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Loeffler says O’Sullivan and four other guys in running for GGG’s May 5th fight

Image: Loeffler says O’Sullivan and four other guys in running for GGG’s May 5th fight

By Dan Ambrose: Promoter Tom Loeffler says he expects to make an announcement in the next couple of days about the May 5th replacement opponent for middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin on HBO PPV at the MGM Grand Garden in New York.

Loeffler says Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs) is one of the viable options in addition to four other guys. Loeffler states that a lot goes into selecting an opponent for Golovkin to replace Saul Canelo Alvarez, who pulled out of the fight last week due to his pending April 18 meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Canelo’s hearing with the Commission in related to his two failed tests for the banned substance clenbuterol.

As far as GGG’s opponent goes, Loeffler says they must find a guy that works for HBO and the sponsors Tecate. The only thing Loeffler is willing to say is that Golovkin WON’T be fighting a southpaw opponent on May 5th, which rules out Billy Joe Saunders and Demetrius Andrade.

“As soon we have everything sorted out, hopefully we’ll have announcement in the next couple of days,” Loeffler said about Golovkin’s May 5th opponent. “It’s up to the Commission as far as the suspension. Canelo doesn’t really have a choice. Canelo did the right thing in pulling out. Right now, he’s training. He wants to fight May 5. He wants to stay active, and then we’ll work out the details for the rematch with him. There have been a lot of opponents under consideration, and one of them,” Loeffler said about O’Sullivan. “There’s probably a list of 5 different guys. We’re just going through, making sure. We’ve got to look for the right guy. Obviously, it’s short notice now. We must fight in a month, so we have to have all the moving parts working together. It won’t be a southpaw that I can tell you. This is his second week of sparring. He’s getting right-handed sparring, so he’s not going to fight a southpaw,” Loeffler said.

It’s too bad that Golovkin won’t be fighting a southpaw, as Demetrius Andrade would be a better opponent fo Golovkin to fight next month on May 5th than Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, who has already been beaten twice during his career by Chris Eubank Jr. and Saunders in one-sided fights.

O’Sullivan wouldn’t be a good option you would think for HBO or Tecate, because he doesn’t have a huge fan base in the U.S. Of course, Golovkin’s IBF mandatory Sergiy Derevyanchenko wouldn’t be a good option either because he’s not popular.

Loeffler stresses the point that the opponent is being selected on short notice, which you can argue is code for him letting the boxing media know that it’s going to be a lesser fighter that they select for Golovkin to fight on May 5t rather than a top-quality contender. Jaime Munguia has already been ruled out as an option for GGG after the Nevada Commission reportedly rejected him as a possibility.

Here are the names that have been rumored to be in the running for Golovkin:

• Gary O’Sullivan

• Sergiy Derevyanchenko

Daniel Jacobs, Jermall Charlo, Saunders and Munguia have been ruled out. When you remove ahose names, you level with O’Sullivan and Derevyanchenko. It’s easy exclude Derevyanchenko as well, because he’s too good of a fighter for Golovkin to be facing on short notice.

The only real option for Golovkin is O’Sullivan for May 5th unless Loeffler raids the 154 lb. division and selects little known #4 WBC Sergio Garcia (26-0, 13 KOs) of Spain. That’s a choice that is just as bad as Munguia, as Garcia is young at 25, and he’s never beaten a contender before during his career. Who knows why the World Boxing Council has Garcia ranked No.4 with their sanctioning body, because based on his weak resume, he shouldn’t be ranked at all in the top 15. Garcia’s resume is even worse than that of the 21-year-old Munguia, and that’s who GGG’s management were interested in matching against him. That would have been a horrible mismatch, but Sergio Garcia is just as bad possibly even worse. If Golovkin does take an easy opponent for his May 5th fight, then it’ll let you know that his management aren’t interested in taking any risks that could potentially risk the rematch with Canelo Alvarez in September or later.

“Our objective is to get ready for an opponent,” Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez said. “It’s not going to be Canelo, but he’s going to be a right-handed fighter. He weighed 165.8 lbs. the other day. We’re going to continue to train until Tom gives us a name,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez saying that Golovkin’s next opponent is going to be a right-handed fighter doesn’t exactly say too much, does it? Most fighters are right-handed in the middleweight and junior middleweight division’s top 15. O’Sullivan is right-handed, and he would be a very unpopular choice as far as the hardcore boxing fans go. The casual boxing fans won’t care too much if GGG fights O’Sullivan, so it probably won’t matter too much to them who he fights. Of course, most of the fans wanted to see Golovkin fight Canelo, so they’re not going to be happy to see him facing a fighter from the UK instead of the popular Mexican fighter.

“First of all, this is terrible for the sport,” Golovkin said of Canelo’s two positive tests for clenbuterol.

Canelo’s two positive tests for clenbuterol from last February have him facing a long suspension when he meets with the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 18. Golovkin and Canelo fought to a 12 round draw last September in Las Vegas. The results of that fight were away off from what the boxing fans saw, as they felt GGG deserved the victory. Now Golovkin will have to wait until at least September before he can get a chance to prove to the fans that he’s the better fighter.

“After the decision in September, that everyone standing here thought was incorrect, that was Gennady’s focus to get the fight as soon as possible,” Loeffler said of the first Canelo-GGG fight last September. That’s why we had the May 5th date. That’s when Canelo wanted to fight, and he [Golovkin] to prove that he won the first time and he can beat him the second time. Everyone on our side was extremely disappointed and frustrated that the fights not happening now on May 5th, but we have to make the best out of the situation. I’m in contact with Golden Boy. That’s the biggest fight in boxing,” Loeffler said of the Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 rematch. “Right now, it’s not going to happen. We’ve got to focus on Gennady’s career, and then hopefully we can make that as soon as Canelo’s able to fight,” Loeffler said.

The interest in the Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 fight won’t die down even if the fans must wait one-year before the rematch takes place. The fans will still be eager to see the two guys race each other in September, if Golovkin doesn’t lose his next fight on May 5th against whoever is picked out for him by Loeffler.

“Forget Canelo. He’s nothing,” Golovkin said.

As you can tell, Golovkin still has some bad blood when it comes to Canelo. Golovkin isn’t trash talking Canelo like he was before, but he doesn’t seem to care for him too much regardless.
When asked what would be the name of Canelo’s horse, Sanchez said, “Runner.”

The comment by Sanchez about Canelo’s horse, if he had one, being named “runner” has to do with all the movement that he used in the Golovkin fight last September. Canelo had said before the fight that he was going to sand and fight with him but chose to get on his bike and run instead of fighting it out. Canelo’s game plan obviously was to use the same hit and run style that Daniel Jacobs and Kell Brook had unsuccessfully used against Golovkin, but it kind of shows you that there was a confidence problem with the Mexican star. If he had the confidence to stand in the pocket and fight Golovkin, he would have done so and tried to beat him in a one on one manner instead of running for 12 rounds.

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