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Golovkin Vacates IBF middleweight title – WBA Mandatory Ordered

Golovkin Vacates IBF middleweight title - WBA Mandate Ordered

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Golovkin Vacates IBF middleweight title – WBA Mandatory Ordered

Melina Pizano- Matchroom Boxing USA

Golovkin Vacates IBF middleweight title – WBA Mandatory Ordered

Gennadiy Golovkin has vacated the IBF middleweight title, Golovkin attorney John Hornewer and the sanctioning body told Big Fight Weekend on Wednesday.

Hornewer, said that while the 40-year-old Golovkin vacated one of his two 160-pound world titles, he is not retiring and is looking for an appealing fight.

Golovkin vacated the IBF belt because of impending deadlines to make a mandatory defense against Esquiva Falcao, a fight that was highly unlikely to happen. However, Golovkin is now saddled with his WBA mandatory defense against “regular” titlist Erislandy Lara.

The IBF mandatory defense was due first under the rotation system employed by the sanctioning organizations for unified champions, but once the IBF title was vacated, the WBA ordered Golovkin to make its overdue mandatory defense later on Wednesday.

Golovkin maintains he still wants to fight

“Gennadiy is not retiring. He’s still trying to assess his options to do the best possible fight for the fans,” Hornewer said. “The negotiation period for the mandatory with Falcao was due to end next week, but instead of taking it all the way to the end, Gennadiy thought it was best that if the fight is not happening it would be the right thing to do to give them a chance to fill the vacant title sooner than later.”

Hornewer said their side tried to make the fight with Falcao, including talking with Falcao promoter Top Rank about doing the fight on ESPN, its broadcast platform, but that Top Rank was not interested in paying for it. Hornewer also said they could not find any interest from another promoter or broadcaster.

Golovkin, a promotional free agent, had his exclusive broadcast contract with DAZN end following his trilogy fight with Canelo Alvarez in September.

“We tried to make the fight and we had interest from others in doing a (Golovkin) fight but they weren’t interested in Falcao,” Hornewer said. “People contacted us and they’d say, ‘How about you fight this guy or that guy’ but nobody wanted to do the Falcao fight.”

At that point, Hornewer said Golovkin decided to vacate the belt despite how important titles have always been to him.

“He just said, ‘If we’re not doing this fight let this guy go and fight for the vacant title. Falcao has been patient waiting for his shot so let him move forward and him fight for the title. Good luck to him and thank you to the IBF for being patient,’” Hornewer said. “He said, ‘I’m not done but this fight with Falcao isn’t going to happen, so thank you to Falcao and Top Rank for being patient.’”

Hornewer added, “If the WBA comes back and says you have to fight Lara we may have the same issue.”

Shortly after Hornewer made that comment, the WBA, as expected, ordered Golovkin to fight Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs), 39, a Cuban southpaw fighting out of Houston, as part of its ongoing policy to have its “super” titleholders face its “regular” titlists in mandatory bouts to get down to one titleholder per division.

The WBA sent a letter via email to Hornewer and Lara representative Tom Brown of TGB Promotions ordering the sides to negotiate. The WBA gave them until the end of business on Feb. 23 to make a deal.

“In the event an agreement is not reached, or if any of the parties expresses unwillingness to negotiate, the Championships Committee may call a purse bid,” the WBA said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Big Fight Weekend.

The WBA outlined that in the event of a purse bid Golovkin would be entitled to 75 percent of the winning bid and Lara 25 percent.

Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KOs) traveled to Japan last April and knocked out WBA titlist Ryota Murata to unify titles. Then he moved up to super middleweight to challenge rival and undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez in September to conclude their trilogy

Golovkin lost a clear decision and announced after the fight he would return to middleweight, knowing he had mandatory defenses due.

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 losing a controversial majority decision to Alvarez in their 2018 rematch. Two fights later, in 2019, GGG edged Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a unanimous decision to win the vacant IBF title.

The IBF will order Falcao (30-0, 20 KOs), 33, a 2012 Brazilian Olympic silver medalist, to face Australia ’s Michael Zerafa (31-4, 19 KOs ), 30, the next IBF-ranked 16-pounder, for the vacant title.

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Since 2000, award-winning reporter Dan Rafael has covered boxing full time and been ringside for thousands of fights, first for five years at USA Today and then for 15 years at ESPN, where he wrote and appeared on various television, radio and streaming programs. In 2013, Dan was honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America with the Nat Fleischer award for career excellence in boxing journalism. Dan brings his great insight to the Big Fight Weekend site, podcast and more!

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