The World Boxing Association has confirmed that Gennady Golovkin (42-2-1) has vacated its respective middleweight "super" world title after refusing to fight his mandatory challenger, Erislandy Lara (29-3-3). The reasoning for Golovkin's decision to vacate the title, according to his lawyer, John Hornewer, is that Golovkin has yet to make up his mind about many elements critical to planning and arranging his next bout. It is also noted in the statement by Hornewer that Golovkin wanted to avoid dragging out the process of a mandated fight between him and Erislandy Lara. Golovkin's decision to vacate his title has now seen Lara elevated to full world champion status with the WBA. Purse bids were due to take on March 13th, which will no longer occur.
The fight was mandated as part of the WBA's drive to reduce the number of world titles per division. Following Golovkin's decision to vacate the title, Lara is now the sole holder of a WBA world title in the middleweight division.
Golovkin also vacated his IBF world title last month after being ordered to face Esquiva Falcao. However, along with a potential fight with Lara, he needed to receive the interest from television/streaming platforms sufficiently enough for a fight to proceed with suitable financial terms to Golovkin's liking. Golovkin's exclusive deal with broadcaster DAZN, expired following his defeat last September to Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
(Statement in full confirming Golovkin's notification that he will vacate the title via his lawyer).
Golovkin has held the WBA "Super" twice in his career. Firstly from 2014 to 2018, after defeating Daniel Geale for the title before a four-year reign. Golovkin would lose his WBA & unified titles in the rematch between himself and Canelo Alvarez following their 2017 fight, which resulted in a split draw. Golovkin would recapture the WBA "Super" title in April of last year, stopping Ryota Murata in Japan to unify his IBF title & IBO title with the WBA. Golovkin defeated Sergiy Derevyanchenko in 2019 to recapture the IBF title following his defeat to Alvarez.