Just when we thought Gennady Golovkin was going to be having the most difficult assignment of his career this summer against Daniel Geale, the World Boxing Association (WBA) has decided to put all of their efforts into keeping their champion as risk-free as possible. The WBA has recently announced that Golovkin's mandatory challenger is one Jarrod Fletcher. Fletcher is 18-1 (10 KO's), his only loss coming to Billy Joe Saunders via 2nd round TKO in 2012. Coincidentally, he is from Australia, same nation as Geale.
World Boxing News was able to speak with Fletcher, who said that he prefers not to step aside to allow Golovkin another fight.
"This is a massive opportunity for me and I'm over the moon. We have been pushing hard for this fight for some time so I'm extremely happy it's almost finalized.
"I am really looking forward to the challenge. GGG is a very strong champ and has proved that in all of his title defenses. It is a fight that I am going to have to prepare extremely hard for and be boxing at my best. That said, Golovkin has two arms and two legs like me so he is beatable. I am just looking forward to the challenge.
"In regards to stepping aside, I personally don't want to but I will leave that up to my team. Let me tell you I want this fight!
"This fight could really change my life. I'm pumped and just can't wait until a contract is signed with Golovkin."
I can definitely understand why Fletcher is as excited as he is. It would be a great payday for a boxer of his caliber to receive. But in terms of what's best for the sport and the middleweight division, it's a colossal waste of time. One has to wonder how the WBA thinks that Fletcher is the best opponent out there for Golovkin. The alphabet bandits have always made odd choices, but I've always held out this romantic notion that they would snap out of it. I guess not, not even for a few months to allow Golovkin the opportunity to fight a fellow top middleweight. Personally, I think a matchup with Geale would be great for GGG. It's one of the best fights that can be made in the division, especially if we keep it to actual realistic things. But the WBA forcing GGG to face Fletcher is disgusting.
Golovkin needs to take a page out of Riddick Bowe's book and just toss his belt in a trash can. If the goal of alphabet titles is to make guys more money and attract good challengers, it simply hasn't been working for him. He's faced enough guys like Fletcher, and it's time to move on.