Nobody really wants to fight WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
Not if they know what’s good for them they don’t. Junior middleweights Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara claim they do. 50 year-old “Alien” Bernard Hopkins says he does too but that’s just to chide Floyd for boss Oscar. Add American welterweight Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley as well. He’s no coward, or so he says. Let’s get serious.
Golovkin, 33-0, 30 KOs, has now defeated twenty consecutive opponents by knockout. The overall record of those twenty doomed pugilists was a combined 496-66-12 going into combat with Golovkin. Half of those twenty men GGG hammered into submission had never been stopped before in their professional boxing careers. Then they ran into “Kazakh Thunder” as Jim Lampley likes to call it on HBO. The newly inducted International Boxing Hall of Fame announcer is right. Golovkin is a force of nature. His fourteen successful defenses of the WBA 160 pound title have all come by stoppage against credible contenders (to wit: Martin Murray, Marco Rubio, and Daniel Geale, et al.) whose best was just not good enough to even go the distance. With Golovkin on such a brutal tear through a glamour division once ruled so marvelously by Hagler and Hopkins, there are not many options left for “Triple G” and some of his remaining potential opponents are literally making themselves scarce. After every new win, the talk from GGG is always of “big fights” but who really wants to get beaten up by a modern day Mike Tyson who looks like Harry Greb and sounds like Borat Sagdiyev? And so Golovkin waits for his career defining fight(s); wins again and again (by KO) and waits some more…
Andre Ward, recently thought to be an ideal adversary for Golovkin, is now suddenly in the light heavyweight title picture against unified WBA, IBF, and WBO champion Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev, this according to Main Events promoter Kathy Duva on a media conference call held to promote Kovalev’s July 25 mandatory defense against 40-1 long shot Nadjib Mohammedi. “We all agree that fight [Kovalev-Ward] is going to happen,” said Duva of ongoing negotiations with Team Ward to make the match-up a reality at 175 pounds. This development rules out the possibility of Ward fighting Golovkin anytime soon or before a bout with Kovalev can materialize in late 2016. “Triple G” vs. “S.O.G.” at 168 seemed reasonably doable, if not handicapped in favor of the larger Ward, but Golovkin against a light heavyweight strikes me as unrealistic. Golovkin is a small but powerful middleweight. Ward was 171¾ for his recent return bout against Paul Smith. This is the “moving up and away from” strategy by Ward. Some might argue that Ward’s recent inactivity issues and current jump in weight suit him just fine if the objective all along was to avoid a dangerous fight with Golovkin at or near super middleweight.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.? Andre Berto is up next for “TBE” from what I hear. I’m sure “Money” would rather swim with sharks than fight a hungry apex predator like Golovkin. After one or two more “easy wins” Mayweather will almost certainly retire undefeated rather than glove up with Golovkin at any weight.
Carl Froch did just officially retire. No GGG for that defanged “Cobra” and there had been talk.
And poor Miguel Cotto, the Puerto Rican star sounded like he forgot his English homework last month on HBO when Max Kellerman asked the undersized linear world middleweight champion about the unbeaten Kazakhi elephant in the room. Funny and sad at the same time, it was something boxing fans won’t soon forget. Even sadder, Cotto and Golovkin will probably never clash as they should. More than any fighter in boxing, Golovkin “deserves” a linear title shot. When Cotto finally sells his championship claim in a business arrangement similar to the one in which he purchased it from Sergio Martinez, the buyer (…and the new!) will hopefully be Golden Boy’s cash cow because there’s good reason to believe Canelo Alvarez is at least willing to challenge Golovkin for middleweight supremacy.
Still, Cotto versus Canelo will definitely have to happen before Golovkin can get either of them in the ring.
And I don’t exactly hear animal lover Peter Quillin barking for a Golovkin fight. Unfortunately, “Kid Chocolate” is melting away before he can even be devoured.
Who else is there? Canadian firecracker David Lemieux, the new IBF middleweight champ? Fun fist-fight it’ll be for sure but a pure massacre in the ring. Another KO for Golovkin.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.? He got stepped on like a stone by Andrzej Fonfara last April. For now, the “Lion Cub of Culiacán” is out of the GGG mix. Maybe someday he’ll serve as a suitable punching bag for Golovkin.
Former Emanuel Steward KRONK protégé Andy Lee should thank his lucky stars that fate interceded on his behalf. If that one had gone off as scheduled last year, “Irish Eyes” would not be smiling so brightly for Lee today. Accordingly, Lee gets the one and only pass when it comes to “ducking Golovkin” because he did already sign on the dotted line. The popular WBO middleweight champ is now more appropriately matched against Billy Joe Saunders this September at home in Ireland. It’s not that Lee won’t fight Golovkin, it’s that he shouldn’t. No chance to win. High probability of getting hurt. In the meantime, Golovkin’s championship knockout streak continues. So too does his long wait for a “big name” fight.
Credentialed boxing writer Jeffrey Freeman grew up in the City of Champions, Brockton, Massachusetts. A member of the RingTV expert prediction panel for three years, the author also serves as Editor-in-Chief of the popular boxing website WWW.KODigest.TV where he is affectionately known as “KO” by his many friends and readers in the boxing community.