Vanes Martirosyan's journey to a unified middleweight title fight against Gennady Golovkin is a strange one, but it was a journey Martirosyan had been preparing for.
Martirosyan, who is fighting Golovkin on May 5 at the StubHub Center on HBO, said he had been preparing to have a big fight for a long time, but situations and issues caused Martirosyan to not fight in all of 2017. Martirosyan was supposed to fight Maciej Sulecki in a final eliminator for a junior middleweight world title, but Sulecki withdrew from the fight to fight Daniel Jacobs in a middleweight title eliminator on April 28.
After Sulecki withdrew from the fight, promoter Don King tried to get Martirosyan back in the ring, and the former world title challenger was already prepared to face Golovkin. Martirosyan needed to weigh in 10 percent of the middleweight limit 30 days before May 5 and when he knew he could face Golovkin, Martirosyan was already in that range, meaning a fight against Golovkin was within the realm of possibility.
"I knew [King] had been working hard to get me a fight then he got me this fight. When they asked me if I wanted it I said, 'Of course.' They asked me if I could be 176 by Friday and I said I am 176 right now... King got me the biggest fight and now it's time to go," Martirosyan said in a press release sent to Fightful.
Martirosyan was one of several boxers under consideration to face Golovkin after Canelo Alvarez withdrew from the fight before being hit with a six-month drug suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. After fights against Jaime Munguia and Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan fell through, Martirosyan was the next option for Golovkin.
The 31-year-old Martirosyan has not fought since a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of then-WBA junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara back in 2016.