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Gennady Golovkin passes on Andy Lee bout so he can mourn

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Gennady Golovkin is a fan favorite, but U.S. fans won't be able to watch him fight Saturday. (USA TODAY Sports)

SAN ANTONIO -- Gennady Golovkin is taking an extended break from boxing and will not fight Andy Lee on April 26 in New York. The middleweight champion and popular slugger is in mourning over the Feb. 18 death by heart attack of his father, Gennady Ivanovich Golovkin.

There is a traditional 40-day mourning period in Golovkin's native Kazakhstan. The WBA middleweight champion is now the patriarch of his family and is going to spend time with his family to help it through the grieving process. He previously lost two older brothers, Sergey and Vadim, who were killed in action while fighting for the Russian military.

Tom Loeffler, the managing director of K2, which promotes Golovkin, said he heard from Golovkin manager Oleg Hermann earlier on Saturday that Golovkin would definitely be unable to fight as planned on April 26.

"He's going to be there every day for 40 days with his family," Loeffler said Saturday. "He's not even thinking of boxing at all. That's his priority, family. His two older brothers passed away earlier and he's pretty much the patriarch of the family. He has to deal with his brother and his mother and his whole family is pretty much there."

Loeffler said he had a sense when he attended the funeral last week that Golovkin would not fight in April, but wasn't sure until he heard from Hermann on Saturday. Loeffler said he is unsure when Golovkin would return, but said he suspected it would not be until June or July at the earliest.

Loeffler and trainer Abel Sanchez were in San Antonio to formally announce the April 26 bout with Lee and to talk further with Top Rank chairman Bob Arum about a potential July 12 date with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

All plans, though, are on hold until Golovkin indicates he's ready to return to training.

Peter Nelson, the director of programming for HBO Sports, said HBO would keep the April 26 date, but did not have specifics. He said it is possible that exciting super welterweight James Kirkland will appear on the card.

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