Without A Near Equal Golovkin Must Continue Cleaning Out the Division

Golovkin Must Continue Cleaning – Last week I wrote about heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz 25-0 (22), and how he may be too good for his own good. The focal point was that Ortiz, an efficient boxer-puncher, is too dangerous for any of the alphabet title-holders to defend their belts against because he’s not well known nor does he have much of a following – which translates into short money fighting him, accompanied by a massive risk. Hopefully, before he ages too far beyond his 37 years, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder will have to defend their belt against him.

Middleweight Gennady Golovkin 34-0 (31), who currently holds the IBO/IBF & WBA titles, is another outstanding fighter who seems to get better every time out. And like Ortiz, you can argue that Golovkin may be too good for his own good, only for different reasons. Ortiz’s frustration stems from the fact that there are plenty of good heavyweight title holders around for him to challenge……the hurdle for him is trying to get one of them to face him. The opposite holds true for Golovkin, and that’s because there’s not much of a bench at 160. Both are in a tough predicament and their earning potential has been affected dramatically because of it.

Golovkin is considered the most lethal fighter in the middleweight division, a division that has historically been one of the deepest and most competitive in professional boxing. It’s routinely stacked with outstanding contenders with the biggest alpha among them holding the title. Golovkin is surely the alpha fighter at 160 today, and if there’s a fighter in the division who can match-up with his physicality, I haven’t seen or heard of him. The only fighter in the division who slightly excites fans as far as being an opponent for Gennady is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 46-1-1 (32), who is the lineal champ. And for the past four or five months it’s been floated via the media that if Golovkin beats Domenic Wade 18-0 (12) this Saturday night and Alvarez beats Amir Khan 31-3 (19) next month, the two will fight later this year for the undisputed middleweight title — something I don’t think many hold out much hope in happening, but for argument sake, let’s suppose they do meet and Golovkin wins.

Then what?

The sad truth is after Alvarez, there’s really not an exceptional middleweight (and I’m not even sure Alvarez is one) around whom one can imagine pushing Golovkin or giving him much of a fight. And that hurts Gennady’s chance to make millions of dollars and maybe even worse, it’ll be more difficult for him to build a legacy that rivals recent greats the likes of Carlos Monzon, Marvin Hagler and Bernard Hopkins.

It doesn’t take the most sophisticated observer around to grasp that Golovkin is a physical beast in the ring. But the middleweight division isn’t a terribly fast track in 2016. There are three fighters everyone brings up when trying to picture a super-fight in which Golovkin is part of the equation…..Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. Mayweather is a natural welterweight and if he were to fight Golovkin, he’d insist that Gennady weigh in at 155, and that would compromise Golovkin in a big way. Andre Ward has been a super middleweight his entire career and has recently moved up to light heavyweight. Which means Golovkin would have to venture north of his natural weight in order to be involved in a fight that would capture interest around the globe. As for Kovalev, he’s been fighting as a light heavyweight his entire career and would hold a distinct physical advantage over Golovkin.

There are so many reasons to like and root for Golovkin. He has an exciting style that insures his bouts, regardless of the opponent, will be action packed and more often than not end by stoppage. He’s improving as a technician and he is believable when he says he wants to fight the best of the best. Unfortunately, there isn’t another middleweight in the world qualified to fight him that’s an outstanding fighter, let alone a near great. Monzon, Hagler and Hopkins had the same problem after they cleaned out the division. With the difference being, the big names for those three to fight were welterweights and junior middleweights that moved up to 160. Monzon had great welters the likes of Emile Griffith and Jose Napoles who moved up to fight him. Hagler benefited from Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard all moving up to partake in super-fights with him, as did Hopkins when Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad packed on a few more pounds to challenge him for the middleweight title.

Golovkin isn’t as fortunate. The marque welterweights of today….Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Kell Brook and Timothy Bradley aren’t seen as a legitimate threat to GGG who one day, due to his fight altering power, may be seen as a near equal to Monzon, Hagler and Hopkins…..and the current elite welterweights aren’t near the fighters Griffith, Napoles, Duran, Hearns, Leonard, De La Hoya and Trinidad were. Only Mayweather offers Golovkin, in terms of stature and ability, what the aforementioned greats did for Monzon, Hagler and Hopkins. But unlike Leonard, Hearns, Griffith and the others, Mayweather’s not interested in really challenging himself. Floyd wouldn’t agree to the bout unless Golovkin was completely hamstrung contractually and agreed to enter the ring handcuffed literally and figuratively. So fighting Mayweather in a legitimate bout will never be offered to Gennady. This in turn leaves him two choices – move up and fight bigger guys and spot them weight  or stay at middleweight and clean out the division.

