Fight fans have no doubt heard the news – middleweight king Gennady Golovkin finally has a fight set for May 5, against tough and experienced 154 pounder Vanes Martirosyan – but are they happy, or excited? Let’s face it, it was always going to be something of a let down whoever GGG fought instead of original rematch foe Canelo Alvarez, and through no fault of his own, Golovkin is getting criticised for fighting Martirosyan instead of the Mexican star who tested positive for you know what (twice). But is this criticism fair?
On the one hand, Golovkin is guilty of fighting a super-welterweight who has never boxed at 160 pounds. To make things look worse, Martirosyan 36-3-1 (21) has not fought anyone for two years. But on the other hand, GGG is still fighting when he could so easily have sat and sulked and said the hell with it (the unbeaten pound-for-pound star is not getting anything like the payday he would have picked up had his huge rematch with Canelo gone ahead as planned – and to Golovkin’s credit, he would have gone ahead with the return had he been allowed to do so), and in Martirosyan, Golovkin is facing a hungry fighter with nothing to lose – one who has never been stopped at that. These type of fights are often dangerous affairs for the “guaranteed winner, ” the “dead-cert.” We’ve seen big upsets pulled off by late replacement fighters/opponents in the past – could it happen in California on May 5?
Fans would certainly be feeling a whole lot happier right now had GGG and his team been able to secure a May 5 fight against a Billy Joe Saunders or a (in a rematch) Danny Jacobs, but try as they did, these bouts were not doable. Now, in what will be an historic fight in that May 5 will see GGG attempt to retain his middleweight crown for a 20th time, Martirosyan gets the opportunity of a career, if not a lifetime.
Will the bigger, more powerful natural middleweight retain his belts and his lofty status by way of a stoppage, or will Martirosyan shock the world? Or, somewhere in between, will Martirosyan force GGG to work hard and win via the cards of the judges?
At the very least, we have a fight on May 5 and that’s something to be thankful for. Maybe (you agree).