Can Gennady “GGG” Golovkin Turn 3 Belts Into 5?
By Ken Hissner, Dog House Boxing (Nov 23, 2015)
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On November 21st Miguel Cotto, 40-4 (33), who just had his title taken away from the WBC goes up against his No.1 contender and former WBC and WBA super welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 45-1-1 (32). Golovkin being interim WBC champion should get to meet the winner. If Alvarez wins he gets the title but even if Cotto wins he will not get the title. He would not agree on something the WBC insisted which brought about him losing his title. A year ago Golovkin defeated Marco Rubio to earn the interim title. If this doesn’t work out for Golovkin then Chris Eubanks, Jr., is the No. 1 contender in the IBF ranks and has said he would fight Golovkin. Tureano Johnson No. 4 defeated No. 3 Eamon O’Kane for top spot in the IBF with No. 1 and 2 vacant.
The WBA champion is Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 30-1 (27) who meets former WBO champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, 30-0-1 (23), on December 5th in New York’s Barclay Center. Since suffering his only loss Jacobs has reeled off 10 straight stoppages. In April of this year Quillin missed making weight by ½ pound in attempting to re-gain his WBO title drawing with champion Andy “Irish” Lee, 34-2-1 (24). On December 19th Lee defends his title against Billy Joe “Superb” Saunders, 22-0 (12), his No. 1 contender in the UK.
As you can see the middleweights are very active. In 2001 IBF champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins defeated WBC champion Keith Holmes. Five months later he defeated WBA Super world champion Felix “Tito” Trinidad. In 2004 he added the WBO title defeating Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya. Now Golovkin is trying to do the same thing in winning all four organization’s belts!
Golovkin and WBC Flyweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, 44-0 (38), of Nicaragua fought on the same card recently and are along with WBA Super, IBF and WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, 28-0-1 (25), looking to gain the P4P spot left by the retirement of Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
After Golovkin’s victory when asked if he was P4P No. 1 he remarked pertaining to that spot “right now it’s vacant!” The Russian Kovalev lives in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, while Golovkin lives in L.A. Kovalev was in attendance Saturday night and is looking to unify his fourth title against WBC champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson with the winner then possibly meeting Andre “S.O.G” Ward the unbeaten Super World super middleweight champion. Ward got injured getting ready for another non-title bout and may move up in order to fight Kovalev.
Golovkin and Kovalev are both humble in nature while Ward though being stripped of the WBC title due to inactivity has been more vocal. In a recent article this writer wrote “Ward Needs Triple GGG More Than GGG Needs Ward!” For someone like Ward who has fought once a year in 2012 and 2013 while being inactive in 2014 and returning to the ring in June weighing over 170 he should learn to start defending what title he is fortunate to have still held onto. The WBA champ is unbeaten Russian Fedor Chudinov who has only 14 fights and on December 5th defends against former champion Felix Sturm.
Talking about Sturm, when Golovkin was living in Germany he was in the same stable as Sturm and Sebestian Zbik for Universum-Box Promotions. Zbik was interim WBC champion until he lost for the first time in 2011 to Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., for his WBC title. He followed this loss with another to Sturm for his WBA Super World title losing again in 2012 and retiring. Sturm later in the year lost that title to Daniel Geale. In 2014 Geale then a former champion was stopped by Golovkin in 3 rounds. Golovkin got away from Universum tired of being in the shadow of both Sturm and Zbik. Now look who is “out of the shadows” holding several belts!
Golovkin won many Mexican fans when he defeated Rubio in Carson, CA and returning to Madison Square Garden in New York was another of his favorite spots. In Inglewood, CA, he stopped Willie Monroe, Jr., in May of 2015. Knockout defenses against Geale, Curtis Stevens and Gabe Rosado were all at MSG. He has won his last 21 fights by stoppages. Born and residing in Kazakhstan before moving to Stuttgart, Germany he chose L.A. for the weather.
Golovkin and his wife Alina have a son Vadim named after one of Golovkin’s brothers who along with brother Sergey were in the Russian Army and were killed four years apart. He was named Gennady after his father. In talking to him prior to his fight with Rosado I asked being from KAZ was he Muslim and he said “no, I’m Orthodox. My father (since deceased) is Russian and my mother Korean.” One of his Philadelphia sparring partner’s Dhafir Smith who has been in camp with several champions including Ward twice said of Golovkin “he hits like a heavyweight!”
He has a twin brother Max who walked away from boxing in 2004 and allowing Gennady to represent KAZ in the Olympics where he won a Silver Medal. Max is part of the team now and works the corner. Being encouraged to fight by his older brother’s lead him into boxing posting a 345-5 amateur record (some say he was 300-5 and others that he had 8 losses). He won the World Amateur title in 2003 defeating current boxers Matt Korobov (No. 12 WBO), WBO champion Andy Lee, and former IBF Super middleweight champion Lucian Bute along with Cuban Yordanis Despaigne (who won a Silver in Pan Am Games of 2003) to the championship round. After the Olympics Golovkin lost twice in 2005 before turning professional.
Abel Sanchez is a big part as trainer and what would Golovkin and Wladimir Klitschko do without Tom Loeffler? He stays out of the limelight and puts his fighters first but always has a watchful eye on their opponents. You can see this in all pictures with David Lemieux when he was standing near Golovkin.
Something else amazing about Golovkin is he speaks Kazakh, German, Russian and English. Though this writer has been a big fan and supporter of Golovkin too many writers have been negative about his lack of opposition. Hopefully the win over gutsy Lemieux in adding a second title will show his critics what he is made of. In 2016 the WBC winner should be next and then the WBO champion.
The fight game needs winners like Golovkin, Kovalev and Gonzalez. Instead of appreciating a humble champion like Golovkin it seems the Mayweather crowd wants a talker more than a fighter. The days of Muhammad Ali are in the past for there was only one Ali. Golovkin brings that European hunger that we are seeing in these fighters from other parts of the world.
The fact he has moved to the US should prove he is as American as they come!
Please send all questions and comments to Ken Hissner at: Kenhissner@gmail.com
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