StubHub Center emerges as a smart alternative for Gennady Golovkin’s May 5 fight


Instead of keeping Gennady Golovkin’s replacement fight in a venue with curtained-off seats, there is now work underway to bring his Cinco de Mayo bout to the more intimate StubHub Center in Carson.

Unbeaten, three-belt middleweight champion Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 knockouts) generated the largest StubHub Center boxing crowd ever (9,323) in 2014 when he knocked out Marco Antonio Rubio in the second round.

That bout was such a success at the box office that arena workers carried in extra bleacher seating on fight day to accommodate the overflow crowd.


And while Nevada has for several years stood as the home of the biggest Cinco de Mayo weekend fight, shifting the bout to the home of the country’s most fervent boxing audience is seen as an appealing outcome following last week’s withdrawal of Canelo Alvarez due to positive drug tests.

StubHub, nicknamed the “war grounds” by former world champion Tim Bradley, has staged several fights of the year, and even as rain pelted fans on March 10, featherweights Oscar Valdez and Scott Quigg produced another sensational outdoor battle.

The other two venues that were previously discussed were MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and Madison Square Garden in New York.

After Mexico’s former two-division champion Alvarez stepped away, the replacement cast of opponents for Golovkin to fight hasn’t thrilled the masses.

But Golovkin is determined to fight on the date,rather than wait for Alvarez’s situation to be resolved.

The favorite to become Golovkin’s opponent is Ireland’s Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs), who is ranked as a top 15 by all four sanctioning bodies, and another candidate is unbeaten Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs).

O’Sullivan is promoted by Alvarez’s promoter, Golden Boy, which could also lend some talent to the undercard, including exciting Victorville prospect Ryan Garcia.

Derevyanchenko is Golovkin’s International Boxing Federation mandatory opponent now that Alvarez has dropped out after submitting two positive tests for the banned performance-enhancing substance Clenbuterol in February.

Alvarez has an April 18 meeting with the Nevada Athletic Commission, with the hope of trimming a one-year suspension to six months so he can meet Golovkin by September following their draw on Mexican Independence Day weekend last year.

“It’s a discretionary fight now, and under the IBF rules, Golovkin should be fighting Derevyanchenko on May 5,” Lou DiBella, Derevyanchenko’s promoter, told the Los Angeles Times on Monday.

Golovkin’s interest in fighting Mexico’s Jaime Munguia was dismissed by the Nevada commission, which ruled he is unqualified for such a bout.

Time is of the essence with less than four weeks remaining for the fight date, and it’s believed the selection of the venue and opponent will happen this week.

“If Golovkin is willing to fight Sergiy, we can have the deal done in a half hour,” DiBella said.

Because “there are many options being looked at,” according to one official, Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler and StubHub operators declined to comment about moving the fight to StubHub Center.