The man boasts the highest smile-to-KO ratio in boxing history, but nobody, if they weren’t aware of the most well known athlete in the history of Kazahkstan, and they didn’t know he had 26 KOs in his 29 wins as a pro, would have thought Gennady Golovkin had anything but business on his mind at Madison Square Garden on Friday afternoon.
After making weight (159.8), the best middleweight in the world until proven otherwise rushed past me, looking to do a TV interview, and in fact, then surprised some of his fans, who’d become used to his genial manner and ultra-cordiality, as they waited for him to exit MSG. Golovkin, age 32, looked stoic, ready to rock and rumble, and make Daniel Geale (30-2 with 16 KOs; ex middleweight tilist) the 17th man in a row to fall before the final bell, as he hurried past the well wishers, and into a car to take him to his hotel.
The principals are pictured above, in HBO/Will Hart photo.
Yes, no one should confuse themselves, think that this Bieber-faced banger isn’t what he is; a resolute predator, who intends to separate a foe from his faculties with almost every punch he wings. There is a time and place for smiling, but the ring isn't it, and this guy can get into snarly game face mode, with his head screwed on tioght and aimed at a single goal, with the best of 'em.
Geale, who scaled in at 159.2, didn’t come to lay down, or make the numbers, as the Brits say. Some close to the boxer will perhaps admit that the odds are not in his favor, that he maybe has a 30-40% chance to hand Triple G his first loss…but his face didn’t reveal any knowledge of the long odds against him. He gave as good as he got in the staredown/poseoff at the Garden.
The stakes are some titles, and are more so in clear focus for Golovkin. Should he win, he’d love to meet up back at MSG in December, and wrestle Miguel Cotto, who carries a 160 crown which he mugged off of Sergio Martinez last month. Cotto calls the Garden his boxing home, and Golovkin and company would like nothing more to lay some leather on the Puerto Rican, and in rude and violent fashion show him otherwise. Cotto holds his promotional cards in his own hands, and isn't one of these "Let me see what Al says" guys. He will shop around and make the best deal for himself, for money and whatever other reasons he sees fit. If that means a fight with canelo, he will make that happen with Golden Boy...
Team Golovkin spits at the concept of a fight with 168 pound ace Andre Ward, noting that Ward seems more preoccupied with dealing with lawyers and promotional entanglements than setting up fights. To talk Ward is a waste of time, they think.
And no one knows which way the Cotto wind blows. The so-savvy Puerto Rican hasn’t tipped his hand, even to trainer Freddie Roach, on what he might like to do next. Roach might be able to help clarify that next path in the arc, as he will be front row at MSG, scouting Golovkin. He is in town to corner Glen Tapia, but The Jersey Boy’s fight was scratched, as a red flag came up in his blood work, so his scrap was cancelled. The blood issue is not an issue at all, Tapia told TSS, and he shrugged it off as part of the game. Roach, though, will make the most of his time, he stated, and see up close if the talents of Golovkin match the hype.
What say you, fight fans. What happens in Golovkin-Geale? Fire your preds, here and now.
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Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?