Gennady Golovkin is focused on fighting this coming Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas as a rematch with Canelo Alvarez hangs in the balance.
The 35 year-old faces a further wait with the news that a Nevada Commission hearing has been pushed back to April 18, with Chief Bob Bennett eyeing a potential one-year ban for the Mexican.
Should the worst happen, Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler knows a contingency plan needs to be put in place to find a top replacement to keep the fans happy.
“I haven’t spoken to anyone specifically because I don’t want to jeopardize the Canelo fight,” Loeffler told Yahoo Sports.
“The priority is to fight Canelo. At the same time, if for some reason there is an adverse ruling and Canelo is unable to fight, we have to make sure we get a quality opponent for Gennady because he has made clear he wants to fight on May 5.”
And who could that replacement be?
Well, talk of Billy Joe Saunders being asked to replace Canelo is off the table due to an injury the Briton suffered in training to face Martin Murray.
Saunders has no chance of being ready until June, as per the rearranged date with Murray, leaving Golovkin and Loeffler to look elsewhere.
Danny Jacobs also won’t be allowed to break off from commitments to a Matchroom USA event in April, which means ‘GGG’ has few high-profile options left open.
Jermall Charlo is fighting on Showtime two weeks prior, whilst Demetrius Andrade has already been put forward by promoter Artie Pellulo.
Andrade hasn’t fought since late last year and would certainly be the most eye-catching opponent for Golovkin should his availability be confirmed.
Gary O’Sullivan, scheduled to fight May 4 before facing Canelo in September, should be another consideration and has the edge on most due to his ties with Golden Boy.
The likes of Matt Korobov and Sergiy Derevyanchenko could well be persuaded to take the fight, whilst the notion of Golovkin facing a big Mexican name must be considered seriously by Loeffler and HBO.
Canelo’s last foe on the regular Cinco de Mayo venture was Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, although the manner of the former WBC middleweight title holder’s one-sided loss last year would seemingly rule him out.
Roberto Garcia won the WBC Silver middleweight belt last year and may well fit the profile, whilst Canelo’s own brother Ramon Alvarez would make an interesting choice to stir the pot.
‘Regular’ champion Ryota Murata is the WBA’s first in line to seal one sole ruler at 160 pounds as Golovkin bids to avoid his career being delayed by Canelo’s misfortune.
Without a fight since September, Golovkin’s usual busy schedule of fights has been hampered over the last couple of years, meaning a spring outing is a must for the current pound for pound number one.