The Beast of Big Bear Lake: Gennady Golovkin
Sanchez (left) thinks Golovkin will rise to the top of the pound-for -pound pack...but first the boxer needs to find some foes willing to step in with him. (David Avila photo)
Don’t know about Bigfoot, but a beast lurks in the mountains of Big Bear.
Gennady Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs) may be only an inch or two under six-feet in height, but the WBA and IBO middleweight titleholder roams the mountainside scaring off competition down below. Nobody really knows why.
Middleweight competitors refuse to accept a match with the amiable looking prizefighter Golovkin, who looks about as menacing as a petunia. The guy is always smiling. Despite offers to meet the titleholder on an HBO fight card, few middleweights are picking up the phone.
The 30-year-old Kazakhstan native has made The Summit boxing gym his home base for the past two years and despite two world titles, finding marquee names to enter the ring against him are futile.
One reason may be the crushing defeat he gave the Polish middleweight Grzegorz Proksa a few months ago. Until he met Golovkin, the talented fighter had never touched the canvas. That night he was a regular frequent flyer customer.
Another reason might be the pain he inflicts on sparring partners of all sizes. Whether it’s in the shadows of Big Bear or the bright lights of Hollywood, the guys who enter the ring with Golovkin usually don’t emerge intact.
“He’s run heavyweights out of the gym,” said Sanchez. “When he sparred Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. a month ago, he was blasting him all over the ring. And he was only using 60 percent of what he can do. Really.”
Even heavyweights prefer sparring other heavyweights rather than take Golovkin punishment.
“Nobody lasts long with Gennady,” says Sanchez, who’s trained former world champions like Terry Norris, Miguel Angel Gonzalez and Lupe Aquino to name a few. “Sometimes he takes it easy on guys, but I don’t like him to do that.”
When you ask Golovkin who he would like to fight, the list is long.
“I’d like to fight Sergio Martinez, Floyd Mayweather, or anybody,” said Golovkin during a recent lunch in West Hollywood. Even fellow middleweights or included on his invite list.
“He’ll fight anybody,” says Sanchez. “Eventually he will be considered the best fighter pound for pound.”
After a recent Brooklyn fight card where Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin put on a dazzling performance in winning the IBF middleweight title against Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, the offer was hurled by Golovkin’s manager to meet in a unification match.
“When they (an HBO reporter) asked Quillin if he would fight Gennady Golovkin he said he would need to discuss it with his manager,” said Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s manager who also works with brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko. “Gennady doesn’t need to ask his manager. He’ll fight Quillin.”
Of course it would be a sensational match between two exciting middleweights.
Loeffler said that HBO has already typed Golovkin in for a date on their network early next year. The problem is finding someone willing to meet the Beast of Big Bear Lake.
“I really believe he will be the next pound for pound champion,” said Sanchez.
Yes, but the big question is who wants to fight a beast?