GGG = WOW

BY Thomas Hauser ON July 28, 2014
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On July 26 at Madison Square Garden, Gennady Golovkin took another step on what he hopes will be a march toward greatness when he knocked out Daniel Geale in the third round.

The 32-year-old Golovkin, a native of Kazakhstan, has risen dramatically in the public consciousness since knocking out Gregorz Proksa in a September 1, 2012, bout on HBO. There were 685,000 “real time” viewers for that fight. In three succeeding fghts, real time viewership rose to 813,000 (for Golovkin vs. Gabriel Rosado), 1.1 million (vs. Matthew Macklin) and 1.4 million (vs. Curtis Stevens).

Prior to entering the ring against Geale, Golovkin’s ring ledger showed 29 wins in 29 fights with 26 knockouts. The last time an opponent went the distance with him was six years and eighteen fights ago. He’s the most impressive of the WBA’s many middleweight champions.

Geale, a 33-year-old Australian and former IBF beltholder, came into the fight with a 30-and-2 record, including 16 knockouts. The two losses were by split decision against Darren Barker and Anthony Mundine. Geale had never been knocked out, but he’d never beaten an elite fighter either. In fact, he’d never fought one.

Golovkin’s life has been shadowed by tragedy. Two of his brothers were killed in military combat (in 1990 and 1994). More recently, on February 18 of this year, his father died of a sudden heart attack. The pain of that experience was very much on Gennady’s face when he answered questions about his father’s death at a June 7 kick-off press conference for Golovkin-Geale in New York.

“This is life,” Gennady said. “I understand. It is hard, but I must go on.”

Golovkin was a 10-to-1 favorite to beat Geale. They had met in the ring as amateurs at the 2001 East Asian Games with Gennady winning a clear-cut decision. But what they’d done as pros was far more relevant.

Geale is a competent fighter. Golovkin looks like a great one.

Abel Sanchez (Golovkin’s trainer) put matters in perspective when he observed, “Prior to the fights, Gennady’s opponents are respectful but they’re not scared. Then the fight starts, they get hit, and things change. They stop thinking about winning and start thinking about surviving. Gennady hurts his opponents. Geale is used to going twelve rounds, but he’s not used to going twelve rounds against Gennady.”

“This is boxing,” Golovkin cautioned. “I am not super-hero. I am good fighter, but the opponent doesn’t just lie down. You have to work to knock him out, and that cannot always happen.”

That said, it was taken for granted by most people in boxing that Golovkin would beat Geale. The issue was, “How decisively and how dramatically would it happen?”

Golovkin-Geale marked the second fight card in seven weeks in the main arena at Madison Square Garden. The attendance was announced as 8,572. But there were ticket discounts and some freebies thrown in to get to that number.

The first three fights of the evening were pathetic mismatches.

Julian Rodriguez knocked out Yankton Southern in 43 seconds. To put that achievement in perspective, Southern had also been knocked out previously in one round by Chris Hill (who has won 4 of 32 fights).

Next, Dusty Hernandez-Harrison ran his record to 23-and-0 by decisioning Wilfredo Acuna (80-72 times three on the judges’ scorecards). Acuna has lost 8 of his last 9 fights (with the win coming against an opponent who has an 0-and-7 record and been knocked out seven times).

Then cruiserweight Ola Afolabi (199 pounds) battered Anthony Caputo Smith, who was knocked out ten months go by Seanie Monaghan at 175 pounds. The bloody slaughter was stopped by the ring doctor after the third round (21 seconds longer than it took Monaghan to do the job last year).

That was followed by Bryant Jennings vs. Mike Perez. Jennings-Perez was an “eliminator” to determine who will be the mandatory challenger for the winner of the still-unscheduled bogus WBC “world championship” bout between Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder (which may or may not actually happen).

At the final pre-fight press conference on July 23, Jennings told the media, “Come Saturday night, you’re definitely going to see the two best heavyweights in the world.”

Today’s heavyweights are bad, but not that bad.

Jennings is a limited fighter, but at least he looks the part. Perez came into the ring looking like he’d spent the early part of the month competing in the Nathan’s 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest and, after eating 110 hot dogs in thirty minutes, celebrating by drinking a gallon of beer.

It was a sloppy, inartful fight that lasted for twelve stultifying rounds. Perez tired noticeably from the fourth round on. Late in the final stanza, referee Harvey Dock deducted a point from him for intentionally hitting on the break. The deduction was appropriate given the fact that the foul was blatant and Perez had fought a chippy fight throughout the evening. In the end, that point was determinative of the outcome. Jennings won a split decision by a 115-112, 114-113, 113-114 margin.

