By: Hans Themistode
He isn’t a champion anymore.
He lost a few steps.
Retirement is just around the corner.
The words that are spoken about former unified Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) are not kind.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan -Hoganphotos/ GGG Promotions
Since losing his titles to Canelo Alvarez last year on September 15th, at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas Nevada, Golovkin has fielded questions regarded his status in the world of boxing. At the age 37, he isn’t towards the beginning of his career anymore. Nor is he as dominant as he once was. Or is he?
If you are listening to everyone else regarding his career then they would lead you to believe that he is in fact near the end of his rope.
His dominance isn’t quite what it used to be. These words however, lack any true merit.
Following his first and lone defeat, Golovkin returned to the ring this past June where he easily dispatched of Steve Rolls in the fourth round.
It looked easy from the outside looking in, but observers believe that they saw slippage. Rolls, who was an absolute obscure opponent, had a surprisingly decent second round. One that saw him land a few big shots which snapped back the head of Golovkin. In vintage form, he simply shook the blows, came forward forward and finished the match in the fourth round.
It is always difficult to determine whether a fighter is at the end of his rope. Age 37 is an advanced one no matter what sport is being played. The question is however, has Golovkin showed any true age as of late? The answer is an emphatic no.
Just take a look at the track record of Golovkin. The overwhelming thought process is that he defeated Canelo Alvarez in their first contest. Although the second was a much more difficult contest, Golovkin did more than enough to win that one as well. Before those contest Golovkin won a unanimous decision over former two time champion Daniel Jacobs.
If we take it step further, Golovkin looked fantastic in his 2015 knockout victory against David Lemiuex. In short, Golovkin still experiences plenty of success even at an age where he shouldn’t.
So what does he face this upcoming Saturday? He’ll be taking on former Middleweight title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs). The aforementioned Derevyanchenko may have just 14 fights under his belt but he is an accomplished boxer. In the amateurs he won nearly 400 fights against a hand full of defeats. His lone defeat at the hands of Jacobs was a close one. To sum it up, Golovkin is in for a real fight.
Golovkin is still viewed as the favorite but the thought of him losing isn’t a farfetched one.
“He’s a real fighter,” said Golovkin. “A very good opponent. I have to be ready for a real fight Saturday.”
For all of his accolades, Golovkin isn’t overlooking his opponent. For years he has been a world champion. At the moment, he shares the Middleweight record with Bernard Hopkins for the most Middleweight title defenses with 20.
It seems almost unbelievable that Golovkin still has something to prove at this stage in his career, but he does. Not only is he looking to prove that he still belongs amongst the elite in the division but he also has the opportunity to call himself a champion once again as this contest will have the IBF title at stake.
This contest won’t be an easy one, but Golovkin wouldn’t want it to be. He’ll be looking to make a statement to everyone that he still has plenty left in the tank.