkin is also looking to break Bernard Hopkins’ record for successful title defenses at middleweight.

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