IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin 40-1-1 (35) will not face old rival Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36) in his first fight back when boxing resumes.
Instead, the 38-year-old Kazakh plans to fight undefeated Pole Kamil Szeremeta 21-0 (5) in a mandatory title defence.
“I made a commitment before all this situation with coronavirus happened,” Golovkin said to Sports Illustrated.
“I’m talking about my fight with Szeremeta. I intend to keep my word. Once the situation changes, as soon as everything is back to normal, I intend to have this fight first.”
Golovkin has resisted pressure from Team Canelo to work to their timetable, saying that while he wants a third fight against the 29-year-old Mexican superstar, he needs to look after his own career.
“I should point out that there is always two sides,” Golovkin said. “They actually avoided this fight in September. They didn’t want to fight in May of 2020. So I went my way. I have my own career, and I figured: How long should I wait?”
Last year Golovkin fought twice, knocking out Canadian Steve Rolls in four before claiming the vacant IBF belt in a war against Sergiy Derevyanchenko by decision.
If successful against Szeremeta, Golovkin will log his 21st middleweight title defence.
“It would mean a lot to me,” Golovkin said. “It would be special. This will be something for the first time in history.”
As he closes in on the last chapter of his career, Golovkin revealed he spends a lot of time thinking about his legacy.
“I’ve been thinking about my career all the time,” he says.
“I’ve been thinking about it when I was 20 years old. But regardless of that, I have ideas, I’m in great shape, I’m in great mood and I’m very, very positive.”
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