Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez fight prediction, card, odds, boxing on HBO
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This certainly isn’t the Cinco de Mayo pay-per-view blockbuster that boxing fans had in mind.
Yet here we are — following a pair of failed drug tests from Canelo Alvarez, a subsequent tainted beef scandal and the insistence from unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin that the show must go on — just days away from boxing’s Super Bowl weekend with a fight that should exceed the almost barren expectations it has been stamped with.
As far as late replacements on less than three weeks’ notice are concerned, Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) could’ve done far worse — and very nearly did — for Saturday’s title defense than former 154-pound challenger Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs).
Adding in their combined craft and penchant to come forward, however — not to mention the mecca for action fights that is the StubHub Center as the backdrop — Golovkin’s pursuit of a record-tying 20th middleweight title defense has the potential to be entertaining theater for the Carson, California, crowd (HBO, 11 p.m. ET).
The knocks against Martirosyan, 32, are certainly clear and present: A career junior middleweight, the native Armenian hasn’t fought in two years. He also hasn’t won a fight since taking a majority decision from Ishe Smith in 2015.
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But the 2004 U.S. Olympian has also been in an almost perpetual training camp over that time after three straight fights fell apart. Martirosyan is also a large junior middleweight who may end up being the bigger fighter come fight night against “Triple G,” who is considered a small middleweight.
“[Martirosyan] is a good fighter, I remember him in 2004 [Olympics] in a couple of fights and he was good,” said Golovkin, who won a silver medal for Kazakhstan. “He has a very strong chin and he is a little taller and has a longer reach. He has a lot of good experience. He has fought a lot of good boxers. I know my style and it matches up good with his but my style is much more interesting.”