Former world title challenger and IBO belt holder Peter Manfredo Jr. has refused to get carried away by claims that Gennady Golovkin is now the number one middleweight fighter in the world after the two-belt world champion’s impressive stoppage of Matthew Macklin.
The 32 year-old, who splits world class boxing with full-time employment as a union labourer, is adamant that Argentinian Sergio Martinez remains the best in the 160lb division and until he returns, Golovkin will have to be content with second place.
“I don’t believe that Gennady Golovkin can be called the best just yet,” Manfredo told World Boxing News.
“Sergio is still top dog in the division and will remain so until someone beats him. In my eyes he is number one and Golovkin is still playing catch-up.”
Martinez, 38, is currently out until next spring with a serious injury, meaning any attempts to pit the two together would have to wait until at least next summer as ‘Maravilla’ would certainly be eyeing up a warm-up before Golovkin.
The current WBC belt holder may well find himself in the same situation as former super-middleweight king Andre Ward in the coming months after the American was bumped up to ‘Emeritus Champion’ before declining the offer.
That would certainly set up a clash for the vacant title before the end of the year and the latest WBC rankings, which came out this week, have Marco Antonio Rubio and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. as the two main contenders to the crown.
On his own right, Manfredo has won two fights on the spin since losing his latest world title bid against former Martinez opponent Chavez Jr. and is contemplating his next move whilst putting in the hours at work.
The ‘Pride of Providence’ as Manfredo is affectionately known has won 39 of his 46 professional bouts, with his seven defeats all coming against elite level operators and past or present world champions.