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Is This It For Gennady Golovkin?


By: Greg Houghton

As we once again await a last minute opponent for GGG on May 5th, is it possible that we could never see him in another fight of the magnitude of Canelo vs GGG?

I’ve thought for some time that 2018 might be Gennady’s last year in professional boxing, thinking that if he were successful in the Canelo rematch, he could finally have that long awaited unification fight with Billy Joe Saunders, and then retire having achieved his goal of unifying the division. Middleweight unification is still not out of the question for this year, however if Saunders’ hand injury were to keep him from facing Golovkin, or the Kazakh be conveniently called out once again after initial negotiations of a different fight had already been made, then it’s a possibility that Golovkin may never get the opportunity, at least not until he is physically deteriorating.

If either the Canelo rematch or the unification fight were to materialise in the fall of this year, GGG would be 36 and a half years old by this point. His conditioning is such that he has shown no signs of aging yet as we witnessed him come straight at Canelo for all 36 minutes when they met in September last year. The likes of Wladimir Klitschko and Floyd Mayweather have defied age and managed to dominate their weight classes well in to their late thirties. But stylistically, Golovkin’s method is not conducive to a lengthy reign at the top of the sport. Whilst it’s great for boxing fans to watch the likes of Kell Brook, Daniel Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez throw the kitchen sink at him and see him barely bat an eyelid, you have to wonder how much more of this punishment his body and brain can take. It is a forgone conclusion that he, at this stage in his career, will not be able to adapt his style, and it stands to reason that using one’s chin as a main form of defence can only sustain at elite level within the sport for so long.

Golovkin has received a very mixed reaction since coming to the U.S. and making his HBO debut in 2012. It is perhaps more a reflection of his outwardly spoken trainer Abel Sanchez as to why Golovkin has received such a bad rap with certain fans. I for one have been hugely grateful for the fire and excitement that Golovkin has bought to middleweight boxing in bringing the authentic ‘Mexican style’ to the forefront of the division.

Regardless of whether you’re a fan or not, GGG seems to have struggled numerous times to find willing opponents. Thus far we have indeed seen an almost superhuman display of punch-resistance in almost every fight since he brutally dismantled Grzegorz Proksa in 5 rounds during his first HBO outing. Boxing fans have watched in awe as he’s absorbed the same right hand from Jacobs that took out Peter Quillin in a single round, as well as the same overhand right which appears to have ruined Amir Khans life from Canelo, and continued to march forwards.

I for one hope that he gets the opportunity to either get closure on the Canelo situation without a judge’s influence, or face Billy-Joe Saunders for that coveted unification fight. Either way, the clock is ticking for GGG.

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