By Sean Jones: Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and his management have had no luck in getting a replacement opponent for May 5th since Saul Canelo Alvarez pulled out of the fight a week ago after testing positive twice for the performance enhancing substance clenbuterol.
Earlier Wednesday, Golden Boy Promotions president revealed that his fighter Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan pulled out of the May 5th fight with Golovkin due to the time not being sufficient to prepare for the fight, and the most not enough.
O’Sullivan, 33, will now fight on May 4 against an opponent still to be determined on ESPN on the undercard of super featherweight prospect Ryan Garcia (13-0, 13 KOs) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. O’Sullivan will still be fighting on short notice, but it won’t be against a fighter like Golovkin. O’Sullivan will taking on a tune-up level guy.
Having Ryan Garcia and O’Sullivan fighting at the StubHub Center a day before Golovkin fights on May 5th might not be a good thing for either of those two fighters. Boxing fans are probably not going to be able to purchase tickets for both. Garcia, 19, might not ever pan out as a fighter, but right now he has a large following in Southern California despite the fact that he’s just a prospect, and he can’t be counted on to beat guys like Miguel Berchelt or any of the other world champions in the division.
The ticket sales for the Golovkin fight might be impacted by the Garcia fight taking place a day before his card on May 4th.
You have to wonder if this move of O’Sullivan to pull out of the Golovkin fight was more of a Golden Boy decision rather than his own, because he had said that he wanted to fight him. O’Sullivan was excited about taking the fight. For O’Sullivan to suddenly pull out with the excuse that the fight was too show notice and not enough money doesn’t sound like something he would do.
Losing out on O’Sullivan is not a big deal. Only the hardcore boxing fans have heard of him in the U.S, and very few of them wanted to see him face Golovkin. The casual fans have never heard of O’Sullivan, so there’s no loss with him pulling out of the fight. Golden Boy can use O’Sullivan as an opponent for Canelo one of these days when he’s needy for a sure thing win.
Golovkin’s management is in negotiations with a much better fighter than O’Sullivan in Sergiy Derevyanchenko, according to Lance Pugmire. However, they haven’t made a deal yet with his promoter Lou Dibella. If Golovkin has to give up the May 5th date, he could be forced to wait until August or September before he fights again, and that would be against Saul Canelo Alvarez. So, instead of just Canelo being hurt by his likely 6-month suspension he’s expected to receive from the Nevada State Athletic Commission at his hearing on April 18th, Golovkin would be hurt as well and he didn’t do anything. Golovkin can certainly schedule a fight for June or July against someone like WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders or one of the contenders, but he would be jeopardizing the September rematch with Canelo. Golovkin would be taking a risk by fighting anyone in June or July, because if he suffered a cut or some other type of injury, then he wouldn’t be able to fight Canelo in September on the Mexican Independence Day holiday for the big money.
Originally, O’Sullivan, 33, was going to face Golovkin on HBO PPV on May 5, but that was before GGG’s promoter Tom Loeffler pulled the fight off PPV. Golovkin-O’Sullivan was not a big enough fight to stage on HBO PPV. Indeed, a few boxing fans are shedding a tear today with the news of O’Sullivan pulling out of the Golovkin fight, because the fans didn’t want to see that mismatch, even on regular HBO. O’Sullivan and Golden Boy might wind up sorry that they pulled out of the fight, because there’s a chance he’ll never get a world title shot in his career unless it’s against one of Golden Boy’s fighters.
So far, four fighters have been ruled out for Golovkin’s May 5th date and they are as follows:
• Gary O’Sullivan
• Demetrius Andrade
• Jaime Munguia
• Vanes Martirosyan
“Spike’s not going to take the fight. He really wanted to do the fight, but the short amount of time, the short amount of money, it just doesn’t work at this time,” Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez said to ESPN.com. “He wants a big fight, but he doesn’t want to take a fight at the last minute.”
More than anything, Golden Boy is likely choosing not to put O’Sullivan in the Golovkin fight, because he’s useful as a future opponent for their star Saul Canelo Alvarez. They were planning on matching O’Sullivan against Canelo for this September before he tested positive twice for clenbuterol and then opted to pull out of the fight. Canelo’s future at 160 does not look very good, so Golden Boy is going to need as many fighters like O’Sullivan to feed to him as possible to avoid having to put him in with the good opposition like Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Jermall Charlo, Daniel Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade. O’Sullivan will buy Canelo and Golden Boy time to decide what they’re going to do.
As far as Golovkin goes, he might wind up having to fight Derevyanchenko on May 5 if he wants to keep that date. That’s not an easy fight for Golovkin to take on three weeks’ notice.
Golovkin ”is sparring like he is fighting on May 5,” Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez said to the latimes.com.
It’s good that Golovkin is training hard for the May 5th fight, because if he does wind up facing Derevyanchenko, he’s going to need to be in very good shape for that contest. Derevyanchenko doesn’t have stamina problems like Canelo, so he’s not going to be resting on the ropes or running from GGG for most of the fight. I rate Derevyanchenko as a better fighter and much more dangerous than Canelo. I don’t know if Derevynachenko could beat Canelo. I think he would definitely beat Canelo, but I don’t know that the judges would ever give him the decision. Canelo is a lot more popular. Even if he lands two or three hard shots per round, I could see the judges giving him the decision over Derevyanchenko regardless of whether he’s out-punched in the fight.
“I don’t know what Tom’s going to do,” said Gomez about Loeffler having to try and find an opponent for Golovkin to fight.