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Martirosyan rejected for Golovkin fight by IBF, WBA and WBC

Image: Martirosyan rejected for Golovkin fight by IBF, WBA and WBC

By Jim Dower: Junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs) has been rejected by the IBF/WBA/WBC as the replacement opponent for middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin to face on May 5, according to Lance Pugmire of the LA Times. Earlier today, it was revealed that Team Golovkin was looking to use the 31-year-old Martirosyan as the guy to replace Saul Canelo Alvarez on HBO at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

A lot of boxing immediately criticized the move, as Martirosyan is a junior middleweight, he hasn’t fought in 23 months and he’s lost 2 out of his last 3 fights. Martirosyan had three strikes going against him right off the bat in trying to get accepted by the California State Athletic Commission as a suitable opponent for IBF/WBA/WBC 160 lb. champion Golovkin to defend his opponents against. A forth strike that Martirosyan had against him is he’d not ranked in the top 15 at middleweight. He’s been a junior middleweight his entire 13-year pro career.

”Yes, Glendale’s @VanesBoxing was presented to California as a possible opponent for @GGGBoxing, but he was rejected in conference call by IBF, WBC, WBA this morning,” Pugmire said.

This is the second time Golovkin’s promoters have attempted to pool from the 154 lb. weight class to try and find an opponent for him to fight. Golovkin’s management attempted to sign little known 21-year-old junior middleweight contender Jaime Munguia (28-0, 24 KOs) as his opponent for May 5th, but he was rejected by the Nevada State Athletic Commission recently. Munguia reportedly was given a $750,000 offer by Team Golovkin to take the fight. It was thought by some that the move to bring Golovkin to California was a way for his management to circumvent the decision by the Nevada Commission to reject Munguia.

It’s unclear whether Golovkin’s management has tried to have the California Commission give a green light to Munguia as his opponent for May 5th. Munguia is Mexican, and Golovkin is fighting on the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo, so he would be perfect for that date. The boxing public wants to see Golovkin fight someone good from the 160 lb. weight class like Demetrius Andrade, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Jermall Charlo, Billy Joe Saunders of Daniel Jacobs.

Martirosyan and Munguia are guys from the 154 lb. weight class, and not who the hardcore boxing fans are to see fighting Golovkin.

It looks bad for Golovkin’s team to be trying to find guys from the 154 lb. weight class. That’s a move that they would have never expected from the popular champion. The ring rusty Martirosyan would have had little chance against Golovkin.

Besides struggling with rust from 2 years of inactivity, Martirosyan has lost 2 out of his last 3 fights, and it looks like he’s starting to lose interest in the sport. Staying out of the ring for two years is a red flag that a fighter is starting to lose interest in boxing. Martirosyan would have been viewed as the sacrificial lamb if he had been selected by Golovkin’s team. They need to be a little less obvious in choosing an easy mark for GGG to beat on May 5th. If they want to go weak, then they should at least pick from the 160 lb. weight class instead of looking for guys strictly from the 154lb. division.

It’s important that Golovkin’s team find a good opponent for him to fight on May 5, because a lot of boxing fans were looking forward to seeing him fight Canelo Alvarez on that date. Some fans think Golovkin is starting to show signs of deterioration because he’s not looked great in his last three fights against Canelo, Daniel Jacobs and Kell Brook. Golovkin boxed Canelo and Jacobs instead of going after them to try and knock them out. That was a mistake for Golovkin to make.

Choosing to box guys that are known for being good boxers wasn’t the right move for GGG. Golovkin steamrolled Brook, but he took some hard shots in the 2nd round. Still, that’s the way the boxing public expects Golovkin to fight. They don’t want to see Golovkin standing on the outside, boxing his opponent from range and hoping to win a 12 round decision. Fans watch Golovkin because they want to see him knockout his opponents, and he’s not been trying to do that lately.

Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler needs to take a risk by matching him against Derevyanchenko or Andrade. Those two fighters are both available for May 5th, and he would gain a lot of attention by fighting either of them. Golovkin has to fight Derevyanchenko, 32, sooner or later anyway. He might as well get that fight out of the way right now, so the boxing fans have something interesting to watch on May 5th instead of one of the contenders picked out from the 154 lb. weight class. Golovkin needs to fight someone good so he can keep the momentum going with his career. The fans would respect GGG more if he takes on the likes of Derevyanchenko or Andrade than they would if he takes it easy and fights a junior middleweight.

Hopefully, Golovkin hasn’t lost his confidence after his close fights against Canelo and Daniel Jacobs. Golovkin only has himself to blame for those fights being close due to his decision to box those guys. He went away from his normal fighting style to win decisions in both of those fights, and that was a mistake. If Golovkin is going to continue to be one of the best fighters in the middleweight division, then he needs to show the boxing public that he’s able to fight the best each time out. Munguia and Martirosyan are not middleweights, so Golovkin shouldn’t be wasting time with either of them.

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