Gennady Golovkin is slated on Saturday evening to fight, on paper, perhaps the stiffest test since he turned pro 2006, Daniel Geale. That defense of his middleweight crowns takes place at Madison Square Garden, and will be offered on HBO, to subscribers of that premium fare network.
TSS has learned that the 32-year-old fighter from Kazhkstan broke training on Wednesday, for a jaunt into New York City.
Sorry, though, Geale fans, I don’t have reports of Golovkin skirt-chasing in some downtown pub, or doing a taste test of tequila brands at some Soho watering hole. Nope, Golovkin (pictured above, left to right, with “Apollo Creed” aka Terence Archie, ace emcee Michael Buffer and “Balboa,” aka Andy Karl, in photo by AVI GERVER/MSG PHOTOS) simply hit Broadway, for a showing of the “Rocky” musical, which is playing at the Winter Garden Theater.
He had the go ahead from trainer Abel Sanchez, and in fact, this was as much business as pleasure. You see, the perennially grinning stone-fisted middleweight actually had a role in the production. I took in the event, alongside the missus, and both of us can report that Triple G was extremely proficient and believable in his turn on stage. OK, no, he didn’t belt out a ballad, leaving that to a most impressive physical and vocal specimen, leaving that to a guy I think my wife has a crush on, Karl. Karl played Rocky Balboa, in a turn which played up the love-story angle of the tale, more so than the everyman-up-from-the-gutter side, or the physical clash between Rock and Apollo Creed.
Golovkin was seen on stage for a couple minutes, banging on a heavy bg, while trainer Mickey laces into Balboa, and does a compare and contrast job on him.
See this guy, Mick says, pointing to Golovkin. He’s the WBA and IBO middlweight champ…youse?
Yer a bum who coulda been a contender if he ever took himself and the craft seriously.
With that, Golovkin skipped off stage, and the story chugged forward, with Rock breaking down Adrian’s guard, and edging towards his titanic clash against Creed, in the the bicentennial brouhaha which stands as the cinematic standard for the possibility of the underdog to prevail over chilling odds.
I’ve heard a couple folks nattering on Twitter how they don’t agree with a fighter doing things like this, promotional appearances, during fight week. I think they miss the point, and by a wide margin. This is a different age. Boxing is a sports entertainment business, and there is no shortage of things to do on Saturday night. Fans expect more from their idols and athletes they follow, expect more of a personal touch, and Golovkin is in the boxing business, but also the ticket selling business. He needs to grow his fan base, to break out of that channel where he resides, known to hardcore boxing fans, but not yet a transcendent figure. You can bet he collected a few more non-boxing fans on Wednesday night, and some of them will now follow his career. That is how it is done these days, unless you’re an overnight sensation.
So, I say, bravo to Triple G for his on-stage stint.
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