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Gennadiy Golovkin vacates WBA title, Erislandy Lara named sole champion

Erislandy Lara knocked out “Cornflake” LaManna for the secondary belt in 2021

Headline Erik Verduzco / Las Vegas Review-Journal

Gennadiy Golovkin’s second title reign is over. The WBA announced today that the Kazakh legend “formally resigned his world champion position” in the face of an impending purse bid with “world” titlist Erislandy Lara, who is now recognized as the sanctioning body’s sole middleweight champion.

This comes a month after Golovkin vacated his IBF belt in similar circumstances, leaving mandatory challenger Esquiva Falcao to face Michael Zerafa for the title.

As Dan Rafael points out, there was just no “commercial viability” for a fight between Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KO) and the marvelously skilled but periodically putrid Lara (29-3-3, 17 KO), who hasn’t seen action since smashing an overmatched Spike O’Sullivan last May. There likely wasn’t much of a market for a Falcao fight, either; with Jermall Charlo on the shelf for who knows how long and Janibek Alimkhanuly facing his own opponent struggles, there really aren’t many options out there for Golovkin to enjoy an appropriately lucrative swan song.

That said, there does remain one potential dance partner at 160: Jaime Munguia, who’s been in Golovkin’s orbit since NSAC put the kibosh on a planned fight in 2018. Though Munguia’s star has withered in the face of horrific opposition, there are still some storylines to be weaved, and at the very least it would give Golovkin a nice payday.

As for Lara, there’s a dreadful possibility that Sergio Martinez will be his first mandatory challenger, as “Maravilla” sits at no. 2 behind the aforementioned Zerafa and ahead of Austin Williams. Truly the most “WBA” title fight of all time.

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