Mike Tyson made a ton of money cleaning out a weak division and eventually retired as an all-time great. It’s not Gennady’s fault today’s middleweight division is so pedestrian and he’s perhaps a once in a generation fighter from a physical vantage point. It’s very plausible that he can build quite a legacy and bank account having final say at 160 for years to come by constantly being the author of highlight reel knockouts during his title defenses. It’s in his best interest to stay at 160, and if lighter weight fighters want to become middleweight champ, they know who to see.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

Check out “The Boxing Channel Looks At Golovkin vs Wade, Gonzalez vs Arroyo”.

COMMENTS

-Kid Blast :

Keep 'em coming Frank. You have the beat.


-King Beef :

Move up!!! There is nothing left for him @160.


-Radam G :

Move up!!! There is nothing left for him @160.
Don't fool yourself. There is a Clubber Laing hiding in every division. He is just looking for that fair break to bust up the champ. Holla!


-ArneK. :

It won't happen any time soon, but there's a middleweight mega-fight bubbling beneath the surface between GGG and Callum Smith. I know two sharp boxing enthusiasts in England -- individuals whose impressions aren't warped by their nationality -- who believe that the youngest Smith brother is the real deal.


-King Beef :

They aren't gonna wait around for this, you know as well as I do, they are and have been ready to "really" cash in on GGG's wave.


-KO Digest :

Golovkin, like my Brockton homeboy Hagler, wants all the belts. Universal recognition as world middleweight champion. Boxing is denying GGG that which he's earned. There is a path beyond 160 for Triple G, just not yet. After he's undisputed? K2 says maybe Gilberto Ramirez at 168 for the WBO... #MexicanStyle indeed.


-King Beef :

Golovkin, like my Brockton homeboy Hagler, wants all the belts. Universal recognition as world middleweight champion. Boxing is denying GGG that which he's earned. There is a path beyond 160 for Triple G, just not yet. After he's undisputed? K2 says maybe Gilberto Ramirez at 168 for the WBO... #MexicanStyle indeed.
Nothing wrong with that, but I think Nelo is going to hold up that Unification process.


-Radam G :

Father Time is creeping up on 3g. And nobody beats FT. He is not going to listen to that syet that 30-something is the new 20-something. However if 3g has the epigenetics like the late, great Bob FitzSimmons, the late, great Archie Moore, Juan Manuel Marquez and B-Hop, to name a few, he'll be fine and like good old wine. And will still be able to thrash behinds. Holla!


-SuperLight :

Yes, I too hope the lineal champ will take on Golovkin. It would be good to see "undisputed" after quite some time. In the meantime, can anyone advise how one can stream or download GGG's coming bout? I'm itching to see the middleweight and flyweight kings on the same card this weekend.


-KO Digest :

Golovkin is THE champ and has been for a while. I can't force myself to see him as waiting for some BS "title shot" that ain't coming. GGG has what, 14 WBA title defenses by knockout? Ya, he's the real champ.


-SouthPawFlo :

There's Bigger Money and better challenges if GGG moves up to 168.......


-Yogo :

I've been an advocator of him unifying til Wade. I watch more boxing than i'd care to admit and i'd never heard of him, or can't remember him. Mismatches aren't only a con they're damn right dangerous. Russell Jnr/Hyland a case in point. I'd sure enjoy seeing him in with DeGale or Groves, there's two fellas who deserve a Triple beatdown if ever there was two. Only SOG/Krusher give him a fight, he bludgeons the rest. Has they ever been a more openly avoided guy in the modern era? (serious question for yer's).


-Gabrielito :

Nice read Frank. Golovkin should be booked on sitcoms and Conan; he's a charming kid. He's witty, he's foreign in a disarming way. He needs that because he is the new Bernard Hopkins, who if you recall was 36 when Felix Trinidad was foolish enough to climb into the ring with him. He was a significant dog in that fight if memory serves. You may notice fighters only mention his name when stating their intention to avoid him. Floyd says he's basic but he wants no part, Canelo will be Blanco by the time he chances it. In short: Golovkin had better possess what Hopkins has : Longevity.


-deepwater2 :

Canelo will avoid him and GGG will get that belt without having to fight for it. I blame Canelo for it. GGG doesn't want to fight Wade but he has to. Wade is his mandatory. GGG wants all the belts , he doesn't want to be stripped. GGG is the man at middleweight. It used to be a time when guys called out the best in their weight class. Billy Joe is the only other champ that even says GGG out loud.


