After a couple of years of trying to percolate among the boxing public that Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is a genuine knockout machine not built of straw, the WBA and IBO middleweight champion convinced the doubters after three rounds of dominance.
Now it’s time to shift gears and decipher the middleweight division to see who can possibly survive the Kazakhstan killer among the ultra-competitive middleweight division. Golovkin is firmly entrenched at the head of the pack.
“It was an easy fight for me,” said Golovkin. Not bragging, just stating a fact after stopping Matthew Macklin in the third round.
Golovkin trains in Big Bear Lake a mountain resort located in Southern California. It’s also in close proximity to several other middleweight contenders and world title belt holders like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Peter Quillen and Sergio Martinez. Another is East L.A’s Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora.
Ironically, Mora fought a day earlier against an old Golovkin foe Grzegorz Proksa in Jacksonville. Florida. After 10 rounds of feints and counters it was clear that Mora was the superior middleweight.
Golovkin and his crew maintain that Proksa was their toughest foe. It’s an interesting side note that could lead to something more between the two.
“I’m pretty shocked that Golovkin said Proksa was his toughest fight, because he was very easy for me,” said Mora, who won by unanimous decision. “It’s rare when you get out of a fight with nary a scratch…he’s (Proksa) a smaller version of Sergio Martinez.”
Mora is a defensive stylist in the mode of a Wilfredo Benitez. You might call him “Mexican Radar” because he is the California version of the Puerto Rican dandy with moves so slick he could slip out of a straitjacket while evading monster blows. He’s the X factor of the middleweights. Who will risk fighting Mora?
Recently Golovkin asked Mora to provide sparring. It was politely declined.
“I told Golovkin’s people I’m not a sparring partner and that I want to fight him,” said Mora, a former junior middleweight world champion.
Mora wants Golovkin. But do the others?
Rest of the middleweight drink
Several weeks ago WBC middleweight titlist Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez nearly lost his crown to Martin Murray. The Argentine southpaw with the fancy hands down stance was nailed and dropped in the eighth round by the Brit. Many feel Martinez should have lost the decision. The Argentine was injured once again and seems to be falling apart like old Styrofoam. Can he return to his previous brilliance?
Murray is no slouch. He keeps fighting champions in their native country and not emerging with a victory. He fought Germany’s Felix Sturm in 2011 and though he looked dominant, he could only muster a draw from the judges. He’s the “hard luck Charlie” of the bunch.
Australia’s Danny Geale did what Murray could not, that was convince at least two judges that he was the superior middleweight when they fought last September 1 in Germany. He’s biding his time and was present at the Golovkin-Macklin blowout.
Geale had made one acute prediction when he said to a reporter “I think a lot will be learned, especially about Golovkin on Sunday.”
The world learned Golovkin is one heck of a puncher. And as his trainer Abel Sanchez has maintained for years, he prefers that his fighter put the defensive onus on the other fighter.
“When you are on your heels you can’t fire back with power,” said Sanchez who also trained former junior middleweight champions Terry Norris and Lupe Aquino. “Gennady’s offense is his best defense.”
Now defense is what Mora does best. His impressive win over Proksa surprised many and when it comes to style match-ups, nobody can prepare for a quirky style all his own. That’s what Proksa discovered.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. lives down the mountain from GGG when he visits his mom in Riverside. He formerly trained at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood but may not be aligned with the master trainer Freddie Roach any longer. A couple of years ago he sparred with GGG and discovered his tough chin and ability to take a blow might not be an asset. Cameras were rolling and Chavez had a tough time. Against any other middleweight Chavez can provide a challenge. Would he be willing to return inside the ring with GGG for real money?
Speaking of the Wild Card, the current WBO titlist Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillen still trains in the popular fight haven. Trainer Eric Brown has his primed for a showdown with anybody. Few middleweights have improved in such wide leaps. Power, speed and toughness seem to be his primary tools. Will it be enough against any of these other middleweights? Will he risk it all against GGG?
Mora is keen on a middleweight rumble similar to what occurred in 2001 when Bernard Hopkins and Felix “Tito” Trinidad led a middleweight tournament to find the true world champion.
“I think the middleweight division is on an even keel,” said Mora by cell phone on Saturday. “Danny Geare, Golovkin, Sergio Martinez, Chavez and Peter Quillen who hasn’t fought anyone either but could give anyone trouble.”
Chavez is scheduled to fight Brian Vera on Sept. 7 at the Staples Center in L.A. It’s a perfect time to include the other middleweights. GGG and Mora would be all in.
“I hear Golovkin wants to fight in LA. I’m a former world champion and have never been knocked out,” said Mora, a former junior middleweight world champion. “I’m here for them. If I have to take another solid middleweight fight I’m open for that too.”
The drink is stirred.