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Jackie Kallen: Is Golovkin Slated For Greatness?

by Jackie Kallen

I have recently heard some whispering among boxing fans that Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is not as good as some fans think he is.

I listen to their reasoning and then I walk away shaking my head. What are these people thinking? This guy is undefeated, has a stunning 90% knockout record and is in great shape. What else do they want?

How would GGG stack up against the other great punchers in the sport? Let’s take a look. Most people credit heavyweights as being the hardest punchers on the planet. It’s a toss-up between Joe Louis, Earnie Shavers, and George Foreman as to whose fists packed greater power. You can throw Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis into the mix. They all racked up KO percentages above 70%.

But none except the recently retired Dr. Ironfist, Vitali Klitschko, and the undefeated legend Rocky Marciano, both at 87%, come close to Golovkin’s 90%.

“GGG” = power plus

No boxing historian can discount the fury in the fists of Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler, Both if them handed out KOs like candy and both exceeded the 70% mark. But they didn’t hit the peak that Golovkin has hit.

Not all fans remember a Puerto Rican bantamweight from the ’80s named Wilfredo Gomez. He was a tough puncher who retired with a dazzling 87% KO rate. Pretty impressive. Only two of his fights went to a decision and one to a draw. He was the real deal.

Ring Magazine has a list of Boxing’s Biggest Punchers. Here’s their Top 20:

1. Joe Louis
2. Sam Langford
3. Jimmy Wilde
4. Archie Moore
5. Sandy Saddler
6. Stanley Ketchell
7. Jack Dempsey
8. Bob Fitzsimmons
9. George Foreman
10. Earnie Shavers

11. Sugar Ray Robinson
12. Ruben Olivares
13. Wilfredo Gomez
14. Rocky Marciano
15. Sonny Liston
16. Mike Tyson
17. Bob Foster
18. Thomas Hearns
19. Khaosai Galaxy
20. Alexis Arguello

I’m a fan of a 32-year old Lucas Martin Matthysse. His KO rate is 85% despite losing to Danny Garcia last year. His punch is lethal–when he lands it.

And I have to list Julio Cesar Chavez up there with fighters who packed a whallop. He stopped 75% of his opposition.

So, in my opinion, Gennady Golovkin is on his way to adding his name to the lists of all-time great punchers. Time will tell if he can keep up this intensity as he fights bigger, tougher men. My money is on GGG.

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