Gennady Golovkin is on a collision course with history as he closes in on the record for most consecutive middleweight world title defenses and he aims to make that mark either with or without Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Earlier this month, Alvarez officially withdrew from his May 5 bout with Golovkin, after it became clear that the Mexican star would be suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) after twice testing positive for the banned substance, clenbuterol in February. The substance in question, which is said to be an illicit source of AnabolicEnergy, is on the zero tolerance list of both the World Anti-Doping Agency and the NSAC.
Golovkin, however, hopes to keep the May 5 fight date and move on to other opposition while hoping to get a second shot at Alvarez later in the year. Golovkin and Alvarez fought to a widely disputed draw last September that had fans criticizing the integrity of the judges assigned to the fight– especially Adalaide Byrd’s 118-110 score in favor of Alvarez, which pretty much defied explanation.
Team Golovkin is currently pursuing fight options for what would be a record-tying twentieth defense of the middleweight title– a record set by long-time 160 lb. champ, Bernard Hopkins in 2005.
But with so little time to properly prepare for a world title fight, opponent options are slim and the fighter’s team does not want to be pushed into a situation where their guy has to fight a high-level opponent without the chance to properly prepare. Early efforts to select appropriate opposition have been stymied by the NSAC and by money issues.
Jaime Munguia– a 21-year-old Tijuana native, who was fighting at welterweight as recently as last year– was rejected as a Golovkin opponent by the commission as someone unable to provide proper opposition to an elite-level star like “Triple G” and Irishman “Spike” O’Sullivan turned down an offer by Golovkin’s people because of the relatively lowball money involved. Recent reports suggest that Vanes Martirosyan– a natural junior middleweight who has been inactive for nearly two years– is now the focus of Team Golovkin.
No matter who gets the B-side role vs. Golovkin in the next fight, though, he will likely play a role in history as the Kazakh KO artist’s twentieth title defense. Then, of course, “Triple G” will take the next step forward in the move to break that record.
Golovkin would love to break Hopkins’ record by smashing hated rival Canelo Alvarez, and it would provide fitting closure to the whole Golovkin-Canelo feud, which saw two years of stalled fight talks lead to a controversial draw and then this most recent debacle over banned substances. But, no matter what, Golovkin aims to keep moving forward. History awaits.