Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s express train barreled into New York City, picking up fence-sitting fans during this stop, with another strong performance.
Still, some boxing fans remain unequivocally unimpressed by yet another stoppage victory from Golovkin. Twenty-one consecutive knockouts couldn’t make them bend, not even an inch.
No matter. He’s in good company.
Not too long ago there was a kid named Oscar De La Hoya who like Golovkin racked up more than 300 wins and barely five losses in the amateurs. He also competed in the Olympics and won an Olympic medal. Like Golovkin, he had many detractors till the very end.
De La Hoya and Golovkin parallel each other in many ways. Despite impressive records, fans and critics denounced them as pretenders with built-up careers. Let’s call it the Golden Boy Syndrome.
Despite winning world titles in eight different weight divisions from junior lightweight to middleweight, the fighter from East L.A. and Garfield High School could never convince all of the people that he was indeed the “real deal.” He fought them all, from Pernell Whitaker to Felix Trinidad to Manny Pacquiao. But people still feel De La Hoya did not do enough.
Golovkin, like De La Hoya, will endure the same fate.
The Kazakhstan fighter with the “Mexican style” recently stated he will concentrate on gathering all of the middleweight titles. He accomplished one of the steps on Saturday by defeating Canada’s much improved David Lemieux for the IBF belt.
Ironically, De La Hoya’s company Golden Boy promotes Lemieux. I wonder if De La Hoya silently empathizes with Golovkin’s plight to please the fans.
One neutral observer who understands would be Roger Mayweather.
A couple of years back I asked the uncle of Floyd Mayweather if he considered De La Hoya a trumped up and protected champion.
Mayweather was incensed.
“Whoever says that don’t know s—t about boxing,” said Mayweather. “He won world titles in different weight divisions. Any time you win a world championship you’ve done something. He did it in a lot of divisions. He didn’t duck nobody.”
He said the same thing about Julio Cesar Chavez, whom he fought twice in defeat.
Golovkin seems destined to endure the same fickleness from fans as De La Hoya and now that he’s stated emphatically that he wants a thorough conquest of the middleweight division, can anyone blame “Triple G” for seeking to accomplish the goal?
Detractors claim he’s ducking Andre Ward.
The guy from Oakland barely fought once in almost three years. Is he good? Yes. Is he a middleweight? No. Should Golovkin move all the way up to light heavyweight? Absolutely not. Anyone who says he should is pretty unrealistic.
Bernard Hopkins moved up but only after more than a dozen years as a middleweight. Plus, the Philadelphia prizefighter is more than a few inches taller than Golovkin. That makes a difference. A fight between Ward and Hopkins made sense had they fought. A fight between Ward and Golovkin does not.
Golovkin will wait and see who wins between WBC middleweight titlist Miguel Cotto and Mexican challenger Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Nov. 21 in Las Vegas.
“The WBC mandated whoever wins Cotto-Canelo must fight Triple G,” said Tom Loeffler of K-2 Promotions at Madison Square Garden.
A fight between Golovkin and either Canelo or Cotto would be massive for boxing.
Eventually, Golovkin will meet and defeat the remaining middleweights. He can only fight one fighter at a time. Some fans just can’t be pleased, so might as well forget about them. They are few.
I wonder if De La Hoya shed some locker room knowledge with Triple G after the fight on Saturday.