GGG needs to step up…or down
By: Mathew N. Becher
Everyone is aware that the Middleweight champion of the world, Gennady Golovkin, is the most avoided fighter in the world right now. He has consistently tried to make fights with the likes of Peter Quillin, Daniel Jacobs, BJ Saunders and a number of other top middleweight contenders, only to be left with an unsigned contract and/or hopes of matches in over a year from now. It is a frustrating game for the fans of the sport, especially for the man known as “GGG”, who has been trying to collect all of the titles in the 160lb division, even though nobody wants to man up and take on the challenge.
The bombshell that came about this week was when a fight with the British Middleweight champion, Chris Eubank Jr., fell through, do to Eubank and his team pretty much asking for way to much control of the fight. This has happened before, with fighters saying in the press that they want to take on the monster that is Golovkin, but finding ways behind closed doors to get out of it. The actual bombshell wasn’t Eubanks not taking the fight, but 147lb IBF world champion Kell Brook stepping up and agreeing to all the terms that Eubank was offered. So on September 10th of this year, Kell Brook will skip two weight classes and take on the most feared man in boxing, Gennady Golovkin for the middleweight championship of the world.
The problem with this has nothing to do with Kell Brook. He has nothing to lose in this contest and everything to gain. If he can pull off the “impossible” upset, he would become the undisputed Middleweight champion of the world, while still being a welterweight title holder. If he loses, like many suspect, he will have taken on the bigger man, which shows how big a heart and desire to compete he possesses. Same as when Amir Khan recently took on Canelo Alvarez. Alvarez took the brunt of bad media for stepping in the ring with the much smaller Khan. And even though Khan lost, badly, he showed that he had the will to put it all on the line against a bigger man.
Golovkin, who is repeatedly given good press for trying to make fights with the top men in his division is at a cross roads, and may have made a bad decision in choosing brook as his opponent. When you are consistently avoided by the tops in your weight class, it is you and only you that should take the initiative and go after other big fish. Golovkin could easily fight any of the top Jr. Middleweights if he wished to, or at least call some of them out. Erislandy Lara, for instance, the WBA Jr. Middleweight champ has been interested in a fight with Golovkin for 2 years, and has never been given any consideration. Another test for Golovkin would be a possible move up in weight to the Super Middleweight division, where he could be tested by a bigger opponent and expand his resume.
Everyone understands that Golovkin wants “All of the Belts” in the Middleweight division, and for the most part he does have all of them except one, meaning, he has for all intent and purposes cleaned out the division. Instead of looking for fighters that will upsell their own names by “stepping” up to you, why not show everyone else that you are the one willing to put it all on the line.
Either by losing the weight or gaining it, and stepping out of your comfort zone.
Golovkin is one of the best fighters in the world at the particular moment, but what has his toughest test been? Martin Murray? No disrespect to Murray, but that is hardly a lasting legacy to leave. If GGG wants to be known as a pound for pound elite, then maybe he needs to start looking to add or drop some pounds and become the predator hunting for prey, and not the king looking to be eventually dethroned.