The promoter of WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin said he was "surprised" that the unbeaten former Olympic silver medalist was ordered on Tuesday to make the 11th defense of his belt against once-beaten Jarrod Fletcher of Australia.
Saying that Golovkin (29-0, 26 knockouts) wants to be involved in "the biggest fights possible," Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions expressed frustration in the wake of failed negotations to make a 168-pound bout against former WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., owing to a rift between Chavez and his promoter Top Rank.
"Triple G's side was surprised to get this mandatory. I don't really want to comment on that. Our HBO deal now enables us to seek out the biggest names possible. He's definitely going to fight in July on HBO although we don't have the exact date," said Loeffler, whose team has been granted 30 days from Tuesday to come to terms for a bout against Fletcher or else be involved in a purse bid for mid-June.
"A lot of that kind of hinges on what is happening with this Fletcher situation, so we don't have exact details. We can't force guys to get into the ring with him and if we have a mandatory obligation, then we have to deal with that. Our position is that we want to be in big fights, so our goal is to make the biggest fights possible and we thought Chavez was among the biggest ones."
Golovkin is THE RING's number one-rated 160-pounder behind RING and WBC champion Sergio Martinez, who will defend his belt on HBO Pay-Per-View on June 7 against three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto.
Golovkin, who turned 32 last month, fought four times in 2013, stopping Gabriel Rosado, Nobuhiro Ishida, Matthew Macklin and Curtis Stevens, with the Ishida knockout also taking place in Monte Carlo.
In February, Golovkin returned to Monte Carlo for his latest fight, a seventh-round stoppage of Osumanu Adama, who was floored once each in the first, sixth and final rounds as well as knocked out for the first time in his career. Adama represented the 16th straight stoppage victory for Golovkin.
Unranked by THE RING, the 30-year-old Fletcher (18-1, 10 KOs) is 6-0 with three knockouts since being stopped in the second round by RING number 10-rated Billy Joe Saunders (10-0, 10 KOs) in September 2012.
Fletcher was last in action on the Golovkin-Adama card, when he unanimously decisioned Max Bursak.
"I knew of the WBA's order that Gennady face Fletcher but Gennady was the mandatory to face Felix Sturm for two-and-a-half years before Felix Sturm got moved up to 'Super Champion' status in order to avoid him, so that's not something that they haven't done in the past," Golovkin's trainer, Abel Sanchez.
"Tom and the management team will decide where we go and how we have to approach that but if that's the fight we have to take, then so be it. We have to just make sure that the fans understand that it's not up to us. Gennady wants the big names but if we can't get them because of things like this, that's not really Gennadys' fault."