By Allan Fox: Former middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins revealed on Thursday that Gennady Golovkin’s opponent for Saturday, Vanes Martirosyan, was at one time one of his sparring partners during his career.
Hopkins doesn’t say when he used Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs) for a sparring partner. Hopkins went on to say that ticket sales aren’t going too well for the fight, and that he thinks Martirosyan will be knocked out by Golovkin by the 6th round.
Golovkin will be attempting to tie Hopkins’ record of 20 title defenses on Saturday night when he faces Martirosyan at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. If Golovkin ties the record, he could break it in his next fight against either Sergey Derevyanchenko or Saul Canelo Alvarez. Golovkin told Yahoo Sports News on Thursday that he only thinks there’s a 10 percent chance the rematch with Canelo will take place in September. Golovkin isn’t saying why he’s doubtful about the rematch, but he did talk about the testing for Canelo. He wants him to be drug tested.
Last week, Golovkin surprised fans when he said his resume as a champion is better than Hopkins’ record. Hopkins unified the division, but he didn’t face a lot of talented fighters unfortunately. When Hopkins finally did face a good opponent in Jermain Taylor, he lost to him.
“I don’t know. It’s possible,” Hopkins said when asked if Canelo Alvarez could fight Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan in September rather than GGG. “We know who the cash cow is. We know who the guy to bring the numbers in. Triple G needs a dance partner.”
Saul Canelo Alvarez was supposed to be Golovkin’s opponent for this Saturday, but he tested positive twice or the performance enhancing substance clenbuterol and then pulled out of the fight. The Nevada Athletic Commission has now suspended Canelo for 6 months. Canelo blames his positive test on contaminated beef. The Nevada Commission doesn’t care how a banned substance gets into a fighter’s body. If clenbuterol is there, they’ll suspend them, which means if Canelo tests positive for clenbuterol again for the rematch with GGG, any excuses about him having eaten contaminated beef likely won’t fly with the Commission.
”They’re cutting prices now,” Hopkins in commenting on the ticket sales for the Golovkin vs. Martirosyan fight on Saturday night. ”I used to use the guy he’s fighting. What’s his name? A while ago he was my sparring partner. He’s Armenian. He’s game, but there’s a different level to where he’s fighting compared to when I used him for a fight I was defending. I see Triple G within six or seven if it takes that long,” Hopkins said.
It’s too bad Hopkins didn’t melt down to 160 to fight Golovkin during his career, as the two could have found out who the better fighter is between them. Hopkins’ career ended with him falling out of the ring in the 8th round and getting stopped by Joe Smith in December 2016.
“Compared to Bernard Hopkins, my record is much bigger, stronger and bigger,” Golovkin said.
Hopkins had a couple of good wins over Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad, but both fighters were over-the-hill at the time Hopkins fought them and they were fighting well over their original weight class. Most of Hopkins’ other title defenses during his 10-year reign as the middleweight champion were against largely beatable fighters. Hopkins fought Robert Allen three times and Antwun Echols twice, Hopkins also had wins over Glen Johnson, Andrew Council, Simon Brown, Keith Holmes and Syd Vanderpool. Those guys would likely be out of place in this era of the middleweight division, which has arguably far more talented fighters. If a prime Hopkins had to defend against Jermall Charlo, he likely would have lost.