Gennady Golovkin finally found an opponent for his planned May 5 fight.
The unified WBA "super," WBC, IBF and IBO middleweight world champion will face former junior middleweight title challenger Vanes Martirosyan at the StubHub Center on May 5 and will be televised on HBO.
This would be Martirosyan's first middleweight world title challenge. Martirosyan has not fought since losing to then-WBA junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara back in 2016. Martirosyan sports a 36-3-1 pro record, with losses to Lara, Jermell Charlo and Demetrius Andrade.
Golovkin's fight against Martirosyan came together after Golovkin's original opponent, Canelo Alvarez, withdrew from the fight after testing positive for traces of clenbuterol back in February. Golovkin vs. Alvarez, a rematch from their first fight which took place last September, was also set to take place on May 5, but it would have taken place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Alvarez is awaiting a suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission which could go for as long as one year, but could be reduced to six months.
After Alvarez withdrew from the fight, Golovkin and his team scrambled to find a different venue and a replacement opponent. Golovkin originally was going to fight Jaime Munguia at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, but the NSAC did not approve Munguia as Golovkin's opponent.
Golovkin then tried to secure a fight with Gary O'Sullivan at the StubHub Center, but O'Sullivan ultimately rejected the fight against Golovkin over monetary issues. A fight against Martirosyan seemed likely after the California Athletic Commission approved Martirosyan as a possible opponent, but there was an issue between the WBA, WBC and IBF.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko, the IBF's mandatory challenger for Golovkin's middleweight title, and promoter Lou DiBella had been aggressively pushing for the governing body to enforce a Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko fight with little to no success. There is no telling if the IBF will decide to strip Golovkin of the middleweight title for taking a fight against Martirosyan or it will grant an exception for Golovkin due to this fight being made on short notice.
This would be the first time Golovkin would fight live on HBO television since 2016, when he defeated former welterweight champion Kell Brook. Only Golovkin's WBC and IBF titles were on the line after the WBA did not sanction the fight to be contested for its middleweight title.