So I read this article from TCS this morning..
And it got me thinking... who do we have from 154lbs who'd be willing to step up, 160lbs, or 168lbs who'd be willing to step down who would fight Golovkin? So I composed a top#50 list of fighters from these 3 divisions..
First, I stripped out everything with a world title belt. That's just kind of the way it is. I don't really expect Zaurbek Baysangurov to step up to 160lbs to challenge for Golovkin's WBA belt when he has his own 154lb belt.
Then I stripped out everyone coming off a loss. I sincerely doubt that Cornelius Bundrage or Hassan N'Dam would want their first fight back to be Gennady Golovkin.
Then I also stripped off anyone 'supposedly' sitting on a mandatory world title shot. I sincerely doubt that Erislandy Lara would want to give up his WBC shot, or Demetrius Andrade would want to give up his WBO shot. So, here's who I got...
Matthew Macklin - First things first, the obvious. I think everybody [except maybe Macklin] would want this fight. It's the rumored fight for June, and I think we'd all love it to happen. Macklin is probably the #1 middleweight contender not currently holding a world title belt who isn't coming off a loss.
Vanes Martirosyan - I really just don't think Top Rank knows what to do with him, at all. They don't hold a single title belt at 154lbs for him to pursue. He can't make 147lbs. For really all his career is worth right now, he could do worse than to step up to 160lbs for an HBO main event to pursue a world title belt. He's a top#10 154'lber.
Sergei Rabchenko - He's a top#15 154lber. Hatton has no TV deal in the UK. This is probably the best he could get, short of a title shot as Baysangurov [which is supposedly going to Andrade].
Delvin Rodriguez - His glory days, they done passed him by. Remember when he was a top#10 154lber only to get beaten by Austin Trout? Everybody pretty much threw him under the bus at that point. He's a top #15 154lber still after his win over Comanche Boy, and he'd be in Golovkin's top#4 opponents to date..
Peter Manfredo - I see his retirement lasted as long as any retirement in boxing ever does. 1 year to be exact. Anyway, by virtue of Edwin Rodriguez, Lucian Bute, and Adonis Stevenson's next bouts all being at 175lbs, he finds himself bottom-end top#15 at 168lbs. He'd definitely drop back down to 160lbs for another world title shot, and he'd be in Golovkin's top#4 opponents, again, as Rodriguez.
My thoughts on each..
Manfredo, Rodriguez - These match-ups would suck on paper. Golovkin would be HEAVILY favored to win.
Rabchenko - I would expect Golovkin to win, but Rabchenko is pretty decent. Main factor is that he's completely unknown.
Martirosyan - Main thing with this is - even after the Lara fight, we don't really know what Martirosyan 'has.' We know he doesn't have enough to beat Lara, really. But Lara and Golovkin are completely different styles.
Macklin - as stated before, the most preferred match-up.
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