Gennady Golovkin pressed the Nevada Athletic Commission to take Canelo Alvarez’s positive drug tests seriously, and Alvarez now is facing at least a six-month suspension.
That leaves the unbeaten Golovkin to navigate a complex path to keep a scheduled May 5 fight date.
“I’m ready for anybody. I want to fight. I’m ready for May 5,” Golovkin told The Times on Thursday night while making his red-carpet appearance at HBO’s “Andre the Giant” premiere in Hollywood.
Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler said he’s “weighing all the options now … we’ll see what the commission says.”
The commission has already said plenty, making its filed complaint against Mexico’s former two-division champion public Thursday by detailing a series of state regulations that show Alvarez is pinned to a likely one-year suspension that can only be cut in half if he makes a compelling plea for leniency.
But a formal hearing for Alvarez to do so isn’t scheduled until April 18, just over two weeks from the scheduled Cinco de Mayo date in Las Vegas that had been reserved for Golovkin’s rematch with Alvarez following their September draw.
Alvarez has been mum since the complaint was filed, and his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez, has not returned messages left him by The Times since Wednesday.
Since Alvarez’s unavailability for May 5 seems a foregone conclusion at this point, his agreement to withdraw from the fight in the immediate future would be a favor allowing Golovkin to move on toward a replacement bout.
“That would be the honorable thing to do,” Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez told The Times on Friday. “If they know they’re not going to be able to fight, let the other people do what they have to do … .”
The Nevada commission may also permit Golovkin to initiate other plans before the April 18 ruling , according to one official connected to the situation but unauthorized to comment publicly on the matter.
Loeffler is inspecting multiple options, the last of which seems to be waiting until September or beyond for Alvarez to return from his looming discipline even though Loeffler knows it’s obvious that “Canelo is the biggest fight.”
Ironically, it appears Golden Boy can provide Golovkin the opponent he needs.
The company promotes Ireland’s 33-year-old Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs), who’s listed in three sanctioning bodies’ top-15 contender lists and would provide a smoother business alternative.
Loeffler said he’s considering placing the May 5 fight at Madison Square Garden, but that could prove difficult since the arena is hosting a May 12 fight between Jorge Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko.
“A lot of moving parts … ,” Loeffler said Friday.
As for other possible foes, former secondary World Boxing Assn. champion Daniel Jacobs (33-2, 28 KOs) has been in camp for his April 28 bout in Brooklyn, but he has to fulfill that date for HBO.
Plus, he gave Golovkin such a competitive test in March 2017 that it seems unlikely the champion would want to risk meeting him with the richer purse against Alvarez awaiting in September.
World Boxing Organization middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has been ruled out because of a hand injury he suffered earlier this month.
The idea of meeting Golovkin’s International Boxing Federation mandatory opponent — Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) — is not appetizing to Team Golovkin given the likely public disinterest in the Russian.
Left-hander Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) has lobbied for the bout, but his lack of name recognition is again a problem.