Gennady Golovkin: 37-0-1, 33 KO’s
Vanes Martirosyan: 36-3-1, 21 KO’s
This Saturday, Cinco de Mayo, Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin will square off against Vanes Martirosyan at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. GGG was originally slated to face off against Canelo Alvarez in a highly anticipated rematch, however, the Nevada Athletic Commission suspended Canelo 6 months for a failed drug test, resulting in Canelo being unable to fight this weekend. GGG and his team were in a rush to find a last minute replacement opponent to save that date, and they selected Martirosyan.
It makes a lot of sense, because Martirosyan is somewhat of a name, and offers very little risk. Martirosyan has not fought in 2 years, and will be moving up in weight from 154 lbs. for this fight. With fighting Martirosyan, GGG will be able to save the Cinco de Mayo date, and keep himself available for a possible Canelo rematch in September.
Canelo’s suspension will end in August, and the rematch is arguably the biggest fight to be made in the sport. It will also result in both fighters making career paydays, so there will likely be interest from both sides in making it Mexican Independence Day weekend.
It is always a pleasure to watch GGG fight, he is one of the most exciting fighters in the sport and he always gives the fan a show, but this fight is simply not good. It is not Golovkin’s fault that the fight was canceled, but Vanes Martirosyan does not offer anything to make the fight truly intriguing.
The most interesting thing to watch will be to see how GGG looks. Many believe he is slipping, and is not the same fighter anymore. Others say he has not looked *as* good in his last three fights because those were by far his toughest 3 opponents.
In my opinion, the apparent slippage is a little bit of both factors, but more so because his opponents have been better lately. Obviously, at 36 years old, he won’t be as good as he was when he was 30. He certainly isn’t in his prime, but I do not think he is washed, or took a major step back. I still think he is elite, and one of the best in the sport.
I expect Golovkin to dismantle Martirosyan, securing an early highlight-reel KO and showing everyone that he has more in the tank than people realize. Martirosyan is moving up a weight class, is coming in on short notice and has not fought in two years. He is by no means a bum, and all three of his losses are high quality, but in this situation, the fight will not be competitive.
Even if Martirosyan were in his prime, I would pick GGG via KO. Add in the other factors, and I think it is a devastating KO in the first half of the fight. And if this fight goes into the later rounds and/or a decision, it would show that he truly has lost a step, and maybe a bigger step than I realized.
GGG via KO Rd 5