Friday, July 13, 2012
Still working on Golovkin foe
By Dan Rafael
Middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin, anxious to strut his considerable stuff for an American television audience, was supposed to fight Dmitry Pirog, one of the best 160-pounders in the world, on Aug. 25 in an HBO main event. That was, however, until Pirog went down with a ruptured disk in his back last week, meaning he will be out for at least three months.
But the show will go on, and Golovkin's team and HBO are busy trying to put together a new fight for the 2004 Olympic silver medalist from Kazakhstan. Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, which promotes Golovkin, told me Thursday that there are two opponents under serious discussion, both of which would be approved by HBO.
" European middleweight titlist Grzegorz Proksa (28-1, 21 KOs), a 27-year-old Poland native living in England, who avenged his lone defeat by stopping Wales' Kerry Hope in the eighth round July 7 to regain the European belt on the Kell Brook-Carson Jones undercard in England. Hope had upset Proksa via majority decision in a major upset March 17.
" Junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan (32-0, 20 KOs), a 26-year-old 2004 U.S. Olympian who has been unable to finalize a significant fight. Martirosyan has been linked to various bouts that haven't come off, but recently was ordered to face Erislandy Lara in a junior middleweight title eliminator that would make the winner the mandatory challenger for titleholder Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, although that potential fight wouldn't happen until next year.
Martirosyan said he is willing to move up to middleweight to face Golovkin, 30.
"The Golovkin fight is a fight I would like," Martirosyan said. "Hope we can get it done."
Loeffler said Golovkin (23-0, 20 KOs) is willing to face Proksa or Martirosyan.
"We'll fight whichever guy HBO wants us to fight," Loeffler said. "We've always said we will fight anybody."
The Aug. 25 co-feature will match former junior middleweight titlist Sergiy Dzinziruk (37-1, 23 KOs), 36, of Ukraine, against Puerto Rican prospect Jonathan Gonzalez (15-0, 13 KOs), who will turn 23 on July 26. The fight will be Dzinziruk's first since he moved up to middleweight in March 2011 to challenge lineal champion Sergio Martinez and was dropped five times in a one-sided eighth-round knockout loss.