Then it was time for Golovkin-Geale.

“Golovkin’s opponents,” Hamilton Nolan has written, “are generally regarded in the same way that visitors to a pet store regard the mice being lowered into a snake's cage at feeding time.”

There’s an inexorable quality to the way Gennady fights. He’s a pressure fighter, who cuts off the ring well and manages to control the distance between himself and his opponent. Every move is purposeful.

Geale tried to fight aggressively and get off first, but it was to no avail. Twenty seconds into round two, an accumulation of punches punctuated by a glancing right hand high on the head deposited him on the canvas. By the end of the round, his face and body language had the look of a beaten fighter.

In round three, the loss became official. With thirty seconds left in the stanza, Geale landed a straight right hand. Golovkin took it and returned fire instantaneously with a straight right of his own that landed smack in the center of Daniel’s face and put him flat on his back. Geale rose, but his head was spinning and he had a bad case of the wobbles. With Daniel’s wholehearted concurrence, referee Mike Ortega stopped the fight.

Given the idiocy of the world sanctioning bodies, the term “champion” has been sadly devalued in recent years. Golovkin is now the WBA “super world middleweight champion.” But as of this writing, the WBA has the following similarly-titled “world champions”:

WBA super world super-middleweight champion = Andre Ward

WBA unified world super-middleweight champion = Carl Froch

WBA interim world super-middleweight champion = Stanyslav Kashtanov

WBA interim world middleweight champion = Dmitriy Chudinov

In addition, the WBA “world middleweight championship” will be contested between Jarrod Fletcher and Danny Jacobs on August 9.

So forget lineal, super-duper, and all the other ridiculous belts. Miguel Cotto might have a claim on some mythical championship by virtue of his recent victory over Sergio Martinez. But ask ten experts who would win a fight between Golovkin and Cotto, and the likeliood is that all ten would pick Gennady.

Careers in boxing should be advanced by the best fighting the best. But that’s not how things work now in the sweet science. At present, Golovkin is the true middleweight champion. Any middleweight who takes issue with that proposition should fight him.

Gennady is a relatively small middleweight. He comes into training camp at just under 170 pounds. Making weight is easy for him. If the money is right, he’ll fight anyone from 154 to 168 pounds. That would put Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez, and Cotto at the top of his wish-list. But it’s unlikely that those three will go near him. Andre Ward, Carl Froch, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr are the big names at 168. But Froch has already said “no” to the idea of a Golovkin fight, and neither Ward nor Chavez seems anxious for the test. Look for the other middleweight beltholders (like Peter Quillin) to also avoid him.

Golovkin isn’t unbeatable. There’s no such thing as a perfect fighter. Every fighter is limited in one way or another. But it will take a great fighter to beat Gennady at the level he’s fighting at now. And as long as the other top fighters from 154 to 168 pounds avoid him, they should rate behind him. Indeed, one can argue that, right now, Golovkin is the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

If Floyd Mayweather disputes that notion, let him fight Gennady at 154 pounds.

Trust me; Floyd won’t.

Thomas Hauser can be reached by email at thauser@rcn.com. His most recent book (Reflections: Conversations, Essays, and Other Writings) was published by the University of Arkansas Press.

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Comment on this article

SouthPawFlo says:

Why doesn't anyone like to mention the fact that GGG and his Handlers are clearly ducking Andre Ward????

Radam G says:

Why doesn't anyone like to mention the fact that GGG and his Handlers are clearly ducking Andre Ward????


Because they are not. Don't they fight in different divisions? That is what I thought. Holla!

BFF says:

Boom!

amayseng says:

Because they are not. Don't they fight in different divisions? That is what I thought. Holla!


Damn Get it RG


Ditto that

Buzz Murdock says:

I look forward to all of Mr. Hauser's articles, even if he is a lawyer. Granted triple G is the real deal. But he's also being processed by HBO who provide undistinguishable opposition that are the building blocks for a corporate myth. g-Granted the guy is gifted, knows where to plant his feet, trains in big bear, has lived through trajedy (no small fete), and cuts off the ring like a virtuoso...but ray robinson fought jake la motta, gene fulllmer randy turpin and carmen basilio.....Now triple g's had alot of fights, and there's no one like of that caliber on his resume. he seems gifted but robotic, ----robots will be running the future. so i guess he's right for the times....

the Roast says:

Andre who? Andre 3000 is more active than Andre Ward.

flackoguapo says:

Haha I like the comparison. Don't you see how the movie ends always though? The human soul has that touch of something that the robot can't counter. But yes GGG is a p4p beast and is loose in jungle now and ready to cross paths with lions.

SouthPawFlo says:

GGG's Handlers continue to say they'll fight anyone from 154-168 and Andre Ward is the biggest fish in the sea at 168, and he's repeatedly said in numerous interviews that he'll fight Golovkin...



GGG's team was ready to go with a Chavez fight and he's practically a light heavyweight, so you can't say that Andre Ward is too big...

Radam G says:

GGG's Handlers continue to say they'll fight anyone from 154-168 and Andre Ward is the biggest fish in the sea at 168, and he's repeatedly said in numerous interviews that he'll fight Golovkin...



GGG's team was ready to go with a Chavez fight and he's practically a light heavyweight, so you can't say that Andre Ward is too big...


It is not the size of the fighter. It is the size of the money. With Chavez Junior Time, one can super size the purse. With SOG Ward, you won't get Jack. Just maybe a doctor and nurse. But you never know. You may need an undertaker and a hearse. Holla!

oubobcat says:

Golovkin is not ducking anybody. As pointed out in a previous post, his handlers have time and time again said he is willing to go from 154 to 168 to fight anyone.

Chavez appears at least for the moment to be targeting a fight with Froch. Its Chavez though, so who really knows if it will happen or not but at least signs are today that is the direction he is headed. Canelo and Cotto seem on a collision course and neither will want anything to do with Golovkin for the time being. Ward is battling in court with his promoter so who knows when he will actually fight again. Oscar De La Hoya was making Quillin available but Quillin is also advised by Al Haymon. I doubt Haymon looks to put his undefeated belt holder in with Golovkin.

Its not Golovkin ducking the big fights. He wants them. He agreed very early on in the Chavez negotiations to terms. But other fighters and their managers want nothing to do with Golovkin at this time.

amayseng says:

Quillin is a huge disappointment.
I like the kid but in the ring he is dragging *** on quality competition.

SouthPawFlo says:

Quillin needs a big name fight for me to take him Seriously, Al Haymon has guided his career well for him to make money and get a belt, but it's time for him to take the training wheels off and take a big fight.

King Beef says:

Quillin needs a big name fight for me to take him Seriously, Al Haymon has guided his career well for him to make money and get a belt, but it's time for him to take the training wheels off and take a big fight.


After seeing the trouble Rosado gave Quillen before being stopped, I think Quillin will be another notch on GGG's belt.

the Roast says:

After seeing the trouble Rosado gave Quillen before being stopped, I think Quillin will be another notch on GGG's belt.


Me too, easy fight for 3G. He gets inside and it won't take long. Maybe five rounds tops.

amayseng says:

GGG disposes Quillin in 3.

Jacobs would beat Quillin as well and deserves the shot.

The Commish says:

Why doesn't anyone like to mention the fact that GGG and his Handlers are clearly ducking Andre Ward????


I couldn't disagree more, Southpaw. The last I looked, GGG held a piece of the middleweight title. He is one of boxing's most active champions. Ward is boxing's most inactive champion. Talented but inactive. GGG would like to at least face the other middleweight titleholders and a top contender or two before he r the Super Middleweight Title.

Down the road, GGG v Ward can be a very attractive fight. But it makes zero sense foer this truly outstanding middleweight king to face Andre Ward now.

-Randy G.

oubobcat says:

GGG disposes Quillin in 3.

Jacobs would beat Quillin as well and deserves the shot.


I'd honestly be surprised if Quillin made it through 2 rounds with GGG.

Haymon knows Quillin's has flaws in his game. The last year he has faced Guerrero (fighter who had a weak chin). Rosado (good fighter but limited in many aspects of his game) and Koceny (a definition of a soft touch). Haymon has matched his undefeated Middleweight belt holder very carefully and for good reason. Even if HBO were to call Haymon and say we are interested in doing business with you on a one time deal for Quillin-GGG, I think Haymon turns away from that unless he is presented with an absolutely blockbuster offer for his man.

Radam G says:

Wow! So much monkey jive about 3g. Holla at an oldy from Kid PQ. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3TWp55DGyw. Holla!

amayseng says:

[QUOTE=Radam G;59989]Wow! So much monkey jive about 3g. Holla at an oldy from Kid PQ. [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3TWp55DGyw. Holla![/QUOTE]

What is a guy who refers to himself in the third person to say? That GGG whooped him? yeah right.. haha

Radam G says:

The Kid Chocolate Q is beginning to not feel 3g. Maybe they are both blind and can't see. They need to sit down and drink some Dill Weed Tea. And quit talking about the sparring sessions, and have a bout. This way, they can remove any doubts. "I've whupped his @$$," one of them could then SHOUT! [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSwg98SJKvY. Holla!

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