Originally, WBA, WBC, IBO and IBF Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin was scheduled to rematch Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez tomorrow night, May 5, 2018, live on HBO pay-per-view from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Given that the two fought to a highly-controversial draw in their initial meeting last September, the rematch was anticipated by many and considered to be the biggest fight boxing had to offer. Unfortunately, however, it will no longer be taking place–at least not for now.
Early this year, it was revealed that Alvarez had twice tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol. He blamed the failed tests on tainted Mexican meet, but wound up withdrawing from the rematch and receiving a six-month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
Although we will no longer be receiving the rematch, Golovkin is still set to fight. Following the news regarding Canelo, “GGG” repeatedly insisted that he would still be competing on May 5. In the end, it was confirmed that he would be taking on 32-year-old former Junior Middleweight title challenger Vanes Matirosyan on HBO at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
While many feel as if Golovkin will handle Matirosyan rather easily, as a boxing fan, there are a few reasons why you should still tune in to see the 36-year-old Middleweight champion compete.
First off, Golovkin is simply an entertaining fighter. In today’s day and age where some fighters are criticized for playing it safe and looking to win on points, GGG is the complete opposite.
Known as a fighter’s fighter, Golovkin rarely takes a step back, always looking to pressure his opponents and land the big shots. He’s never been afraid to engage in a slug fest and more often than not, his fights end in a knockout, as 33 of his 37 victories have ended by way of stoppage.
There is also some historical significance to this bout, as Golovkin will be looking to tie Benard Hopkins’ record of 20 consecutive Middleweight title defenses.
GGG may very well be more motivated than ever and he’ll likely be looking to put on a strong showing for the fans. And despite the fact that he’s a heavy underdog, Matirosyan is a talented fighter, as he holds a 36-3-1 professional record. He hasn’t been too active, but he could indeed have the skills to make for an exciting fight.
And finally, it’s important to remember Golovkin’s age. He likely only has a few more years left in the sport and regardless of the situation and the fact that a mega fight was lost, GGG remains must-see TV.
He’s one of the best fighters of this generation and each of his fights should be high on a boxing fan’s to watch list. There simply may not be too many more of them to come.
Header photo by Ed Mulholland/HBO