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Golovkin’s replacement opponent still to be decided

Demetrius Andrade Gennady Golovkin Roman Gonzalez Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan Sergiy Derevyanchenko

By Allan Fox: Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) is ready to go ahead for his May 5th date at his new venue at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but he still needs an opponent to face him. The Nevada State Athletic Commission has given the green light for GGG to fight at the MGM Grand Garden, and now he just needs an opponent to fill the spot.


Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs) is he front-runner at the moment following the Nevada Commission rejecting Golovkin’s promoter’s choice of Jaime Munguia as the option, possibly because he’s never fought anyone of note before during his career. Munguia, 21, came very close to getting the fight with Triple G. The terms had been agreed on for Golovkin to defend against the little known Munguia, but the Nevada Commission rejected the fight.

The Commission chose not to approve him. It would have been mismatch from start to finish. Munguia doesn’t have the experience to fight a world champion like Golovkin. The Commission decided it would be best not to green light the fight. Munguia would have been a nice choice to fit the Cinco de Mayo holiday, but ultimately he didn’t have the experience needed for him to be given the fight.

Golovkin’s promoter can get Demetrius Andrade or Sergiy Derevyanchenko for the May 5th date, but those are very tough opponents for him to fight on one months’ notice. Those guys have less to lose if they get beaten by Golovkin than he would if he to lose. Golovkin needs to keep winning to stay on the path for his big money rematch against Canelo. If Golovkin loses to one of those two talented fighters, then it’ll make it tough to sell a rematch between him and Canelo. The fight would still happen but the interest in the fight would be less than it was if bot guys were still winning.

Andrade wants the Golovkin fight, but he’s not a popular fighter and it would be negligible what he would bring to the fight with GGG if he did agree to give him a title shot.

“if Gennady does the right thing and chooses the best available fighter, and that is me, he and his team should know that I am ready to fight him for his middleweight titles on May 5th,” said Andrade. “I have been working extra hard in the gym to prepare myself for May 5th. I think Gennady knows that I am the best option right now. Based on all the comments about all of the names out there, this is the fight that the fans prefer.”

There are some boxing fans that would be up for a fight between Golovkin and Andrade, but not a lot. Casual boxing fans have never heard of the 6’1” southpaw Andrade, so they wouldn’t be wowed by him as the replacement for Canelo. Some of the hardcore fans would like to see Golovkin face Andrade on May 5th, as he’s perhaps the second best option for Golovkin behind Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

O’Sullivan, 33, has the power and the style to make an exciting fight for Golovkin if he’s willing to punch it out with him. Golovkin will need to show a little more willingness to slug if he wants to get O’Sullivan out of there. If Golovkin fights O’Sullivan like he did Daniel Jacobs and Canelo, then the fight will go the full 12 round distance, and it could be a boring affair. Golovkin should have the confidence needed to go after O’Sullivan to try and knock him out. Let’s hope that’s how Golovkin decides to fight him if this match gets made because the last couple of fights for GGG have been less than thrilling to watch.

“My job as a professional boxer is to say yes to fights and to make sure I’m ready for them,” O’Sullivan said via ESPN.com. “After that it goes to the people who negotiate the deals to make fights possible. I’ve said yes to fighting GGG, I’ve been training nonstop since my last fight and now I’m waiting to see if it can be agreed, just like you. I trust my team to do what’s right for me, one way or the other.”

O’Sullivan is with Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions, so they should be happy that Golovkin is interested in fighting him rather than someone not connected with their promotions. Canelo had been planning on fighting O’Sullivan in September after the rematch with Golovkin on May 5th, but that idea went out the window after the two positive tests for clenbuterol.

It was necessary for Golovkin to move from the bigger 20,000 seat T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to the slightly smaller 17,000 seat MGM Grand Garden Arena once Canelo Alvarez pulled out of the fight. Canelo pulled out of the fight because he tested positive for clenbuterol twice, and he’s likely to receive a long six month suspension when he meets with the Nevada Commission on April 18.

There’s not a lot of time for Golovkin’s promoter to find someone to face him on the May 5th date if he wants to be able to boxing fans interested in purchasing the fight on HBO PPV. Believe it or not, Golovkin will still be fighting on PPV on May 5th, even though Saul Canelo Alvarez has pulled out of the fight with him after testing positive twice for clenbuterol. Golovkin vs. O’Sullivan is not a fight that is suitable for PPV, but it looks like GGG’s management is willing to take their chances anyway.

Earlier on Friday, Dan Rafael said that former four division world champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs) is still a possibility to fight on the Golovkin undercard on May 5th, but he still needs an opponent. The fight was offered to former WBA World flyweight champion Hernan ‘Tyson’ Marquez (43-8-2, 30 KOs), but he reportedly failed to agree to it. Marquez reportedly wants $250,000 for the fight. However, ever if the Gonzalez vs. Marquez fight does get made, it’s not a big enough fight to attract a lot of PPV buys on HBO. Gonzalez has lost his last two fights to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and he’s now considered over-the-hill in the eyes of a lot of the boxing fans of the sport.

Marquez, 29, has seen his own career sink into the quagmire since 2012 with him suffering losses to Iran Diaz, McJoe Arroyo, Giovanni Segura, Juan Francisco Estrada, Nonito Donaire and Brian Viloria. Roman Gonzalez vs. Hernan Marquez in the co-feature bout would be a terrible fight on HBO PPV, especially given that Golovkin will likely be facing an over-matched Spike O’Sullivan in the main event. If Roman Gonzalez were facing Rungvisai or Juan Francisco Estrada on May 5th, then there would be a suitable amount of interest from the boxing public to increase the PPV buy rate on HBO for the card, but Gonzalez-Marquez is not a good enough fight to interest more than a small amount of fans. Those fans would be ones that are interested in seeing Gonzalez regardless of who he’s facing.

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