Golovkin says he wants Canelo. Martirosyan says Canelo doesn’t want that

  • Gennady Golovkin poses with his belts after defeating Vanes Martirosyan in a middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Gennady Golovkin poses with his belts after defeating Vanes Martirosyan in a middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Vanes Martirosyan reacts after losing to Gennady Golovkin in a middleweight title boxing match, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Vanes Martirosyan reacts after losing to Gennady Golovkin in a middleweight title boxing match, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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  • Gennady Golovkin, left, hits Vanes Martirosyan during their middleweight title boxing match, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Gennady Golovkin, left, hits Vanes Martirosyan during their middleweight title boxing match, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Gennady Golovkin, left, hits Vanes Martirosyan during their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Gennady Golovkin, left, hits Vanes Martirosyan during their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Vanes Martirosyan, right, throws a right at Gennady Golovkin during their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Vanes Martirosyan, right, throws a right at Gennady Golovkin during their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Gennady Golovkin, left, tries to avoid a right from Vanes Martirosyan during their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Gennady Golovkin, left, tries to avoid a right from Vanes Martirosyan during their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Gennady Golovkin, left, hits Vanes Martirosyan during their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Gennady Golovkin, left, hits Vanes Martirosyan during their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Gennady Golovkin, right, is embraced by Vanes Martirosyan after Golovkin their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Gennady Golovkin, right, is embraced by Vanes Martirosyan after Golovkin their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Gennady Golovkin, right, shakes hands with Vanes Martirosyan after their middleweight title boxing match, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Gennady Golovkin, right, shakes hands with Vanes Martirosyan after their middleweight title boxing match, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Gennady Golovkin stands in a corner after knocking down Vanes Martirosyan in their middleweight world championship boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Gennady Golovkin stands in a corner after knocking down Vanes Martirosyan in their middleweight world championship boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Gennady Golovkin celebrates after knocking down Vanes Martirosyan in their middleweight world championship boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Gennady Golovkin celebrates after knocking down Vanes Martirosyan in their middleweight world championship boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Gennady Golovkin celebrates after defeating Vanes Martirosyan in their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Gennady Golovkin celebrates after defeating Vanes Martirosyan in their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Gennady Golovkin celebrates after knocking down Vanes Martirosyan in their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Gennady Golovkin celebrates after knocking down Vanes Martirosyan in their middleweight title boxing match Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Golovkin won the bout. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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CARSON — Wherever Canelo Alvarez was on Saturday night, his message light was burning brightly.

Gennady Golovkin invited him to meet him inside the ring once more. “Of course he is still the priority,” Golovkin said.

Vanes Martirosyan also had a message for Canelo.

“Run,” he said.

Martirosyan was still rearranging himself after Golovkin bludgeoned him to the canvas at StubHub Center, late in the second round. It was hard for him to sort out the shots, since they all felt the same.

“He’s a helluva fighter,” Martirosyan said. “All of his shots had the same power. That’s what I couldn’t believe. Each time it was like getting hit by a train.

“He surprised me at first. I thought he might try to be aggressive with his jab, but he came out trying to actually box.”

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Martirosyan actually tagged Golovkin with a left to the chops in the first rund. Asked later, Golovkin smiled and pretended to put his jaw back in place. “It’s boxing, it can happen,” he said.

But when Golovkin rocked Martirosyan in the jaw with a right uppercut, the first responders began to gather. Golovkin backed his man into the corner and teed off with nine punches, the most telling of which was a seismic left hook.

“I think the last two guys who got into the ring with him just wanted to go the distance,’ Martirosyan said, referring to Daniel Jacobs and Canelo. “If Canelo actually wants to stand in front of him instead of running, he’s going to get knocked out, too.”

He smiled. “Now I see why he wanted that beef,” Martirosyan said.

It all comes back to that, doesn’t it? Canelo tested positive for clenbuterol and still claims it was due to contaminated Mexican meat.

Golovkin was not in a joking mood as he approached this fight. He shelved that illuminating smile of his, and preferred to communicate through a Russian interpreter.

“He was edgy,” said promoter Tom Loeffler.

Evidently punching out people is theraputic. Golovkin’s light-hearted side returned after the knockout, and he was speaking English again.

The win gave Golovkin 20 consecutive successful defenses in the middleweight division, tying Bernard Hopkins’ record.

Triple-G had said that there was only “a 10 percent chance” that the proposed September rematch with Golovkin would actually happen.

Now? “Well, 10 percent is a lot,” he said.

