CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Gennady Golovkin finally has an opponent for his May 5 fight.
The middleweight champion has found a replacement for Canelo Alvarez, who has been suspended for six months by the Nevada Athletic Commission for failing two drug tests. Golovkin will defend his WBC, WBA and IBF titles against Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan at the StubHub Center.
“Vanes Martirosyan is now the most important fight of my career. He has my respect and I am training hard to defend my titles against him,” said Golovkin. “I am happy to be back on HBO and fighting at StubHub Center because they have great boxing fans. I will give my fans another big drama show.”
Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 knockouts) and Alvarez fought to a draw last September, and the rematch was the most anticipated bout of the year. But Alvarez tested positive for clenbuterol.
Should Triple G beat Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs), the rematch with Alvarez likely will take place later in the year. Alvarez’s promoters say he will return to the ring in September.
Tom Loeffler, Triple G’s promoter, said extra seats will be added at StubHub Center for the fight.
“Vanes Martirosyan brings a passionate Armenian fan base from nearby Glendale and an aggressive style of fighting,” Loeffler said. “Best of all, he is ready and wants the fight. Golovkin vs. Martirosyan will definitely be the fiesta de resistance of Cinco De Mayo.”
Martirosyan has lost three of his last six fights, including to Erislandy Lara for the WBA super welterweight crown last May. He has not fought since.
“I’m sparring, I’m on weight,” Martirosyan recently told the Los Angeles Times. “When they asked me if I’d take this fight, I said yes. I didn’t ask about money at all. It’s a good show for L.A. Cinco De Mayo. Armenians will pack the place. I have a lot of Mexican fans. I do believe in my heart I’m going to beat (Golovkin) because he’s never fought someone with my style.”