Exclusive: Golovkin eyes April 23 date, hasn’t given up on Saunders

Golovkin Billy Joe Saunders

Naoki Fukuda / Queensberry

Three-time WBN Fighter of the Year Gennady Golovkin is likely to fight again on April 23 as the middleweight star aims to build on his fearsome reputation in the sport.

The 33 year-old was crowned by the WBN readers this week as the top boxer for 2015 making it a hat-trick of wins for the current WBA, IBF, interim WBC and IBO champion at 160 pounds.

Golovkin last fought when halting former world title holder David Lemieux on HBO PPV to further unify his position and has since made it clear that another belt is in his sights for 2016.

The WBC had stipulated a clash between Golovkin and new champion Canelo Alvarez must take place this year, although both sides brokered a deal to allow the Mexican more time to grow into the division.

That hasn’t diminished Golovkin’s desire to pick up yet another world championship though and manager Tom Loeffler has already put in a significant bid to secure a contest with WBO title holder Billy Joe Saunders.

Despite hearing nothing from Saunders’ handler Frank Warren, Loeffler confirmed that the fight is not dead in the water yet as further talk of an alternative defense against IBF number one Tureano Johnson intensifies.

“We certainly haven’t given up on a fight between Gennady Golovkin and Billy Joe Saunders, but we are just waiting for the response to our offer,” Loeffler exclusively told World Boxing News.

Regarding the date in question, Loeffler added: “April 23 is the most likely date right now from HBO and that is the one we are looking at.”

Golovkin v Saunders has certainly caught the imagination of the UK fans since the offer was revealed last week, although there are some considerable doubts as to whether Warren would see ‘GGG’ as the ideal first defense for his fighter.

Should Saunders formally pass, WBA mandatory Chris Eubank Jr may step in, similarly so could Johnson, whilst an encounter between Golovkin and ‘regular’ title holder Danny Jacobs seems unlikely at this point.