After Canelo fell out, Gennady Golovkin picks up Martirosyan

first_imgGennady Golovkin, center left, faces off with Vanes Martirosyan during a weigh-in Friday, May 4, 2018, in Los Angeles. Golovkin will defend his middleweight title against Martirosyan in a boxing match Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)LOS ANGELES — Gennady Golovkin spent several months planning and training for this weekend. He intended to spend it under Las Vegas’ brightest lights as he proved his middleweight supremacy in a lucrative rematch with Canelo Alvarez.Instead, Golovkin finds himself back in his adopted home in Southern California, where he’s making a fraction of that potential payday to fight a gritty veteran contender with nothing to lose in a famous outdoor ring where crazy things happen regularly.ADVERTISEMENT Emotional Parks remembers father after San Miguel Alab triumph: ‘Dad, we did it’ P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames MOST READ View comments Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water recedingcenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sure, it’s not the Cinco de Mayo that Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) had in mind.The 160-pound Kazakh middleweight kingpin is still determined to make the most of the holiday when he takes on Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs) on Saturday night on HBO. With a victory in a fight he didn’t have to take, Golovkin would tie Bernard Hopkins’ middleweight record with his 20th consecutive title defense.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“I wanted to remain active, and I didn’t want to lose my date for this particular fight,” Golovkin said. “It wasn’t my fault my first opponent couldn’t fight. I didn’t want to waste time. I want to have as many fights as possible. I didn’t really think about the business side of it.”The first weekend in May is traditionally a momentous time for boxing, and Golovkin planned to do something big with Alvarez. Their first bout last September was a competitive draw, with many observers believing Golovkin did enough to beat anybody on the scorecards except the popular Mexican champion. Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast LATEST STORIES The rematch seemed inevitable, and it might have been the biggest fight of the year — until Canelo failed a doping test in February.When the Nevada Athletic Commission finally handed down Alvarez’s six-month suspension last month, it was already clear Golovkin would have to wait for their fight. But Golovkin didn’t want to sit on his fists — not at 36 years old, and not after fighting just once in the previous 14 months.The tenacious knockout artist built his late-blooming pro career on staying busy while other champions sit around. Golovkin was hungry to match Hopkins’ record in a division he has dominated just as zealously as Hopkins did.Also, Golovkin just plain loves to fight.“This is a sport to him, and the sport is the most important thing,” said Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez. “This is not a war. He’s not out to hurt anybody. Yes, the money comes along with it, but the sport is the most important.”ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew So Golovkin’s camp went to work on a late replacement bout for StubHub Center’s outdoor ring among Los Angeles’ savvy boxing fans. After struggling to find a suitable opponent , Golovkin eventually chose Martirosyan, the former U.S. Olympian with a strong following in Southern California’s Armenian community.Golovkin and Martirosyan both competed at the Athens Olympics in different weight classes, but Martirosyan hasn’t fought since May 2016 after several recent potential matchups fell through. Just 4-3-1 in his last eight fights, Martirosyan considers himself rested and ready to shock the sport.“I was just hungry, training and training, and then that opportunity comes,” Martirosyan said. “Basically you’re waiting at home watching TV, and you’ve got a lottery ticket, and I was just so happy to get the call. I’ve been killing myself for the last two years, just thinking, ‘What mistakes did I make, or what did I do to deserve this, to be inactive outside of the ring?’ This fight is everything I’ve dreamed of, and I can’t wait to show it to the world.”In the notoriously fractious world of boxing’s sanctioning bodies, Golovkin was bound to find trouble after his rematch with Canelo fell through.The IBF has behaved the most foolishly, refusing to put its title on the line for Martirosyan and then declaring Golovkin will be stripped if he doesn’t take on mandatory challenger Sergey Derevyanchenko — a 32-year-old Ukrainian with a paltry 12 professional bouts — by early August.That fight seems unlikely to happen, since Alvarez’s suspension will be up in time for a rematch in September. Although Golovkin has been sharply critical of Alvarez , the stars still need each other for the most lucrative bout either could make.Golovkin has attempted for years to hold all four major belts simultaneously, and he has been the WBA, WBC and IBF champion since 2015. English WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders has kept the only remaining hardware out of Golovkin’s grasp, repeatedly declining Golovkin’s challenges.Now that Saunders appears more amenable to a fight, Golovkin could lose the IBF belt simply because he wanted to keep busy while waiting for his payday from Alvarez.Golovkin is bothered by it, but he’s still fighting Martirosyan.“He’s 36 years old right now, and with all the boxing politics and just not being about to make a deal with Saunders, he knows there’s a chance it might not happen,” said Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s longtime promoter. “But for now, he knows he has a difficult job on Saturday, and everything else could depend on that.” SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) PLAY LIST 02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)03:47PH’s Charly Suarez boxing lightweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)04:07SEA Games: John Marvin 1st Filipino boxer to crash out, bows to Vietnam bet02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardlast_img

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