All across the globe, boxing
fans will be able to see Gennady Golovkin's latest defense of his WBA
middleweight title versus Osumanu Adama. Well, that is except in the good ol’
U.S. of A. Just let that sink in for a quick second; a fighter who played to
ever-increasing HBO audiences throughout 2013 - as he built his case as the
world’s most dangerous and exciting pugilist - is relegated to stream-status in
America as he kicks off his 2014 campaign.
Last year, Golovkin fought
four times (three times on HBO and once in Monte Carlo, where he will be
performing this weekend in the very same venue, Salle de etoile) and created
incredible momentum for himself. No longer is he this urban legend from
Kazakhstan with a huge amateur background. He is now firmly entrenched as one
of the pillars of HBO and must-see-TV among boxing fans. Golovkin achieved this
through sheer volume and one impressive outing after another. It's interesting to
note that some believed he deserved to be the “Fighter of the Year” despite
being the heavy favorite in all of his fights in 2013. Let's be honest; downing
the quartet of Gabe Rosado, Nobuhiro Ishida, Matthew Macklin and Curtis Stevens
wouldn't normally merit such honors. But his body of work and the quality of
his performances made believers of the general public.
Yet come Saturday afternoon,
if you want to see Golovkin-Adama in America, you're going to have to get on
your laptop and start searching around (and if you happen to find a stream,
hey, be a pal and throw one my way. Thanks).
So this question has to be asked.
Will what we saw in 2013 - when Golovkin mowed down one overmatched foe after
another as the marquee names acted as if he didn't exist - be repeated in 2014?
Golovkin has built a constituency
and has developed a cult following but right now, he's still the guy who simply
represents too much of a risk for the reward he brings. Yeah, he can pull a
solid Nielsen number on HBO but the highest ceilings in the sport are really
about having the ability to be a pay-per-view attraction or at least a B-side.
The problem for Golovkin is he's simply too dangerous for his own good at this
moment. Sergio Martinez, the recognized middleweight champion, who is hobbling
into the twilight of his career, looks like he'll be facing Miguel Cotto on
June 7th (now that they figured out whose name will come first on
the fight poster). Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., seemingly targeted by everyone
between 160-175 (more on that later) because of his vulnerability and
marketability, has a March 1st date set as he faces Bryan Vera again
and might be headed toward a summer pay-per-view showdown with Carl Froch.
Felix Sturm wanted no part of Golovkin while they were under the same
promotional banner several years ago and is safely ensconced in Germany.
Peter Quillin, the WBO beltholder,
is a “Cold War” casualty given he's with Golden Boy Promotions/Showtime. Martin
Murray has had numerous chances to face Golovkin and it's gotten to the point
to where he's now dropping out of Golovkin's undercards (as he was scheduled to
go this weekend in Monaco) and according to some sources, Danny Geale is
already giving alibis as to why he won’t face Golovkin (again) on April 26th when he returns to the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
You catch the drift here?
Golovkin is having problems
finding quality dance partners and until he finds them, it will be difficult
for him to truly become a transcendent figure. Right now, he's the proverbial
chicken-or-the-egg conundrum. Golovkin hasn't truly faced an elite 160-pounder
but then, it can be argued that none of those elite fighters have ever given
him that opportunity. If you say Golovkin hasn't defeated anyone of note, you'd
be correct. But you'd also be correct if you stated he's been consciously
avoided by those same individuals. It's been reported that James Kirkland, the
tough, rugged Texan, is in line to face him on April 26th (that is, if
he doesn't price himself out - which may have already happened). Kirkland is an
exciting but flawed brawler and in all reality, a junior middleweight.
You get the sense that
Golovkin is the real article. As Larry Merchant likes to say, “Sometimes, you
have to trust your eyes.” In other words, don't overthink this. When you see
genuine talent, you have to just believe in it. Like when you saw a young Kobe
Bryant light up the Memphis Grizzlies, you appreciated the skills that he
exhibited, not necessarily the level of opposition. Certain guys just have “it”
but at age 31, how many more developmental years will Golovkin have to go
We know he's good. The real
question is will we ever find out just how good he really is?
Based on what I've heard,
it's not a stretch to say that regarding Golovkin-Adama not being aired in the
U.S., HBO/K2 Promotions tried and Rodney Berman failed. Regardless, Golovkin
marches on and will continue to be one of the busiest champions in the sport.
Poster Photo © K9 Photos, MaxBoxing
“Gennady's mandate to us is
that he wants to stay active and this is a fight that's definitely competitive.
Adama was very competitive against Geale in Australia for the previous [IBF] world
title challenge that he had,” said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2
Promotions. “So even though it's not broadcast on HBO in the United States, it
will be broadcast over a hundred countries worldwide. So it keeps him
especially in the strategic markets in Europe and the former Soviet
And yes, like in 2013,
Golovkin could be going four times this year.
Loeffler says, “Absolutely;
that was the plan. Gennady liked the schedule last year. We saw all the
accolades that he got, two candidates for ‘Knockout of the Year’, he was voted ‘Fighter
of the Year’ by many publications, so he definitely wants to stay on pace.
We'll continue to look for the biggest names available there for him, whether
it's Sergio Martinez or any of the top names, Chavez, but the plan would be to
fight four times again this year.”
And to keep that itinerary probably
means taking a fight in Europe but in a bigger venue. Production issues kept
this weekend’s bout from being aired by HBO2.
disappointed it wasn't worked out with HBO. I know they went through great
lengths to try to get it on air and they even made a lot of production
concessions but at the end of the day, the venue just didn't hold the capacity
for all the equipment,” explained Loeffler. “HBO is our biggest strategic
partner, so in the future, we're definitely try to have everything in place
where a show could be broadcast, regardless of where it is.”
SON OF FLIP-FLOP
And who can forget the obvious
pandering of Chavez Jr. Ward engaged in during the HBO broadcast back in
September in which the “Son of the Legend” faced Vera the first time?
I don't have much to add on
this. After all, Andre said it all himself; didn't he?
The way he flip-flopped, one
boxing industry insider dubbed him, “The Boxing Mitt (Romney).”
Episode 465 of “The Next Round”
with Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly:
And here’s where you can
download our iTunes app:
March 15th will
be a tripleheader on Showtime from Puerto Rico with Danny Garcia facing
Mauricio Herrera, Deontay Wilder-Malik Scott and now Juan Manuel Lopez vs.
Daniel Ponce de Leon II (http://ringtv.craveonline.com/news/315597-danny-garcia-2)...As
for a possible showdown between Mikey Garcia and Yuriorkis Gamboa, Top Rank
Promotions’ Bob Arum told Maxboxing, “That's what we're working towards. We're
looking at, hopefully, May 17th at the Forum in Los Angeles.” Please…pretty
please - pretty please with sugar on top,
make this happen!...NFL Super Bowl media day is something I hope I never
attend...Did President Obama give a big speech or something last night?...Marshawn
Lynch is a man of many Skittles but few words…
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