But Loeffler and trainer Abel Sanchez said without equivocation that Canelo must enroll in the VADA drug testing program before any dotted lines are signed.

“Gennady has been tested since February,” Sanchez said. “He’s proven he’s a clean athlete. It’s time for Canelo to do the same thing.”

Loeffler said he had received assurances from the brain trust at Golden Boy Promotions that Canelo will enroll.

“But suddenly the middleweight division has opened up,” Loeffler said. “There are some good young middleweights who want to fight Gennady instead of scattering for the hills.”

If that’s true, they haven’t read their messages from Martirosyan.

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Golovkin’s draw with Canelo just raises the stakes

LAS VEGAS — The two top gunslingers in the sport of boxing got together and finally said, “Draw.”

Twelve rounds later, so did the judges.

A fight conducted at the highest levels of the sport wound up dead even between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, which means Golovkin keeps his three middleweight belts until they meet again.

The only controversial aspect — and, really, the only shadow on the night —  was a cockeyed 118-110 vote for Canelo on the card of judge Adalaide Byrd. Dave Moretti gave Golovkin a two-point victory, and Don Trella called it even.

Afterward,Nevada State Commission chairman Bob Bennett admitted Byrd had a “bad night, that happens” and that her score was a “little wide.” He also noted her 115 championship fights.

The draw itself wasn’t a surprise, but most people at ringside thought Golovkin had won. My unscientific scoreboard had Golovkin winning seven of the 12 rounds,

He was brilliant, but different. His furious fists were not going to knock a hole into the bigger, thicker challenger, like they’d done to 33 others. He grasped that early, and the 22,358 in T-Mobile Arena watched Golovkin turn it into a nose-to-nose fight that removed Canelo’s sense of distance, thereby defusing his hook and his uppercut.

All the while Golovkin was peppering Canelo with left jabs. Not hard ones, but enough to neutralize him. He also stunned Canelo with a right hand to the head in the corner.

But, in a departure from script, Canelo was the one with the big shots and some truly fearsome near-misses. None of them caused Golovkin to go backwards, and all of them gave the Kazakh champion a chance to display a chin on which you could carve Rushmore likenesses.

Canelo popped Golovkin with a patented right uppercut in the eighth, whistled a right hand against his head in the 10th, and drilled him with a right in the 11th that staggered the champ and forced him to take one of the very rare clenches.

But Golovkin remained relentless, and when the bell ring he smiled beatifically, anticipating his greatest victory.

Maybe next time.

“We can do this again,” Canelo said, “and I’ll win anyway. I thought I won the fight. I was superior for seven or eight rounds. I made him wobble. Of course I want a rematch but it’s up to the people. I feel frustrated.”

This, of course, is a pick-me-up bouquet for Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes Canelo and staged this event. Sure, it would have preferred a win for its man, but the draw almost certainly guarantees a rematch.

It adds another birthday candle to the 35-year-old Golovkin’s cake, and it gives fight fans probably eight months to tell their friends that if they miss a rematch, they should cut off a finger, not just a cord. Canelo-Golovkin II will be must-see TV no matter what sort of TV you use.

“I thought Canelo was very resilient,” said Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer. “It was what I expected, a war.”

Golovkin pointed out that he still had his middleweight championships, so it felt like he’d won.

If there is a loser, it is probably Danny Jacobs, the middleweight who belabored Golovkin in March before he lost a unanimous decision. Jacobs felt he had a shot at the winner of this fight. Since there is no winner, he doesn’t.

Neither GGG nor Canelo will risk any activity that will endanger their next rendez-vous. They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near cooking utensils, sharp-edged paper, or any sort of dog,

According to the CompuBox stats, Golovkin threw over 200 more punches than did Canelo. That is in keeping with his history, and Canelo’s. He jabbed effectively, but for the first time in his professional career he was not carrying the biggest bat. In fact Golovkin connected on 32.2 percent of his power shots. In his previous 13 bouts he had averaged 48 percent.

That speaks to Canelo’s speed and head movement and tells you that if he had been a little busier, he probably would have won. As it was he landed 41.8 percent of his power shots on Triple G. But he threw only 55 jabs that found the champ.

Both fighters were understandably respectful of the fists they were facing. Golovkin never really loaded up, because he would have exposed a jaw to something cruel. Canelo was moving backwards, but he fights well that way.

Since they felt each other’s power and survived, one might expect them to be a little more daring in the sequel. That is something to look forward to, once we all digest what we just saw.

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