-Yogo :

True about BJS, he said he wouldn't go in with him for at least 18 months in the run up to Lee. Despite his bluster he's sticking to that.


-The Good Doctor :

As one of the few GGG holdouts left, let me just say call me when he fights someone above a cadaver. I get that he's in a weak division but he can do better than what he's lining up. If Wade lasts 3, I would be shocked. Let me also say too that GGG's camp can't campaign about how the would fight anyone from 154 to 168 and then choose the guys that they have been choosing. Also, he told Froch that he would fight him at 168 but then asked for a catch weight. Canelo said if you want to fight, come to 155, and again GGG's camp balked. Whether Canelo or Froch's intentions were real or not, the fact is that GGG's camp acquiesced. I'm not saying he doesn't have the goods as I actually think he is a great fighter, but the quickly approaching father time and his resume make you wonder how good he is or is going to be. I want to believe he is as great as touted but I have seen many a quasar in the ring and when it comes to this sport, to quote the late, great Bernie Mac, "I don't believe s*** till I seen s***"


-Radam G :

As one of the few GGG holdouts left, let me just say call me when he fights someone above a cadaver. I get that he's in a weak division but he can do better than what he's lining up. If Wade lasts 3, I would be shocked. Let me also say too that GGG's camp can't campaign about how the would fight anyone from 154 to 168 and then choose the guys that they have been choosing. Also, he told Froch that he would fight him at 168 but then asked for a catch weight. Canelo said if you want to fight, come to 155, and again GG'G's camp balked. Whether Canelo or Froch's intentions were real or not, the fact is that GGG's camp acquiesced. I'm not saying he doesn't have the goods as I actually think he is a great fighter, but the quickly approach father time and his resume make you wonder how good he is or is going to be. I want to believe he is as great as touted but I have seen many a quasar in the ring and when it comes to this sport, to quote the late, great Bernie Mac, "I don't believe s*** till I seen s***"
DANGGIT, The Good Doctor! Hehe! If I didn't know any better, I would say that you hacked me up in the cranium straight up to my neurons. Holla!


-Kid Blast :

Here is what I said in September 2012: Not since light welterweight Kostya Tszyu hit the scene have I seen a mid-weight fighter with the skills of Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. However, Triple G’s demolition of tough Pole Grzegorz Proska at the Turning Stone Casino Resort was not all that unexpected for those familiar with this super skilled middleweight who now has a 24-0 mark and a number of great options. Golovkin, like Tszyu, had a superb amateur career. In fact, among GGG’s KO victims was a guy named Lucian Bute (it’s on YouTube). He also took the measure of Matvay Korobov, Andy Lee, and Yordanis Despaigne. Golovkin was the amateur world champion in 2003 and was an Olympic Silver medalist in 2004. Kostya’s amateur accomplishments are too numerous to list here but suffice it to say they are legendary. Golovkin, like Tszyu, both came from Eastern Europe (Kazakhstan and Russia, respectively) but both now reside in another country (Germany and Australia). Golovkin, like Tszyu, has bricks in either glove that can wax an opponent with ambidextrous malice. Triple G is now on an 11-fight KO streak. Golovkin, like Tszyu, has a great sense of balance. Golovkin, like Tszyu, has learned to do an interview in English. Golovkin, like Tszyu, has the persona of someone who will become extremely fan-friendly. They even look and sound alike. The similarities continue, but the aforementioned are enough to spell “New Kid on the Block.” More to the point, the middleweight (and possibly the super middleweight) divisions now have a new force with whom to be reckoned. Look for Daniel Geale, or possibly Dmitry Pirog and Peter Quillin, to be on GGG’s radar before this monster stalks the winner of Martinez vs. Chavez. At any rate (and with a concession to fickleness), I have a new favorite fighter.
That was then and this is now But like the Good Doctor, I too have some doubts. He just has not fought that one tough guy yet. Macklin and Geale were ok but Lemieux was one dimensional. Wade is a bad joke. Actually, Gabe Rosado set forth some kind of blue print much like Duran did with Hagler (that was sagely noted by SRL). If you are able to back him up, you can do some good work on him. Problem with Gabe is that he is a vampire's w-t dream and 3G went for the cuts like a jackal goes after fresh meat and turned it into a . . But Gabe landed some solid shots on GGG.


-Yogo :

Could it be GGG's career stalls completely? He's old and no one wants him. it could be the likes of young guns Smith or Ramirez to take advantage, Two huge next generation kids with skills. He's going to have to play the B side to Saul, it's like he's losing a winning battle, typical What about Degale, Jack or F Chudinov? Could they trouble G?


