Gennadiy Golovkin has vacated his WBA middleweight title, the organization announced Thursday.

GGG informed the WBA of his decision earlier Thursday ahead of a scheduled March 13 purse bid for a matchup against Erislandy Lara, the WBA’s “regular” champion, as the organization continues to consolidate titles.

Golovkin, 40, relinquished his 160-pound IBF title last month, and following Thursday’s move, is no longer a champion. Lara, however, is now elevated to recognized champion, and instantly becomes boxing’s oldest reigning titleholder; he turns 40 next month.

The Cuban boxer, a former champion at 154 pounds, is expected to make the first defense of his full-fledged title this summer. That matchup could come against Danny Garcia, who now campaigns at 154 pounds, sources said. Both boxers are aligned with PBC. Garcia has publicly called for the bout in recent weeks.

“While Gennadiy remains committed to fighting again, he has not made up his mind about many of the elements critical to planning and arranging his next bout,” Golovkin’s representative wrote to the WBA in an email obtained by ESPN. “In light of the impending deadline for a purse bid for a fight with WBA Regular Champion Erislandy Lara as ordered by the WBA, Gennadiy does not wish to see the process drag out any longer.”

Golovkin, a future Hall of Famer, moved up to 168 pounds for an undisputed super middleweight championship bout against Canelo Alvarez in September but was defeated in the trilogy via unanimous decision. Golovkin’s last middleweight fight came in April, a ninth-round TKO of Ryota Murata in a unification bout in Japan. Golovkin is ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 160 pounds.

Golovkin’s lucrative deal with DAZN expired following his loss to Alvarez; he is now a promotional and network free agent. While GGG (42-2-1, 37 KOs) plans to continue his career, it’s unclear where the Kazakh goes from here now that he’s no longer a champion.

He regained the IBF title with an October 2019 victory over Sergiy Derevyanchenko. GGG made 15 successful defenses during his first reign, which included a draw with Alvarez in their first meeting and a victory over Daniel Jacobs. Golovkin lost his unified middleweight championship to Canelo in a 2018 rematch.

Lara, meanwhile, is rated No. 8 by ESPN at 160 pounds. His split-decision loss to Jarret Hurd was ESPN’s 2018 Fight of the Year. Lara’s draw with Brian Castano the following year was one of the best fights of 2019. Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs) has scored four victories over long-odds underdogs since the Castano matchup (three inside the distance). His disputed split-decision loss to Canelo in 2014 was perhaps the best performance of his career.

Source link

Gennadiy Golovkin vacates second middleweight title in a month