By Mark McCourt: Earlier this week, middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin’s replacement for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was announced as fringe junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan 36-3-1 (21) for May 5.
Vanes has looked good but not great in the junior middleweight division. His best wins have come against Ishe Smith, Willie Nelson and Mario Alberto Lozano. The fact that his win over Smith was a 12 round split decision probably tells you a lot if you are not familiar with this fighter. The absolute pinnacle of this man’s career was a 9th round technical draw against Erislandy Lara.
In November 2012. In that fight, Martirosyan was being outclassed and it looked like he was going to lose a unanimous decision to the more skilled fighter. However, as luck would have it the fighters clashed heads, resulting in the fight being stopped and going to score cards resulting in a draw.
Martirosyan has lost to Charlo, Andrade and Lara (in a rematch). His last fight was May 2016 and his status as a fighter is listed as inactive on Boxrec. The facts are that Golovkins next opponent hasn’t managed to achieve anything significant in his career, he has been inactive for nearly two years since losing 2 out of 3 fights and he has been campaigning a full weight division below Golovkin. This is a terrible match up and it is a fight that no fan wanted.
Fans of Golovkin have argued about the fact they had little notice and that they needed to secure an opponent for May 5th. They have mentioned the budget for the fight had been cut and that it was hard to find an opponent. Whilst these are valid points to a degree, other opponents were available. Gary “spike” O’Sullivan was mentioned and offered the fight. Reportedly he accepted and then they cut his purse in half, so he declined, whilst that would have been a poor fight at least it would be against a middleweight.
Demetrius Andrade mentioned a desire to face Golovkin for the May 5th date. According to GG’s promoter Tom Loffeler, they did not want to face a southpaw since Golovkin had been training for Canelo. I can understand that sentiment and I do believe Andrade would have wanted more money than what was on offer. Sergiy Derevyenchenko is the real name that had been mentioned and thrown around that seemed to have promise. “The technician” has been on a demolition course through the middleweight division with an impressive record of 12-0 (10) and is currently the IBF Mandatory. Whilst he only has one semi impressive name on his record in Tureano Johnson, he has looked good, and his stoppage run would have made him marketable as a replacement for Canelo. This could have served as a decent challenge for Golovkin. The short notice would be for both fighters so that’s no excuse. Derevyenchenko was willing to fight on the May 5th date so that’s no excuse. He’s IBF mandatory so it would have fulfilled his obligation to the IBF. Derevyenchenko has not received any high purses through his career so I imagine they could have negotiated that. So, this has simply made it appear as though Golovkin has ducked a decent fight in order to secure a very, very easy one.
Canelo’s recent two failed drug tests for clenbuterol has been terrible for boxing. It has put a huge shadow over one of its major stars and a lot of people now question whether Canelo has been using throughout his career. It has also made Golovkin look like he has been avoiding challenges for paydays through his career. Golovkin is 36 and currently he will be remembered as a hype job. He fought lots and lots of B level fighters and looked hood in stopping pretty much all of them. His last 3 fights have been the only times he has fought people worth mentioning as top-level fighters. Kell Brook a solid fighter that was undefeated at the time. However, Kell is a career welterweight.
Had Golovkin been unified welterweight champion and defeated Kell this would be a significant win. However, Kell stepped up two weight classes for what was essentially a pointless fight. Danny Jacobs has looked good, he’s a big strong middleweight with a great KO ratio. However, Dmitry Pirog had well and truly dealt with him in the past securing a solid knockout win. Golovkin was unable to do this and the fight was extremely close. Lastly Canelo walked away with a 12 round draw from the very close fight between him and Golovkin and whilst I had Golovkin the victor, that’s not what will show on his record and the fight was close enough for people to argue over the outcome. Golovkin is too old and too far along in his career to continue having filler fights. K2 have managed him poorly and unless something significant happens over the next year or two Golovkin will have a huge question mark over his record and will likely be remembered as a hype job.
So, I guess now we wait until May 5th to see the fight no one wanted, a fight no one had thought about or conceived a pointless fight that no one asked for. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this does not happen again.