In a fight well past its sell-by date, middleweight champions Gennadiy Golovkin & Erislandy Lara have been ordered by the WBA to negotiate a fight to consolidate the titles.
Lara has been trying to get a fight with Golovkin for at least nine years without luck, and finally, after all this time, he’s in the position to get the match that he’s dreamed about for a decade. The question is, will Golovkin agree to fight Lara, or will he give up his belt?
Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KOs) and ‘regular’ WBA champion Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs) have 15 days to put together a deal before a purse bid is ordered on February 23rd.
Earlier in the day on Wednesday, the 40-year-old Golovkin vacated his IBF belt after previously being ordered by the sanctioning body to defend against their mandatory Esquiva Falcao.
Golovkin must have felt the fight against Falcao as not worth the trouble he’d have to overcome to hold onto his IBF title. Hence, he vacated the strap rather than take a fight that wouldn’t have registered on the Richter scale with the boxing public.
The 39-year-old Lara isn’t much different from Falcao in terms of popularity with casual boxing fans, so it’s going to be interesting to see how long before Golovkin vacates his WBA title to escape the burden of having to fight the crafty Cuban southpaw.
On paper, Lara is even more difficult a match-up for Golovkin than his last opponent Canelo Alvarez because he still possesses fast hands, and his power is just as good if not better than it’s always been.
The only thing Lara has lost over the years is his mobility, as he’s no longer the speedy fighter he once was after 15 years in the pro ranks.
GGG and Lara have 15 days to complete a deal. If a purse bid is called, GGG is entitled to 75% as the “super” champion.
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) February 8, 2023
If Golovkin rejects the Lara fight, it’ll be interesting to see which direction he chooses to go in because he’ll be belt-less and will no longer need to worry about making title defenses.
The only options at 160 that Golovkin has that would interest fans would be against Jermall Charlo and Jaime Munguia. If Errol Spence Jr were willing to move up in weight to 160, he would be a great fight for Golovkin.
Given that Spence is with PBC and fights on Showtime, it’s unlikely that a fight between him and Golovkin would happen. Jermell, the undisputed champion at 154, has never shown interest in moving up in weight to fight Golovkin, and you can’t blame him. He’s got a good thing going at 154 in that dead division.