Gennadiy Golovkin, also known as "GGG", has officially vacated his WBA middleweight title, marking the end of his reign as a two-time middleweight titlist. The development comes just days before a scheduled March 13 purse bid to determine promotional rights for his overdue title consolidation bout versus Erislandy Lara.
Golovkin's attorney, John Hornewer, informed the WBA of his client's intentions moving forward via an official letter, stating that 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.
In light of the impending deadline for a purse bid for a fight with WBA Regular Champion Erislandy Lara as ordered by the WBA, Golovkin has decided not to see the process drag out any longer and has relinquished the WBA Middleweight Super Championship Title.
Lara is now the sole recognized WBA middleweight titlist. The ‘Super’ and ‘Regular’ titles are permanently removed from the rotation as a result, per the sanctioning body’s continued title reduction campaign from August 2021 through present day.
Golovkin (42-2-1, 37KOs) was already down to one title after he vacated his IBF middleweight belt on February 8 in lieu of a mandatory title defense versus Brazil’s Esquiva Falcao. The move came nearly four months after Golovkin petitioned the IBF to order the mandatory as means to delay a title consolidation clash versus Lara, as the two-time unified middleweight titlist ran out of exceptions with the WBA to avoid the fight.
The bout was previously ordered on September 23, six days after Golovkin fell short in his trilogy clash with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez last September 17 in Las Vegas. The bout took place at super middleweight, where Golovkin unsuccessfully challenged for Alvarez’s undisputed championship while his own WBA/IBF middleweight title reign was not at risk.
Golovkin previously inherited Lara as a mandatory challenger upon stopping Murata in the ninth round of their April 9 title unification bout in Saitama, Japan. The 40-year-old Kazakh boxer defended his IBF belt while claiming the WBA ‘Super’ title with the win.
The IBF belt will now be contested between Falcao (30-0, 20KOs) and Australia’s Michael Zerafa (31-4, 19KOs). Little movement was made in securing a deal for the ordered fight, which is now the subject of a March 14 purse bid hearing at IBF headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey.
There is a chance that the IBF session will be postponed, if not cancelled outright. Zerafa is also next in line to challenge for the WBA middleweight title, with that fight representing the more desirable and lucrative option.
Lara claimed the secondary WBA ‘World’ (Regular) middleweight title following a first-round knockout of aspiring contender Thomas ‘Cornflake’ LaManna last May 1 in Carson, California.
The Cuban export previously held the WBA 154-pound belt following two upgrades from the time of his December 2013 interim title win over Austin Trout. He was the highest-recognized WBA junior middleweight titlist following a December 2014 win over Ishe Smith, as Floyd Mayweather held the ‘Super’ version but never returned to the weight following his September 2013 win over Alvarez.
Lara was upgraded from ‘Regular’ to ‘Super’ champion prior to his January 2017 knockout win over a hobbled Yuri Foreman. His reign ended in a split decision defeat