This year in boxing has gotten off to a pretty underwhelming start, hasn't it? The top ten pound for pound types either haven't fought yet, or weren't overly thrilling when they gloved up. There are probably a half dozen reasons why this first quarter has underperformed, and if I had to choose one main reason, I'd blame Floyd Mayweather. (Ha, you #BoxingHeads thought I was going to #BlameBob? LOL.) No, I think that "Money" has siphoned much of the oxygen, and a lot of the attention and man-hours of many folks who we entrust to put together the fights that thrill and entrance us.
Hopefully, now that Floyd has his "next" sorted out, the matchmaking will pick up, and we'll doing less autopsying and more rhapsodizing in the coming months.
Here's a bout that will entice and likely will be among the top five most watched scraps of the year, if it gets made: Gennady Golovkin, the 160 pound champ, the Bieber-faced "Good Boy" who is seeking to transition from cult fave to that sort of guy who is recognized outside the circles us degenerates traffic in, against the son of the legend, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., the one-man reality show who is a news maker before during and after his bouts, whether it be for toking, or scoffing at the arcane tradition of making weight, or looking to land jaw-breaker hooks to every guy he steps in with.
I checked in with Golovkin's trainer, Abel Sanchez, for a report on how the kid is doing emotionally--his dad died last month, and he postponed an April 26 HBO date to help his mom during a difficult time--and if indeed Golovkin will tangle with Junior this summer.
"Is that fight next? I hope so," Sanchez told me. "Gennady's promoter Tom Loeffler and Chavez' promoter Bob Arum are trying to put the finishing touches on it. I believe it will be pay per view."
I told Sanchez a theory, that the stakes of this one, it being a PPV, against Chavez, who is one of the five biggest names in the biz, and a legit ratings-puller, could well push Golovkin more than ever before. "We haven't seen close to what he's capable of if motivated by a challenge."
The bout would indeed be at 168 pounds, a step up for GGG, but Sanchez said he'd take care of business versus Junior, and then hop back down, and likely aim to unify at 160 pounds. "The Chavez fight is my dream fight," Sanchez said, "and I think the styles will make for a memorable fight."
Chavez has a stern chin, maybe the best of any Golovkin foe to this point, no?
"Absolutely, if he has anything like his fathers' chin, GGG will have to work for his 17th straight KO. We will be witnesses to a great fight."
So, are you saying that Junior will be a super tough test for Golovkin? Could this bout be a tougher challenge than the die-hard 'Golovkin is God' squad are saying it will be? "Only because Chavez Junior will take more beating," the trainer said. "I hope he has a smart corner, because Golovkin could cause some severe permanent damage."
Sanchez repeated his belief that his kid will down down as "one of the greatest fighters" of all-time, but he acknowledged that Chavez does possess a couple attributes. "He poses some threats, but in order for Golovkin to make his mark he has to fight those that are considered a threat. His size at fight time will be hard to deal with."
Sanchez said Gennady is improving emotionally following the death of his dad. He and his twin bro Max have been there for their mom, who had to deal with the heart-break of two older brothers passing away years back, as well. "We hope to take Gennady to the Pacquiao-Bradley fight," Sanchez said.
I've never hid, or hope I didn't, that I like what Golovkin represents to the sport. Talented person, and by all accounts, a more than decent human being. I see him as a credit to boxing, and root for him to weather this storm, and get back to where he's able to get into a flow, and be master of his domain. I'm not of the camp who sees him doing a quickie demo job on Junior, and am right there with Sanchez, noting that Junior will be a comparative hulk on fight night. Talk to me...let's assume this deal gets hammered out shortly...Will Junior be Golovkin's toughest out? Is the vaunted Golovkin power going to be present at 168? Weigh in, in our Forum!
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV