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Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez will NOT be on Golovkin vs. Martirosyan card

Image: Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez will NOT be on Golovkin vs. Martirosyan card

By Sean Jones: Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs) has been removed from the May 5th undercard of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin vs. Vanes Martirosyan due to work visa problems. Gonzalez’s spot in the co-feature bout has been replaced by female welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus, who be facing middleweight champion Kali Reis.

HBO has never televised a woman’s boxing match, according to Dan Rafael. Braekhus-Reis will have the honor of being the first women’s fight to be televised on HBO.

Unfortunately, Braekhus vs. Reis is not a fight that will likely attract a whole lot of interest from the boxing public in the U.S, but Chocolatito’s tune-up fight against former light flyweight world champion Pedro Guevara (30-3-1, 17 KOs) likely wouldn’t have created much interest in the card either. This is a regular HBO card, and not pay-per-view. The Golovkin fight card was moved from HBO PPV to regular HBO after Saul Canelo Alvarez failed 2 tests for clenbuterol, and pulled out of the card. Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler then found Vanes Martirosyan as the replacement for the Mexican star. Martirosyan is not a popular enough for the Golovkin-Martirosyan fight card to be on HBO PPV, so Loeffler had it moved to regular HBO.

“It is very frustrating for Roman because he has completed 172 rounds of sparring and is eager to return to the ring,” Chocolatito’s manager Carlos Blandon said to

That’s a lot of rounds for Gonzalez to have sparred for him to prepare for the now cancelled fight with Guevara. Anytime a fighter does 100 rounds of sparring, he’s worked hard to prepare. For Gonzalez to have done close to 200 rounds of sparring, it shows how serious he is in turning things around with his career. It’s too bad Gonzalez won’t be fighting now.

The Golovkin vs. Martirosyn fight card will be take place on May 5 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The Golovkin-Martirosyan and Braekhus-Reiss fights will be televised on World Championship Boxing starting at 11:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT.

Roman Gonzalez, 30, will be fighting in the summer in Nicaragua against a still to be determined opponent. After that, Gonzalez could be fighting on the undercard of Golovkin’s fight in September. GGG is expected to fight Saul Canelo Alvarez on September 15 on HBO PPV. Chocolatito will have an opportunity to show the boxing public that he’s not an over-the-hill fighter that many of them believe him to be due to his two losses to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

Battling Guevara wouldn’t have done anything to convince the hardcore boxing fans that Gonzalez is over-the-hill, but it would have done a lot to get the casual fans to believe in him again. For Gonzalez to convince the hardcore fans that he’s not finished, he’s going to need to beat someone like Juan Francisco Estrada, Jerwin Ancajas or Kal Yafai.

The fans will give Chocolatito a break that he lost to Rungvisai, because that guy is so powerful, he’s so much bigger and he’s in the prime of his career. But if Chocolatito can’t beat the likes of Yafai or Ancajas, then he’s going to be seen as past it. The thing is, Gonzalez’s problems might be a reflection of him fighting outside of his natural weight class, as he’s moved up 4 divisions and he’s just now beginning to have problems. Never the less, since Chocolatito is either not interested or incapable of moving back down in weight to the flyweight division, he’s seen as over-the-hill. If Gonzalez isn’t powerful, fast or big enough to fight at a high level at 115, then he’s done as a fighter, for all intents and purposes.

Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) will be looking to tie Bernard Hopkins’ record at middleweight 20 consecutive title defenses. It would have been nice if Golovkin could have tied the record by facing Canelo Alvarez, but he was popped on two separate drug tests by VADA for clenbuterol on February 16 and February 20, and he pulled out of the May 5 rematch with Triple G before the Nevada State Athletic Commission could suspend him. Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs) is a good substitute for Canelo, given that there was only 3 weeks to go at the time before the fight. The fight was moved from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada to the StubHub Center in Carson, California to take advantage of GGG’s popularity in Southern California.

Martirosyan doesn’t think too much about the 27-year-old Canelo and his excuse for his two positive tests for clenbuterol. Canelo blamed his positive tests on having eaten tainted meat.

”You have to ask, ‘Why did he flunk two drug tests. Why did he withdraw from VADA? I don’t believe him,” Martirosyan said about Canelo. ”I don’t buy his excuse about tainted meat. If, God forbid, I had tested positive because of accidentally eating something, I would have myself tested every day to prove I was clean. No one wants to see someone cheat his way into a fight,” Martirosyan said.

Golovkin still plans on fighting Canelo in a rematch on September 15, as long as he beats Martirosyan on September 15. What remains to be seen is whether Canelo will enroll in the World Boxing Council’s Clean Boxing Program before then so he can be tested weekly for performance enhancing drugs [PEDs] in the next three months before he starts his training camp for the September rematch with Golovkin. Martirosyan has never tested positive for PEDs since he turned pro shortly after fighting in the 2004 Olympics for the U.S.

“That’s why fans love Triple G. Because he is so good in the ring and because he is clean,” Martirosyan said. ”He has always been tested. He wants boxing to be a clean sport as do I.”

GGG is enrolled in the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program, so he’s being tested frequently for PEDs.
Golovkin needs to put in a good performance against Martirosyan, because the fight is seen as a mismatch by a lot of the fans.

Golovkin needs to show the fans that he’s still the same fighter that he was previously. Golovkin hasn’t looked great in his last three fights against Canelo, Daniel Jacobs and Kell Brook. All three of those fighters used a lot if movement against Golovkin to keep him from being able to get off with his shots. Canelo was there to be hit a lot of the times, but Golovkin elected to stay on the outside until the last three rounds. That’s when Golovkin stopped giving Canelo as much respect, and took the fight to him. Against Martirosyan, Golovkin will need to try and knock him out, because it’s going to look bad if he stays on the outside for the entire fight. Golovkin has to realize that all the fighters that he competes against from now on are likely going to talk bold before they get inside the ring with him. Once the fight starts through, they’ll all get on their bikes and follow the same blueprint created by Kell Brook in their fight in 2016. Golovkin can use Martirosyan, 31, as practice to get ready for the Canelo rematch. If Martirosyan runs from GGG like Canelo did, then he can chase him around the ring and look to take him out each time he catches him.

“I am excited to show everyone how good I can be,” Martirosyan said. “I feel so fresh and strong. Fans and Gennady will be amazed. We may not be Mexican, but I guarantee you it’s going to feel like two Mexicans are going to war on Cinco De Mayo.”

Martirosyan will need to be able to fight hard for a full 12 rounds for him to be able to survive the fast pace Golovkin will likely be setting in this fight. The weakness in Martirtosyan’s game is he fades after the first 4 rounds. He was a good amateur fighter, but as a pro, Martirosyan has never been able to make the adjustment to the longer fights.

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