Former National Football League coach, Denny Green, famously said “They are who we thought they were”, and the same holds true for Vanes Martirosyan. He was who we thought he was, a replacement opponent; an undersized, inactive one at that. No match for Middleweight assassin, Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin, in other words. HBO did its best to salvage last Saturday’s, Cinco de Mayo telecast, for those of us who’ve not only grown accustomed to world class Boxing on/near this particular day, but demand it! A bloodthirsty crowd watched live from StubHub Center in Carson, CA, as a viewing audience of 1.3mil did likewise via television.
Brought in on roughly 2-weeks notice, Team Martirosyan did their best to sell Vanes’ level of confidence and the belief this pairing was a must-see, “Mexican Style” event. Team Golovkin followed suit, portraying Martirosyan as the fistic be-all to end-all, brought in to save the day. Reality set in on fight night, however, when it was reported Martirosyan asked his wife to stay home as opposed to sitting ringside for the biggest bout of his career. Clearly, the insinuation is Vanes knew he was in too deep. Nonetheless, he came out firing stiff jabs from close range, until a meaty left hook convinced Martirosyan to give ground. Towards the end of the 1st, a left-right-left 3-piece combo got Triple G’s attention and likely pissed him off a bit.
Golovkin came out for round 2 in kill-mode. Stalking Martirosyan behind a ramrod jab and power shots. A savage counter uppercut buckled Vanes, forcing him to hold. He actually took a knee just prior to the clinch, but the ref neglected to rule it a knockdown. It wouldn’t matter, as the end was nearing. Before long, Golovkin trapped Martirosyan along the ropes, unleashing a brutal flurry of accurate lefts and rights, which slumped Vanes first to his knees, then stretched out onto his stomach. He thought about beating the 10-count, but smartly stayed on the canvas. The pain Vanes suffered was plenty and would’ve only worsened had he regained his footing.
The task was daunting, but Vanes Martirosyan’s (36-4-1, 21 KO’s) effort cannot be questioned, nor should he be blamed; reserve all of that angst for Canelo Alvarez instead. Canelo’s drug suspension resulted in this, a clear case of cause and effect. For what it’s worth, every time Alvarez’s name was uttered during the HBO post-fight interview, the predominantly Hispanic crowd booed. As opposed to the 10-figure payday he’d have garnered for the Canelo rematch, Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KO’s) pocketed $1 million dollars. Martirosyan walked away with dented pride and $225,000.
This was Triple G’s 20th defense of his Middleweight championship, tying him with the great Bernard Hopkins. As noted earlier, ratings peaked at 1.3mil viewers, tops for 2018 (thus far), showing Golovkin’s still a viable commodity and one fight fans will assuredly tune in to watch. Possessor of the WBA, WBA and IBF belts at 160 pounds, Triple G’s obligated to face Daniel Jacobs, Jermall Charlo and Sergiy Derevyanchenko, the mandatory challengers for each of those straps.
No doubt Golovkin will want the aforementioned 10-figure payday that only a fight with Canelo can promise, in September. Assuming Canelo can pass a drug test, that is.