By Kirk Jackson
The title of the most feared man. Great fighters of past and present held the title anointed from fans and media alike, as most avoided and ducked in this gladiator-esque sport called boxing.
The select few to hold this mythical title, evoked fear in the hearts of even the most daring and heroic, and some of the fighters owning the title of the most feared just happened to be a case of well manufactured, great promotion.
From the Sam Langford to Sonny Liston, from Mike Tyson to Marvin Hagler, from Paul Williams to Antonio Margarito, these fellow fighters share the distinction of supposedly being feared, avoided and ducked.
This era’s boogeyman appears to be Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.
Golovkin was a highly regarded and decorated amateur hailing from Kazakhstan and in the last few years has certainly left an impression on boxing fans across the globe. He is a solid all around fighter, known for his tremendous punching power.
But how scary is Golovkin? By all appearances, he does not seem to be threatening or intimidating. That has not stopped him from virtually knocking everyone out.
Golovkin has a 90% KO percentage and an impressive streak of 20 straight stoppages. He possesses a crowd pleasing style; steadily stalking his prey inside the ring in pursuit of the ever so entertaining knock out.
In recent fights against Willie Monroe 19-2 (6 KO’s) and Martin Murray 29-2-1 (12 KO’s) Golovkin has displayed the tenacity and iron will to pursue the KO despite receiving a bombardment of punches.
Golovkin never appears to be discouraged, but the question remains to the level of adversity he has faced.
After the destruction of Monroe, Golovkin amassed an overall record of 33-0 (30 KO’s) with a record of 14-0 (14 KO’s) in world title fights. Certainly an impressive feat, but there is a question to the validity of the opponents Golovkin has faced thus far.
Out of all these fights, the only world titlists the man from Kazakhstan has faced was an obviously faded Kassim Ouma 28-8-1 (17 KO’s) and upcoming Miguel Cotto opponent, Daniel Geale 31-3 (16 KO’s).
Golovkin is almost ten years in the game, 33 years-old, approaching the tail end of his prime, and the big, meaningful fights have alluded him thus far.
Many fans of Golovkin and his promoter of course brings up the point many of the middleweight contenders are afraid of Golovkin.
Junior Middleweight champion and potential middleweight contender Erislandy Lara 20-2-2 (12 KO’s) has even questioned GGG’s resume and called him out in the past.
With Golovkin, he certainly wants the big fights with Floyd Mayweather 48-0 (26 KO’s), Miguel Cotto 39-4 (32 KO’s) and Saul Alvarez 45-1-1 (32 KO’s), but if those fights continue to allude him, why not challenge some of the other guys in his division?
Cotto is the lineal champion at middleweight, but he is considered to be quite small for the division, with his sole victory at middleweight coming against the faded and injured, older, Sergio Martinez. Cotto is at the twilight of his career and more than likely will cash out with a lucrative fight against Alvarez to end his career.
Alvarez has yet to fight in middleweight division, with promoter Oscar De La Hoya aiming to match him with Cotto. Fighting Golovkin would certainly derail these plans.
Mayweather is considered by many, a small welterweight. Moving up to fight Golovkin at middleweight or even at junior middleweight would be a stretch. There is certainly no mandate for Mayweather to do such and critics suggesting that fight should be questioned themselves.
Can’t really blame Golovkin for seeking these fights. These guys are regarded as some of the best in boxing and the financial implications for Golovkin would be significant. These fights seem unlikely however, which leaves the door open for everyone else.
Fights against the aforementioned Lara, would be intriguing, as he is one of the few fighters to boldly call out Golovkin and has been avoided by some fighters as well.
A former world titlist Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin 31-0-1 (22 KO’s) and “Irish” Andy Lee 34-2-1 (24 KO’s) are some options for GGG at middleweight.
Another interesting match would be between him and Super Middleweight king Andre Ward 27-0 (14 KO’s), who just so happens to make his long awaited return next month.
As the videos alluded to, it takes two sides to make a fight happen, there’s various politics involved whether there’s disagreements between the promotors, the networks or even the fighters themselves.
At the highest level of boxing, it’s hard pressed to find that fighters are afraid of one another. Many came up through the amateurs, fought various fighters, styles, fought all across the world and there isn’t too much they have not witnessed or encountered when it comes to trials in the boxing ring.
The whole Golovkin being avoided by everyone, is something that’s a tad bit exaggerated. As were some of the exaggerations with some of the other fighters in the past.
He doesn’t even think he’s the most feared man in boxing.
GGG is not the most feared man in boxing, although he is certainly one of the most talented, and brilliantly promoted as a fighter.
He is somewhat of a victim of his own success and skill. Good enough to dominate his opponent, good enough to legitimately challenge anyone in his division and neighboring divisions whether it be Cotto, Mayweather, Ward, Carl Froch, or anyone.
But so good, many fighters may not go out of their way to challenge him, at least not without the significant financial reward that comes with it.
It’s a problem Marvin Hagler, Floyd Mayweather and a few others faced early in their careers. Though whole reward not exceeding or worth the risk factor.
Like a Mayweather, or Cotto for instance, Golovkin may have to come to the realization that in order to get these bigger fights, tougher challenges, he may have to move up in weight and take his chances there.