Ripe For The Picking?

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Gennady Golovkin

The past few years have seen Gennady Golovkin become a sensation on the boxing scene. Golovkin’s sparkling record of 37-0 includes 33 knockouts which has made him a fan favorite. Golovkin currently possesses the WBA, WBC, IBF, and IBO Middleweight Championships as he is the king of the division. But what has hurt Golovkin throughout his career is that most of the big names in boxing haven’t been overenthusiastic as far as climbing into the ring with him due to to his awesome punching power. One fighter that comes to mind is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez who like Golovkin is a dominate middleweight.

Alvarez is the current Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight Champions, while he is also in possession of the WBO Junior Middleweight Title. Alvarez has a professional record of 48-1-1 and like Golovkin he is known for his punching power which is evident by his 34 career knockouts. Golovkin and Alvarez have been the top two middleweights for the past five years, but they’ve yet to meet inside of the ring. However that could be changing soon.

Canelo Alvarez

Theoretically the fight between Alvarez and Golovkin should have happened two years ago. But Alvarez’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions have been playing the old cat and mouse game.

Alvarez is literally De La Hoya’s “Golden Boy” as he is the company’s meal ticket. And after Alvarez suffered a loss to Floyd Mayweather in September 2013, De La Hoya has gone to work as far as protecting his top fighter.

Alvarez has gone on to fight good contenders such as Erislandy Lara and Miguel Cotto, but no one who De La Hoya feared losing to which is why a fight against Golovkin has consistently been put on the back burner. But that might not be the case that much longer.

Last September, Golovkin scored a fifth-round TKO of Kell Brook after Brook could not answer the bell for the sixth round. This was due in part to punches that Golovkin had administered in the first round to Brook’s eye. However Brook was dishing out his fair share of punishment to Golovkin as some observers had him winning the fight. Prior to the contest, there were rumors circulating that Golovkin had been dealing with an illness leading up to the fight. And if those rumors were true it gave something to the conversation of him not being sharp against Brook.

But this past Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Golovkin had the opportunity to once again display his ability as a knockout artist when he took on Daniel Jacobs. Jacobs stepped into the ring with a sparkling record of 32-1 and he wasn’t expected to be a pushover for Golovkin.

Jacobs was sent to the canvas by Golovkin in the third round, but he was unfazed. For the remainder of the contest Jacobs took Golovkin’s best shots in stride and even took the time out to taunt his undefeated opponent on several occasions. Jacobs was able to keep Golovkin off balance by switching back and forth between fighting orthodox and southpaw. Jacobs was also able to land flurries of combos that Golovkin has never had to deal with before which at times bewildered him. And when it was all said and done, Jacobs became the first fighter in nine years who was able to go the distance with Golovkin as he ended his 23-fight knockout streak.

Golovkin was able to score a controversial unanimous decision over Jacobs as many people (myself included) felt that he lost. Now Golovkin has had consecutive fights against quality fighters who have made him look human and whereas De La Hoya has made Alvarez avoid the notion of climbing into the ring with Triple G, it could be happening sooner rather than later.

Golovkin is 34-years of age and as that awesome punching power might be beginning to fizzle it is just the opening that De La Hoya needs. Alvarez is 26-years of age and as he is in the prime of his career, it has been very easy for De La Hoya to put of a fight with Golovkin off in order to benefit his fighter.

But this wouldn’t be the first time that we’ve seen this tactic in boxing as for years Mayweather backed away from fighting Manny Pacquiao until Pacquiao’s skills began to diminish which led to Mayweather climbing in the ring to face him in May 2015 as he secured an easy victory. A big problem in boxing is that promoters too often are more concerned with protecting a fighter’s record as opposed to giving the fans what they want which is to have the best face the best, and that would mean more money for everyone involved.

Oscar De La Hoya

So now when Alvarez faces Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6, there will be a big buzz in Las Vegas for the fight. And if Alvarez is able to secure a victory over Chavez Jr., De La Hoya will almost instantaneously claim that Alvarez is ready to face Golovkin because he knows that he loves the chances of his fighter winning right now. And for boxing fans, they would finally get to see Golovkin take on Alvarez. However with the skills of Golovkin apparently fading, we more than likely will get a watered down version of the contest.

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