Gennady Golovkin solidified his reputation as one of the very best punchers in boxing with his decimation of challenger Matthew Macklin last Saturday night, culminating with a body shot that not only put Macklin to the floor for the entire ten count, but for several minutes afterward. With that he retains his WBA middleweight championship and added fuel for a debate that will rage in boxing circles and can only be settled the old-fashioned way – in the ring.
When that will happen, however, is anybody’s guess.
Sergio Martinez holds the WBC version of the title,.which means that a unification fight between him and Golovkin could mean big business, maybe even something that could sell on pay per view. Certainly the numbers for the fight with Macklin were encouraging, as HBO reported 1.1 million viewers.
But though the advisor to Martinez, Sampson Lewkowicz, insists that Martinez has no problem facing Golovkin, he also explained to internet reporters that such a fight could take place for quite some time.
Martinez hurt his right knee and broke his left hand in his last fight against Martin Murray, which took place in April and was much more difficult than expected, requiring him to get up off the floor in the eighth round, and this has knocked him out of any action for the rest of 2013.
As promoter Lou DiBella revealed after the fight, Martinez probably never recovered fully from a previous knee surgery, so it was the knee that emerged as the more serious injury. Either way, there will be no more fights for this calendar year, and when he does return, perhaps in the spring of 2014, it will not be against Golovkin. And no one would expect that it would be.
What has been implied is that Martinez may go up against Golovkin in the next fight after that, which would in all likelihood push that fight to at least a year from now.
There have been reports that Martinez’s choice for that comeback fight, which would also be the “tuneup” for Golovkin, is Miguel Cotto, who would come in as the considerably smaller fighter and may be on the downside of his career, yet provides the kind of appeal that would allow Martinez to make a nice payday. Supposedly the two camps have been in talks about the possibility of a fight in early 2014.
If you were to take a look at the “common opponent” factor between these two fighters, you might wonder if Martinez would be biting off a little more than he could chew. For instance, Martinez fought Macklin last March, and before he stopped the feisty Britisher in the eleventh, he was having a heck of time, ahead on two scorecards but even on the other, having hit the deck in Round 7. Meanwhile, Golovkin seemingly could not miss in his own bout with Macklin, landing a nasty liver shot to punctuate things.
Lewkowicz has a great spin on that, indicating that Martinez took an awful lot out of Macklin, in effect softening him up for Golovkin. He was quoted as saying that Martinez took Macklin’s heart out, although one might suggest that heart, along with an effective style, had Macklin right in the fight up until the latter stages.
Golovkin’s win against Macklin brought the Kazakh’s record to 27-0 with 24 wins inside the distance. Martinez is currently 51-2-2 with 28 KO’s.