Is Gennady Golovkin a bully or misunderstood?
By: Kirk Jackson
We’re a few days removed from the shocking announcement making waves in the sport of boxing. The announcement of the match-up featuring two champions. The battle between Kell Brook 36-0 (25 KO’s) and Gennady Golovkin 35-0 (32 KO’s).
Many people, fans, trainers and fighters alike are in shock of this match-up.
There is a claim echoed by many supporters of Golovkin stating Saul Alvarez, most recently Chris Eubank Jr., along with the other prominent fighters of the middleweight division are afraid of Golovkin.
Golovkin sports an 91% knock out ratio and has a current streak of 22 straight KO’s.
Is it really the case that everyone is too afraid to fight Golovkin? Hall of Fame Trainer Freddie Roach appears to think so.
“The thing is there is nobody out there that will fight him though. These guys are all saying no. He’s [Golovkin] a dangerous guy,” said Roach in an interview with Radio Rahim.
The biggest criticism of Golovkin is his level of opposition. No disrespect intended, but Dominic Wade, Marco Antonio Rubio, Willie Monroe Jr. and David Lemieux are not exactly marquee names in the middleweight division.
But at the same token, talks with the aforementioned Eubank and Alvarez, regular WBA middleweight champion Danny Jacobs, WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders, retired super middleweight champion Carl Froch, either faltered or never transpired to begin with.
There is two sides to every negotiation so who truly knows what happened. It should be noted fighters such as Andre Ward and Erislandy Lara have openly talked about their willingness to face Golovkin and even called him out on a few occasions.
Like some of the other fight candidates, a proposed match-up between Golovkin vs. Ward and Golovkin vs. Lara never materialized.
Enter Kell Brook, which is an interesting case, as he was not on Golovkin’s radar initially.
A few things are certain now that Brook and Golovkin are set to fight Sept. 10th at the O2 Arena in London.
Golovkin and Brook were engaged in tough negotiations with other fighters, talks dissolved and they found a resolution in facing each other.
Brook has much more to gain with this fight. He has been criticized with having a soft touch of weak opposition in the past and that’s a fair assessment. Aside from Shawn Porter, the list of high caliber opponents on Brook’s resume is lacking.
A quick fix for that issue is moving up two weight divisions to face the unified middleweight champion of the world. As the underdog, Brook will have the support of many and he is fighting on home turf in London.
Some may question the reasoning for Brook to fight Golovkin. So far as explanations go, Brook stated he wants to fight the best opposition.
Current WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas, who was slated to face Brook in a unification match, suggests Brook has different intentions.
“Brook was just looking for a big payday. It’s a low-risk, high-reward situation. No one expects him to beat Triple G. What happens if he would have lost to me? He goes back to London without his title and no more significant paydays.”
For Golovkin, he is a strong, menacing, middleweight facing a smaller welterweight. Honestly this should be viewed as an unfair match-up; that should be the narrative.
Critics scoffed at the notion of the larger junior middleweight/middleweight/155 pounder Saul Alvarez fighting the welterweight Amir Khan. The fight happened and we saw Khan get smacked into unconsciousness.
Potentially, Brook vs. Golovkin can be much worse. Brook has a better chin than Khan, but Golovkin is a bigger puncher than Alvarez.
From the perspective of analyzing skills and achievements, Brook can be considered best opponent Golovkin will have faced thus far in his professional career.
This is quite interesting for the 34 year-old Golovkin. Although Brook is arguably top 10 pound-for-pound talent, weight classes exist for a reason.
If Golovkin manages to lose this fight, plenty of questions will be raised regarding the legitimacy of his career. Not saying it’s fair, but that’s the reality of the situation.
A great middleweight should not lose to a really good welterweight.
In some instances, Team Golovkin is damned if they do, damned if they don’t with this match-up.
But they may be at fault for their positioning with this dilemma. Team Golovkin has been the beneficiary of countless excuses made by the media and benefited tremendously from the false narrative projected by these same outlets.
As many great fighters have done in the past when seeking greater challenges, they typically move up in weight, not down.
Moving up not only in search of greater challenges, but larger paydays and worldwide recognition for seeking and achieving greater accomplishments.
Essentially what Brook is doing, something the Golovkin will soon follow.