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On Saturday, May 5th, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin was supposed to be involved in perhaps the biggest boxing match of the year against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in a rematch of last year’s debated draw. The fight did not happen because Canelo tested positive for Clebuterol twice, which led to a six month suspension from boxing. The impact of Canelo’s absence was felt as the fight went from being aired on HBO Pay Per View to being aired on HBO Boxing After Dark. The amount of money that cost Golovkin has to be substantial. GGG fought against Vanes Martirosyan on May 5th and of course this was a let down for boxing fans, when we were expecting a major showdown between two Goliaths. The fight unfortunately lived up to the low expectations.
Martirosyan was coming into this match at a huge disadvantage as this was his first fight in the middleweight division and also his first fight in almost two years. Martirosyan is solid boxer with good wins and close losses to quality competition and his experience showed up in the first round as he came out strong catching GGG with a good combination of punches. Martirosyan may have just sped up the inevitable as in the second round Golovkin brought his signature pressure and knocked Martirosyan out with a series of power punches. Martirosyan is now 36-4-1 with 21 knockouts and Golovkin improved his record to 38-0-1 with 34 knockouts. This felt like a speed bump in the career of GGG and now the question is what’s next for Golovkin? Here are some options.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
Alvarez (49-1-2 with 34 KO’s) is the best option for Golovkin, legacy wise and monetarily. Canelo has a huge following and whenever he fights its big business. We saw the effect of him not being GGG’s opponent on May 5th when the balloon of the event was totally deflated and millions of dollars were lost. Canelo and GGG had an excellent fight that ended in a draw in May 2017. The result is still debated now amongst boxing fans. A rematch would bring in not only serious boxing fans but the casual fan who wants to be a part of a big event. GGG is now 36 years old and should take advantage of any opportunity to make big amounts of money while adding to his legacy.
In March of 2017, GGG won a very close fight over Daniel Jacobs (34-2 with 29 KO’s) where Jacobs was able to disrupt the rhythm of Golovkin and stopped GGG’s knockout streak. Jacobs has won two unanimous decisions since losing to Golovkin. There is a significant portion of boxing fans that believe Jacobs won the first bout against GGG making the rematch an event people would be interested in. This is a great backup plan if Golovkin does not want to fight Canelo again.
Billy Joe Saunders
Billy Joe Saunders (26-0 with 12 KOs) is the current WBO Middleweight Champion. Saunders would be a very interesting opponent for GGG because of the clash of styles. Saunders is a technician in the ring with a great jab, who will dance circles around his competition and tell them about it while its happening. GGG is a no non-sense come forward wrecking machine with technique and power. In his most recent fight Saunders totally dominated power puncher David Lemieux. Saunders is set to fight Martin Murray on June 23rd, if Saunders can defeat Murray, this could set up a big time late year showdown with Golovkin.
Jermall Charlo (27-0 with 21 KO’s) is a dynamic young boxer who is athletic, with good footwork and power in both hands. Charlo is quicker than GGG, more athletic than GGG, and dare I say just as powerful a puncher as Golovkin. Charlo called out GGG after his last bout, where he knocked Hugh Centeno Jr out cold in the second round. Charlo has only fought two fights at the middleweight division but has already proven that his name belongs along side the elite at 160 pounds.
Golovkin has a lot of different directions he can go, in the middleweight division or maybe even go up to super middleweight but the 168 pound division is lacking star power right now. GGG is a great fighter but needs another star to attract big audiences, which mean big pay days. One of the aforementioned boxers will provide that intrigue to get the type of audience a great boxer like Golovkin deserves.