With Golovkin bout in limbo, Ryan Garcia strikes for some May 4 Cinco de Mayo attention


While Gennady Golovkin remained without an opponent Wednesday for a May fight, Victorville prospect Ryan Garcia secured his own bit of Cinco de Mayo attention.

Garcia (14-0, 13 knockouts) will be placed in the May 4 ESPN-televised main event at StubHub Center against an opponent to be determined, according to two officials familiar with the card.

Garcia, 19, has attracted a strong contingent of followers, including the throng who watched him score a first-round knockout of Mexico’s Fernando Vargas on March 22 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.


Garcia announced that night he’d be on the pay-per-view portion of the Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez fight, but Alvarez last week withdrew from fighting for the middleweight belt because he has an April 18 hearing before the Nevada Athletic Commission after submitting two positive samples for the banned performance-enhancing substance Clenbuterol in February.

The man considered the favorite in recent days to fight Golovkin, top-15 middleweight Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan, withdrew his name from consideration Wednesday and he too will be on the May 4 card.

An official familiar with O’Sullivan’s situation said the fighter felt his preparation was too “short” to be ready in time for a fighter of unbeaten, three-belt champion Golovkin’s caliber, and the money also became too “short” after the bout, also at StubHub Center, was shifted from HBO pay-per-view to subscription HBO.

Like O’Sullivan, Brazilian Yamaguchi Falcao, another middleweight promoted by Golden Boy, has been floated as a possible candidate along with Glendale’s light-middleweight Vanes Martirosyan and Golovkin’s mandatory International Boxing Federation contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs).

Russia’s Derevyanchenko wants Golovkin, but the negotiation hasn’t resulted in a deal yet, and speculation builds that Golovkin may have no choice but to scrap the date and hope the commission allows Alvarez to fight again following a six-month suspension that would end in mid-August.

[Golovkin] “is training and sparring like he is fighting on May 5,” Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez told the Los Angeles Times in a Wednesday text message.