Once again, Golovkin vacates a middleweight belt, this time WBA
'Regular' titlist Lara left as organization's lone 160 titlist
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Gennadiy Golovkin on Thursday vacated the WBA middleweight world title, a move that comes a little over a month after he also vacated the IBF 160-pound title and now leaves him without a major belt.
The reason in both cases was because of a looming purse bid for a mandatory fight for which there was little commercial interest, meaning if Golovkin went through with either bout he was looking at a dramatic pay cut from the eight-figure paydays he was making under the exclusive DAZN contract he was under until it expired following a decision loss to Canelo Alvarez in their trilogy fight for Alvarez’s undisputed super middleweight championship fight in September.
In early February, GGG relinquished the IBF title due to the lack of interest in a fight between him and Esquiva Falcao.
Then a purse bid was scheduled for Golovkin’s WBA mandatory defense against “regular” titleholder Erislandy Lara. It was scheduled for this coming Monday at the WBA offices in Panama City, Panama. Golovkin would have been entitled to the lion’s share of a 75-25 split, but with little interest from broadcasters and promoters, and little chance of the bout going forward, he vacated.
The fight had been ordered as part of the WBA’s ongoing efforts to get down to one titleholder per weight class. With GGG vacating, Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs), 39, a Cuban southpaw fighting out Houston, is now the sole middleweight titleholder of the organization.
In a letter that Golovkin attorney John Hornewer sent to WBA president Gilberto Mendoza on GGG’s behalf, a copy of which was obtained by Fight Freaks Unite, he thanked the organization for its many years of support before vacating the title.
“While Gennadiy remains committed to fighting again, he has not made up his mind about many of the elements critical to planning and arranging his next bout,” Hornewer wrote. “In light of the impending deadline for a purse bid for a fight with WBA regular champion Erislandy Lara as ordered by the WBA, Gennadiy does not wish to see the process drag out any longer.
“As such, please be advised that Gennadiy Golovkin hereby relinquishes the WBA middleweight super championship title. Gennadiy looks forward to seeing Lara move forward with his mandatory next, wishes him well and thanks him and his team for their patience. … Gennadiy Golovkin wishes to thank the WBA for all that it has done for him during his career and has been proud to represent the WBA as its super champion and as the unified middleweight champion of the world. We look forward to working together in the future!”
Two fights two fights after Golovkin lost his three middleweight titles to Alvarez in their 2018 rematch, he outpointed Sergiy Derevyanchenko in an October 2019 slugfest to win the vacant IBF title. He made a mandatory defense against Kamil Szeremeta, winning by seventh-round knockout in December 2020.
A long layoff followed before Golovkin, a surefire future International Boxing Hall of Famer, traveled to Japan and knocked out WBA titlist Ryota Murata to unify the belts last 11 months ago.
Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KOs), 40, moved up to super middleweight last fall for the long-awaited third fight with Alvarez. After the loss, Golovkin said he had no plans to retire and would return to middleweight to defend the title. He knew he had both mandatory bouts looming.
Golovkin, a Kazakhstan native now living in South Florida after many years in Southern California, made 20 consecutive middleweight title defenses in his first reign to tie him for the all-time division record with Bernard Hopkins before the controversial majority decision loss to Alvarez in their 2018 rematch.
Golovkin photo: Naoki Fukuda
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Time for Golovkin to retire. There is no worthwhile fight left for him. He should turn his talents to training some young up-and-coming fighter and promoting.
Yeah, absolutely no interest here for any of those fights. Not sure I ever need to see him fight again.