Golovkin – Lemieux : Super Night, Not Super Fight

RAIN ON THE PUNCHING PARADE ? – Regarding fistic history, not much of fresh significance will be revealed after Gennady Golovkin and Roman Gonzalez have respectively scored middle rounds TKOs on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Is Golovkin – Lemieux an equivalent Hagler – Hearns or Leonard – Duran for this millennium? Hardly. GGG and his well-promoted Canadian foil have nowhere near the resumes those champions had when they faced each other (and stopping Brian Viloria still doesn’t do much for Chocolatito’s pound for pound claims).

Check out the results “Good Boy Gets Stopped; Game Lemieux TKO’d By Golovkin in NYC” at The Sweet Science by Michael Woods.

I’m on Golovkin’s bandwagon, but I’m not tied to any mast. He still hasn’t beaten a proven apex fighter, though a boxer like Martin Murray comes close. It’s been tougher for K2 Promotions to sign an elite foe than it has been for Golovkin to beat what’s been put in front of him.

With classy champions like Golovkin and Wladimir Klitschko plus a rare, international promotional scope, K2, manager Tom Loeffler in particular; deserve special recognition. They would deserve a pile of annual awards if Floyd Mayweather hadn’t ruled the game. K2’s brand is still growing, so the future looks bright, but don’t be surprised if Mayweather usurps the NY spotlight with a ringside tease.

MSG should prove again the mecca of boxing lore, at least until the next big card in Vegas. HBO will continue to prove a broadcasting titan and NYC will prove it remains one of the globe’s greatest metropolitan zones. Potential aside, Lemieux does not present enough validation for Golovkin to prove himself great.

Lemieux comes close, and has played his part well, but try as his promoters may, Golovkin is still seeking another “A” side opponent. The real question is whether or not Golovkin will establish himself as a pay-per-view attraction. It sounds like the fight’s producers have conceded this will not be a blockbuster. This bout is primarily another investment step in GGG’s future as a commercial commodity.

Even if Golovkin and Lemieux stand toe to toe in an amazing firefight, slugging significance remains unproven beyond a collection of oft- criticized title hardware. Most regular fight fans may have witnessed incredibly dramatic four round prelims at their local venue, but that doesn’t mean they’ve seen the top of the sport. Let’s not confuse a truly close fight with a true classic fight.

It’s interesting to hear repeated raves about the quality undercard (which hopefully proves to be a lasting trend), but let’s not forget about Don King’s cornucopia of conks during runs with Mike Tyson or Julio Cesar Chavez. On those undercards, probably never to be equaled, lurked middleweight-range beasts like Julian Jackson, Keith Holmes, ill-fated Gerald McClellan, or an emerging Bernard Hopkins. Would Golovkin make it through that gauntlet unscathed?

Maybe the most unique factor about Golovkin – Lemieux is that, barring some nuttiness like what occurred with Nigel Benn – Iran Barkley, a first round blast out for either guy is probably good for the sport, despite the disappointment for those craving an extended epic.

Going into the ring tonight, either Golovkin or Lemieux can only be classified as potential greats.

Still, that makes for a very interesting contest, well deserving of the hype and sold out Garden.

Great fight? We hope.

Great fighters? Not yet.

Check out The Boxing Channel video “Golovkin vs Lemieux HBO PPV – Quick Results”.