Gennady Golovkin: Undefeated, What’s Next?

gennady-golovkin-vs-marco-antonio-rubio-06-photo-by-naoki-fukuda

What Happened Last Weekend?

First let’s recap the latest happenings.  In case you missed it over the weekend, once again, Gennady Golovkin made quick work of an opponent.  Marco Antonio Rubio, a noted heavy hitter and a solid career record was knocked out in the second round.  A powerful uppercut, followed by a devastating hook, ended the evening.  If you blinked, got up to get a drink, or turned to talk to a friend, you probably missed it.  Never mind the fact that trainer Robert Garcia habitually has fighters come in overweight, and Rubio was no different, Rubio flat out looked like he didn’t belong.  Golovkin, always the aggressor, worked quickly against Rubio, as usual, he cut the ring off and made solid contact.  Rubio looked disinterested, you could argue that the ref started the 10-count quickly but it wouldn’t have made a difference, he was outmatched and outclassed.  It’s clear that Golovkin (31-0, 28 KO’s, 18 straight KO’s) can handle the guys that aren’t in his league and it isn’t even close.  The challenge now is finding a capable fighter willing to face him.

Golovkin is quietly becoming a star in the sport.  He’s not your typical fighter, he doesn’t run his mouth a lot, he lights up the room when he enters, he loves what he’s doing and he doesn’t feel that he has to cut down his opponent to raise himself up or build hype for a fight.  He lets his hands do the talking and if you listen, they have a lot to say.  It’s not far-fetched that a Golovkin vs. “enter big name here” match would draw huge PPV numbers.  Many refer to Golovkin as a modern day Mike Tyson for his punching ability. Combine that with his personality and it’s hard not to root for him, not only when he’s in the ring, but to root for him when he’s trying to line up his next fight.

Cotto-vs-Alvarez

Who Will He Fight Next?

Golovkin has already said he plans to fight four fights per year for the next two years.  This is fantastic news, if you like action fights, because that is exactly what Golovkin is going to give to you.  The big question though is, will a name fighter give him the fight he deserves? The short answer is, yes, in fact, the benefit to the Rubio fight was that Golovkin is now the WBC middleweight title holder.  Why is this good news? Miguel Cotto, who Golovkin has routinely called out for a fight, is now ordered to a mandatory fight with Golovkin.  The one downside to this is that Cotto has been granted a voluntary defense first.  That fight will likely be against Canelo Alvarez in May. That will cause a little bit of delay on that fight that should be eyed for September 2015.  Of course, should Alvarez defeat Cotto, which could very well happen, Golovkin would be lined up with Alvarez.

Still, we have already noted that Golovkin wishes to fight 4 times next year and with the Cotto/Alvarez fight likely being targeted for September or maybe even December, Golovkin wants to be on the same schedule as them.  This means that we will see him fight in February and May.  The question is, who will those fights be against?

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Many big names have been tossed around and Golovkin is doing his best to take the excuses away from potential opponents.  Golovkin has said that he is willing to go up or down in weight for opponents.  Let’s start there, 168 pound Super Middleweight titleholder, Carl Froch, was offered a fight in his own backyard of England. Froch’s camp offered little help to K2 promoter, Tom Loeffler, saying that they could make the fight down the road, so, no initial interest in fighting Golovkin.  Again, a promising outlook, it just doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon.

Julio Caesar Chavez Jr., also a Super Middleweight, was offered $7 Million to fight Golovkin, but he declined, and frankly, if Chavez Jr. is unwilling to accept $7 Million to fight Golovkin, it seems unlikely that this fight would ever take place.

Peter Quillin, also 31-0, appears to be very much interested in fighting either Danny Jacobs or Golovkin at 160 pounds (Golovkin’s current weight class). In fact, Quillin recently gave up a $1.4 Million payday to fight mandatory middleweight contender Matt Korobov.  It seems likely that he will fight Jacobs by the end of the year and Golovkin is definitely on his radar.  If Quillin were to defeat Jacobs in a December fight could it be possible for a May bout between the two?

Of course, these days, there is one boxer that everyone wants a piece of.  This would require Golovkin to move down in weight to 154 pounds and for Floyd “Money” Mayweather to move up to 154 pounds.  Golovkin has made it clear he would have no problem making that weight, Mayweather wouldn’t be worried about making weight, but not in a good way.  The main reason you see so many catch weights for Mayweather fights is because Mayweather is about at his max on a good fighting weight.  It wouldn’t make much since for him to go up to 154.  This would be a huge payday for both men but don’t look for this fight to happen.  Mayweather hasn’t exactly sought out the best fighters on a consistent basis and Golovkin would likely be the biggest threat to the Mayweather legacy.

