What’s Next for Former Middle Champ Gennady “GGG” Golovkin?
By: Ken Hissner
Going into 2017 Gennady “GGG” Golovkin was considered one of the best P4P boxers in the world if not the best. He had scored 21 straight stoppages and was 36-0 (33) when he defended against Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs 33-1 (29) in March of 2017.
Jacobs refused to come to the day of the fight weigh-in. Golovkin had gained ten pounds that day coming in at 170 lbs. Rumors were Jacobs was between 180-185 lbs. when he entered the ring that night. Another surprise was he fought the fight southpaw.
Though a close fight, Golovkin got the decision by scores of 114-113 and 115-112 twice. The WBC was in no hurry to order a rematch that Jacobs could have asked for but didn’t push for it.
The WBO and WBC World Super Welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, then 48-1-1, who had rarely weighed over 155 lbs. during his entire career was being groomed for a shot at 160 lbs. His promoter Oscar de La Hoya decided he should fight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., 50-2-1, at super middleweight with both fighters coming in at 164 lbs. Alvarez won every one of the twelve rounds on all three score cards and Chavez hasn’t fought since.
It was decided by Alvarez’s promoter to take on WBC, WBA and IBF world champion Golovkin in Las Vegas which was a “second home” for Alvarez who fought there in seven of his previous nine fights only losing to Floyd “Money” Mayweather. It had been a year to the day since Alvarez defended his two titles defeating Liam Smith by knockout while receiving a fractured right thumb and received a cut.
The fight with Golovkin didn’t make a lot of sense except financially for the state of Nevada, the promoter (Golden Boy) and both fighters. Alvarez may have been ahead after five rounds winning three of them. Suddenly when the sixth round started Alvarez had enough of trading punches with the hard hitting Golovkin and ran the next seven rounds. If Golovkin had run like Alvarez they would have called him “chicken” but Alvarez seemed to get a free pass.
At the end of the bout the scores were announced as 118-110 by one judge Adalaide Byrd. Had she actually watched the fight? Afterwards there was a rumor she would be under temporary suspension but it never happened. Byrd was a Nevada resident and a “house” judge. Another judge Dave Moretti scored it 115-113 for Golovkin. Close but still it was a fair decision going to the obvious winner. Then the third judge Don Trella came up with a 114-114 score giving Alvarez a “gift draw” with the WBC ordering a rematch between Alvarez and Golovkin that would make Nevada and Golden Boy richer. The fight with Jacobs was closer for Golovkin than the Alvarez match but no one ordered a rematch after that one. This writer had it 116-112 for Golovkin and being generous to Alvarez in their first match.
Then it was found that Alvarez was using a banned substance and yet he stayed in the rankings. How in the world was he then taken off suspension and given a title fight? It took a year before the rematch came about with Alvarez inactive and Golovkin having one match knocking out forty fight veteran and former Olympian Vanes Martirosyan in two rounds being the only time he was stopped and hasn’t fought since.
So, in September the rematch between Golovkin and Alvarez happened. Golovkin was satisfied boxing Alvarez almost at will landing his jab. His trainer told Golovkin to go and take it to him but Golovkin didn’t follow his instructions. Then came the decision with Moretti back as one of the judges along with well-regarded Steve Weisfeld calling it for Alvarez 115-113. Glen Feldman the other judge had it 114-114. The IBO didn’t recognize the fight since Alvarez wouldn’t pay their fee. This writer had it 115-113 for Golovkin.
To avoid a rubber match Alvarez moved up to take on ordinary WBA World Super Middle champ Rocky Fielding with a built-up 27-1 record stopping him in three rounds. Afterwards Alvarez said he had no intentions to stay at super middleweight. He even fought this one at MSG where he wouldn’t fight Golovkin figuring he wouldn’t have the protection that the Nevada commission and the WBC would give him.
The WBC goes out of their way not insisting on a third Alvarez-Golovkin fight but tells Golovkin to fight interim champ Jermall Charlo. Since when does an organization tell a non-champion who to fight? If Alvarez isn’t fighting Golovkin then why didn’t the WBC tell Alvarez, not Golovkin to fight Charlo? The WBA dropped Golovkin to No. 2 behind David Lemieux whom Golovkin has stopped in eight rounds in one of his title defenses. Lemieux had even lost in a title challenge for the WBO title since being stopped by Golovkin.
This is more than a conspiracy against Golovkin with the Nevada Commission, Golden Boy and the WBC behind it. So where does Golovkin go from here? Rumors have him signing with the DAZN as did Alvarez recently. A title fight with new WBO World champion Demetrius Andrade who claims to want to fight Golovkin in the past would make more sense. Even a rematch with Jacobs who now has the IBF title would make sense. The IBF had the nerve to rank Golovkin No. 10.
It seems the WBC, WBA and IBF all have it out for Golovkin while the WBO had never ranked him. Maybe Golovkin should drop to 154 lbs. or go up to 168 lbs. where in the past he said he could fight. Fighting for the vacant WBC title or the WBA super middle title that Alvarez said he won’t defend. There are many options for Golovkin but it seems if he doesn’t knock out his opponent he can’t win a decision.
One thing for sure Golovkin should never fight in Las Vegas again where he cannot get a fair decision.