The fight that has been put on the back burner for nearly three years is finally going to happen.
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.
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.
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.
Periodically the sport of boxing will provide us with an unstoppable pugilist. The 1910’s and 1920’s belonged to a pair of former heavyweight champions in Jack Johnson and Jack Dempsey. The 1930’s and 1940’s would be dominated by former heavyweight champion Joe Louis who would make way for Rocky Marciano to hold it down into the 1950’s. In the 1980’s former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson won the majority of his fights before he even entered the ring due to his tremendous punching power. In present day boxing the heavyweight division belongs to Wladimir Klitschko who is the undisputed champ there while WBA, WBC, and Ring Magazine Welterweight Champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather is the biggest box-office draw in the sweet science. But then you have WBA and IBO Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin who has tremendous punching power and he is also in the process of developing a large fan base.
Golovkin dusted off Daniel Geale with a third-round TKO this past Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City to retain his titles. As a professional fighter, Golovkin in 30-0 with 27 victories coming via a knockout. As a pro fighter Golovkin has never gone 12 rounds and his last 17 bouts have ended with him scoring a knockout victory. But is there anybody in the middleweight or super middleweight divisions that can hang with the man that is known as Triple G?
In an era in which boxers tend to duck each other, Golovkin will fight anyone, anywhere, and anytime. Each fighter that Golovkin faces has a plan until they get into the ring with him and meets his awesome punching power which has made boxers rethink what is important to them.
Last June, Golovkin scored a third-round knockout over Matthew Macklin and in the process Macklin was beaten as if he owed Golovkin money. After disposing of Saul Roman last August, Curtis Stevens called out Golovkin. Golovkin and Stevens met last November. Golovkin introduced Stevens to his tremendous punching power in the first round. Stevens who was clearly out of his league was unable to hang with Golovkin and the fight was stopped in the eighth round. Geale and Golovkin had previously met in the ring as amateurs, but the past meeting could not prepare Geale for the punishment that he had to endure on Saturday night.
During his in-ring, post-fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman, Golovkin called out current Ring Magazine and WBC Middleweight Champion Miguel Cotto which would make for a terrific fight. Cotto doesn’t duck and dodge fighters as he is a very proud man.
Golovkin’s fight against Geale was his first bout in the arena at MSG as opposed to the theater there. Golovkin versus Geale was not a sellout at the World’s Most Famous Arena this past Saturday night, but that would not be the case if Golovkin were to meet Cotto who has a large Puerto Rican fan base in New York City. The hiccup in the plan for Golovkin is that Cotto has his eyes on Canelo Alvarez pending that Alvarez is ready to move up to the middleweight division which could leave Triple G in limbo. If Golovkin were to move up to the super middleweight division, WBA (Unified) and IBF Super Middleweight Champion Carl Froch has already come out basically stated that he wants no parts of Triple G. WBA (Super) and Ring Magazine Champion Andre Ward is the unofficial king of the division, but since his TKO victory over Chad Dawson in September 2012, Ward has only fought once. For Ward to fight Golovkin he would need at least one tuneup bout.
What scares some fighters about Golovkin is his tremendous punching power. It is Golovkin’s body shots more than the ones to an opponents face that do the damage. To defeat Golovkin a fighter is going to have go toe-to-toe with him in the middle of the ring without allowing himself to get trapped in the corner. Golovkin is an expert at cutting the ring off for an opponent while going to work on them in the corner.
In the meantime Golovkin can return to his home in Germany where he will play the waiting game as his humility will be on display. While some other fighters are all about flash, Golovkin treats fighting as a job. Golovkin trains hard because he simply wants to feed his family. When Golovkin is in the ring he cuts off the ring and stalks his prey. Opponents can run from Golovkin, but they can’t hide. It is only a matter of time before a top-notch fighter will climb into the ring with Golovkin who will be more than happy to introduce him to his powerful body shots.