The frontrunner to face undefeated WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin in an HBO-televised defense on Sept. 1 is once-beaten Polish southpaw middleweight Grzegorz Proksa, according to sources familiar with the promotion.
Proksa (28-1, 21 knockouts) and unbeaten junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan (32-0, 20 KOs) had been the top considerations to fight Golovkin (23-0, 20 KOs) on the original date of Aug. 25 in the wake of a back injury that forced Golovkin’s WBO counterpart Dmitry Pirog (20-0, 15 KOs) to pull out of their bout.
Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, of K2 Promotions confirmed that an opponent has been finalized, but would not comment further. Martirosyan’s uncle and manager, Serge Martirosyan, said that he has yet to receive an offer.
“We were talking to Vanes and we were talking to Proksa, but It’s not signed,” said Loeffler. “I’m guessing that in the next couple of days, we should have something that is finalized and we’ll have a location and the opponent.”
Golovkin-Proksa could headline a card whose co-feature matches former WBO junior middleweight titleholder Sergei Dzinziruk (37-1, 24 KOs) against Jonathan Gonzalez (15-0, 13 KOs). Proksa is coming off an eighth-round knockout of Kerry Hope on July 7 that avenged his only loss by majority decision to Hope in March.
Martirosyan’s camp might also be involved in a purse bid for a WBC-mandated eliminator with junior middleweight contender and southpaw Erislandy Lara (17-1-1, 11 KOs), who is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, on Friday, July 20 at the organization’s headquarters in Mexico City.
The winner of the bout between Lara and Martirosyan would become the mandatory challenger to face beltholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs).
Serge Martirosyan said he anticipates Top Rank CEO Bob Arum to push for the purse bid, since Arum was in Mexico City on Tuesday promoting a clash between southpaw RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and WBC beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. that is slated for Sept. 15 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.A
Arum also said that he was given the impression by Artie Pelullo, whose Banner Promotions is handling the event along with Gary Shaw, that Proksa was going to get the fight with Golovkin.
Neither Shaw, Pelullo nor Pelullo’s vice president Joshua Roy could immediately be reached.
“We’re going to put a purse bid in for the Lara fight,” said Arum. “I talked to Pelullo, and right now, they’re looking at the Polish fighter.”
Serge Martirosyan seemed to agree.
“We have been waiting for an offer, and we haven’t gotten any offer. I don’t know if they have talked to Top Rank and made them an offer or not. I have no idea. Nobody has told me anything yet,” said Serge Martirosyan.
“Tomorrow, as you know, is the purse bid for Vanes and Erislandy Lara, so if they don’t give us an offer, I guess that it looks like they have decided to maybe go with the other guy.”
Photo / K2 Ukraine
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