World middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin has explained why he chose to go through with his May 5 title fight with Vanes Martirosyan after Mexican rival Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez was ruled out of their scheduled rematch on the same date.
Speaking just a few weeks before he face Alvarez in a rematch at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Golovkin said: “When it became clear Canelo would not be allowed to fight on May 5 because of his failed drug tests, my priority was to keep my fight on Cinco De Mayo. Cinco De Mayo is a huge date for boxing. It is a boxing holiday. I did not want to let the fans down. I also wanted to stay active. And I like headlining boxing events on Mexican holidays. It brings out the best fans and the best in me.
“I was told that Canelo and his promoter did not want me to fight on Cinco De Mayo and that it could keep the rematch from happening. A lot of people tried to stop me from making a fight on Cinco De Mayo. I did not care about what they wanted. Keeping that fight on Cinco De Mayo was important to me, to the fans, and to the sport of boxing. This was going to be my decision. Boxing fans look forward to Cinco De Mayo. Sponsors like Tecate put a lot of time and energy into making it a special holiday weekend. My promoter Tom Loeffler worked very hard to make this happen. My fight with Vanes Martirosyan at StubHub Center was a great night for boxing and a big hit for HBO.
Golovkin added: “No one is bigger than the sport. Boxing is about working hard and giving a fair and honest fight. I respect the sport of boxing and the fans around the world who support it. For me, it is always about giving fans an entertaining fight. That is why I fight Mexican Style which was taught to me by Abel Sanchez. When I was an amateur I dreamed of becoming a world champion. I have worked hard to make that dream come true and I am not ready to give that dream up. That is why it was important to fight on Cinco De Mayo. I like being a world champion. I like defending my titles. And that is why I am working hard to stay world champion on September 15 and beyond.”