-SuperLight :

Here is what I said in September 2012: Not since light welterweight Kostya Tszyu hit the scene have I seen a mid-weight fighter with the skills of Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. However, Triple G’s demolition of tough Pole Grzegorz Proska at the Turning Stone Casino Resort was not all that unexpected for those familiar with this super skilled middleweight who now has a 24-0 mark and a number of great options. Golovkin, like Tszyu, had a superb amateur career. In fact, among GGG’s KO victims was a guy named Lucian Bute (it’s on YouTube). He also took the measure of Matvay Korobov, Andy Lee, and Yordanis Despaigne. Golovkin was the amateur world champion in 2003 and was an Olympic Silver medalist in 2004. Kostya’s amateur accomplishments are too numerous to list here but suffice it to say they are legendary. Golovkin, like Tszyu, both came from Eastern Europe (Kazakhstan and Russia, respectively) but both now reside in another country (Germany and Australia). Golovkin, like Tszyu, has bricks in either glove that can wax an opponent with ambidextrous malice. Triple G is now on an 11-fight KO streak. Golovkin, like Tszyu, has a great sense of balance. Golovkin, like Tszyu, has learned to do an interview in English. Golovkin, like Tszyu, has the persona of someone who will become extremely fan-friendly. They even look and sound alike. The similarities continue, but the aforementioned are enough to spell “New Kid on the Block.” More to the point, the middleweight (and possibly the super middleweight) divisions now have a new force with whom to be reckoned. Look for Daniel Geale, or possibly Dmitry Pirog and Peter Quillin, to be on GGG’s radar before this monster stalks the winner of Martinez vs. Chavez. At any rate (and with a concession to fickleness), I have a new favorite fighter.
That was then and this is now But like the Good Doctor, I too have some doubts. He just has not fought that one tough guy yet. Macklin and Geale were ok but Lemieux was one dimensional. Wade is a bad joke. Actually, Gabe Rosado set forth some kind of blue print much like Duran did with Hagler (that was sagely noted by SRL). If you are able to back him up, you can do some good work on him. Problem with Gabe is that he is a vampire's w-t dream and 3G went for the cuts like a jackal goes after fresh meat and turned it into a . . But Gabe landed some solid shots on GGG.
Fair enough comparison. I agree both look balanced, cool, and have certain economy of movement. Bute looked jumpy in that amateur bout, and with an upright or even backward lean; Golovkin largely sticking to slips and smooth steps and pivots. Power in both hands, yes, surely. As stormcentre has analysed in depth, both know how to lay it down at short and long range. One thing that made Tszyu one of my all-time favourites was what he did with his lead hand. He could sure work off a jab in the conventional sense. He also was adept at pawing, obscuring (similar to Rigondeaux and I think Gamboa), varying his shots' angles, and using his front hand for a power shot after leading with the straight rear. If anyone hasn't seen, check out his bout against Ben Tackie, which Kostya stated was an exhibition of boxing skills to answer those who thought him "only" a KO machine. If we must make these comparisons, and I know it's hard to resist, Golovkin as the next Tszyu is just as strong a case as the next Marvelous. Forget the respective amateur records, looks, accents - here I'm talking about skills and styles.


-stormcentre :

In terms of what Tszyu and Glolovkin (professionally) achieved, when, and against what opposition . . . . . Tsyzyu wins hands down, and that has been proven. Tszyu tested himself and fought far better opposition, far earlier; than 3G. That said, as said in earlier posts within this thread, there are more than a few similarities between Triple and Kostya. Especially with respect to their styles. Not in the least as both - despite their abilities to do otherwise and (probably) still win - take/took risks in order to get the KO. And, of course, with respect to the comparison, we also have the fact that Gennady (unlike Kostya) is not finished his career yet. :) :)


-stormcentre :

That's it . . . "Power Hitting". Yep . . . . "
Power Hitting". I tried (unsuccessfully) to remember the proper name (in Eastern Bloc amateur circles) for the Eastern Bloc style that both Tszyu and Triple subscribed to (as pros); as I was writing the above post. But it escaped me. Now now though . . . .

"
Power Hitting"

Nice term that. Leaves not a great deal to the imagination as to what it means. Even for opponets. :) :)


-stormcentre :

That's it . . . "Power Hitting". Yep . . . . "
Power Hitting". I tried (unsuccessfully) to remember the proper name (in Eastern Bloc amateur circles) for the Eastern Bloc style that both Tszyu and Triple subscribed to (as pros); as I was writing the above post. But it escaped me. Not now though . . . .

"
Power Hitting"

Nice term that. Leaves not a great deal to the imagination as to what it means. Even for opponents. :) :)