WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin will not fight Andy Lee on April 26 as planned because of the death of Golovkin’s father, according to his promoter, Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions.
Gennady Ivanovich Golovkin died on Feb. 18 as a result of a heart attack. The younger Golovkin will observe a 40-day mourning period, a tradition in his culture, and spend time with his family in his native Kazakhstan.
Golovkin had two older brothers who were killed fighting for the Russian military. He is now the eldest male in the family.
"Abel and I were all there for his father's memorial service last week, and it was a really bad situation," Loeffler told RingTV.com. "The whole responsibility falls on Gennady's shoulders as the oldest surviving son, and it's going to be an extended period of time before he even thinks about boxing again right now with everything that he's got to take care of over there in Kazakhstan."
Loeffler continued: "There is a cultural thing where for 40 days after the passing of a loved one, that the family meets at the house every day and to support each other … and that's pretty much what he's going through right now. That would put him out for another month before he would even start training, so April 26 is officially off.
"We as a team are going to support Gennady in any way that we can, and when the opportunity comes up, and when he's ready to talk about boxing again, that's when we'll plan something else for him. But for right now, the fight is on hold."
Golovkin reportedly isn’t expected to fight again until the summer.
HBO, the network on which the fight would've been televised, released a statement to RingTV.com:
"HBO is exploring options for what to do on that date, but since this was only discovered an hour ago, there is not yet a decision what to do or not to do. But it is confirmed that there will not be fight for Gennady Golovkin on April 26."