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For now, it appears that the next likely bout for Golovkin is relative unknown, Martin Murray (28-1-1 12 KO’s). First, though, he needs to get past Domenico Spada this Saturday.  The interesting thing, though, is that Murray has said he still isn’t sure of his next move even though most signs point towards Golovkin in February. While he has a good record, Murray will likely struggle with Golovkin, he keeps his gloves high and tends to leave the body open and Golovkin is not afraid to work the body before going for the knockout.

Even though we expect it to be Murray for the next fight, that likely won’t be decided for a few more weeks.  The promising news, is that Golovkin might finally be allowed to let his star shine, we may just have to wait for another year before it happens.

Boxing is Beautiful

I think boxing is beautiful.  For the general population, however, this may be the polar opposite of what they envision the sport to be.  As a matter of fact, there are most certainly people who feel boxing is too brutal, too barbaric, too violent even to be considered a sport, much less beautiful.   Honestly, I can understand their point of view.  On the surface, and from a casual spectator’s perspective, they simply see two guys unnecessarily putting themselves in harm’s way, fighting in an attempt to incapacitate one another.  If you’re one of these people, I hope that by the time you’re finished reading this, you’re able to look at boxing differently and appreciate it for what it truly is – simply beautiful.

Let’s start with the basics, the mental and emotional fortitude necessary to train and

Roadwork

compete.  We can all relate with the concept of general physical fitness and what that, even at its most basic level, requires of us.  It requires dedication.  It requires focus.  It requires discipline. It requires sacrifice.  Now multiply that by one-thousand, and you will begin to get a sense of the level of commitment necessary to become successful in boxing.  Many of us can only imagine the mental and emotional strength needed to first of all generate these attributes, and then maintain them for what amounts to years upon years.

So far we’ve discussed only a few of the mental and emotional elements required of the

De La Hoya/Trinidad

sport, but there’s more.  The ability to step into the ring and face your opponent one-on-one requires an element of courage and self-control unique in the world of sport.  There is an element of danger and risk involved that can’t be duplicated.  Mind, body and soul must be more focused and in-the-moment than at any other time.  Being able to harness and control the title wave of emotions, including anxiety, excitement, anger and fear, is a task most are not up to but which a boxer does every time he steps into the ring.

Let’s move on to the physical demands of the sport.  No other activity taxes the body more comprehensibly.  Jogging, weight lifting, sparring, jumping rope and countless rounds on the bags and mitts are a part of what boxers must fight through.  A significant portion of this preparation is repetitive, where the same movement is made (the delivery of a jab, for example) for weeks and even months until the movement is second nature, until it can be made without having to think about it, until it becomes instinct.

Boxing routinely pushes the body to its limits during training, thereby continuously raising the bar and providing the athlete with an ever-raising benchmark.  When every fiber of the boxer’s being wants to quit, it’s then that he pushes through and battles to the finish.

The apex of all the mental and physical training is competition.  It’s a celebration of the work already accomplished, a fight in-and-of-itself.  Although most never actually witness the preparation first-hand, it’s clearly evident as soon as the first punch is thrown and the dance begins.

There’s subtle, almost unnoticeable movements used to gain the advantage.  There’s the

Amateur Competition

instinctual reactions so deep ingrained in the boxer that they require no thought.  There’s an intrinsic understanding of the science that provides glimpses into the future, allowing boxers to react to maneuvers that have yet to be made.  There are adjustments to technique that make it as much about strategy as strength.  There is masking of injury, as to not show weakness.  It’s a war of will, strength and heart, unique to the sport of boxing.

To me, boxing is art, like an elegant ballet or finely-tuned orchestra.  It encompasses countless positive attributes, many of which can’t be seen, only felt and experienced.  It discriminates against no one, equally applicable from the 12-year old amateur to the hall-of-fame world champion.  That’s what makes boxing great.  That’s what makes boxing beautiful.

———————————————-   Holiday 2012   ———————————————-

Experience the beauty of boxing for yourself and save big this holiday season.  Ringside’s holiday store is now open, and with gifts for everyone on your list, there is only one place to go – ringside.com, “The Best in Boxing”.