By: Sean Crose
Gennady Golovkin found himself in a war this past weekend when he battled Sergiy Derevyanchenko at Madison Square Garden for the vacant IBF middleweight title. Golovkin, the man who not so long ago possessed a well earned a reputation for steamrolling over all comers looked at times this past Saturday like he himself might be about to be bested before the final bell. Although after the fight Golovkin walked out of the ring with the IBF belt and his 40th win, word around the proverbial campfire is that this was not the Golovkin of old. Sure enough, word is that the man, at 37, has aged considerably, at least in the context of professional boxing.
It’s hard to deny that Golovkin no longer appears to be his prime self in the ring. Derevyanchenko peppered his man with shots throughout Saturday’s bout. Perhaps even more telling, Golovkin’s vaunted patience almost didn’t pay off for him this weekend against his determined foe. Whereas before Golockin could get through numerous bad rounds sure of the fact that he would eventually get his man, Golovkin couldn’t finish the deed when he landed on Derevyanchenko on Saturday. And while much of this was due to the stellar performance of Derevyanchenko himself, the Golovkin of lore never found himself in such hairy situations.
That is, until he had met Daniel Jacobs in March of 2017. Some might argue that Golovkin’s hard earned, less than impressive, victory over Jacobs that long ago winter night was the first indication the Kazakh warrior was showing signs of the slippage that appeared all too evident this past weekend against Derevyanchenko. The Jacob’s fight was an extremely close affair, after all. A considerable number of ringside observers (this writer included) actually felt Jacobs had done enough to earn the upset win. Still, it was worth noting that Jacobs was the kind of high level opponent Golovkin had long craved to meet in the ring. As impressive as his resume was, Golovkin had never met a full blown middleweight of Jacobs’ caliber before that evening.
Since that time, Golovkin has fought the brilliant Canelo Alvarez twice. He’s yet to beat the Mexican star (though most observers feel Golovkin won at least one of the two fights), but the battles between he and Canelo have been thoroughly brutal affairs. Then came Saturday night against Derevyanchenko. Throw in his hard earned 2016 title defense against Kell Brook in England, and it’s clear that Golovkin has been facing a line of high end challenges since turning thirty. Since September of 2016, Golovkin has fought a total of seven times. Only two of those fights were against clearly beatable opponents, a May 2018 battle against Vanes Martirosyan and a fight this past June against Steve Rolls. Long story short – Golovkin has taken the hard road. The Kazakh fighter is most distinctly not of the low risk, high reward vein.
All of which leads to the matter of Golovkin’s now advancing age. Although Father Time wins time and aging, inevitably taking his toll as the years pass by, a fighter of Golokvin’s mindset can speed up the again process by doing, well, what a high level fighter is supposed to do – and that’s regularly face high level competition. Fans want their fighters to be ambitious, but then they’re quick to point it out when those fighters shows signs of slowing down. This is only natural, but when it comes to the case of someone like Golovkin, the caliber of competition has to be taken into consideration. Simply put, it’s hard to fight well into one’s late thirties and early forties when one has essentially spent a number of years facing the likes of Jacobs, Derevyanchenko, Brook, and a prime Canelo.
There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but those are exceptions. Bernard Hopkins, a ring wizard, was able to keep going and going. Manny Pacquiao, who has somehow been able to remain both great and aggressive as he’s turned the corner at forty, is nothing if not an anomaly. Golovkin is highly skilled, but he also fights in a grinding fashion. He wears his opponents down. He takes shots, sometimes very solid ones. He’s willing to engage in wars of attrition. None of this bodes well for any potential longevity. On the other hand, Golovkin has never, not once, bored boxing’s fan base. Nor has he looked anything other than excellent in the ring. His disappointments are only disappointments in the most relevant sense. They’re disappointments for Golovkin. For most other fighters, they’d be very impressive performances.
It’s being said that Canelo, who clearly dislikes Golovkin, will be more likely to face his rival a third time after seeing Golovkin’s performance on Saturday night. This may be true, but it’s worth noting that Canelo himself isn’t keen on creating a career full of soft touches, either. Names like Golovkin, Mayweather, and Lara pop up on his resume. His next opponent is the aging, but still very dangerous light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev. He may still be under thirty, but Canelo’s chosen a path similar to Golovkin’s. Things may well play out in similar fashion for boxing’s current top star.
By: Hans Themistode
Former unified Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (GGG) returns to the ring this Saturday night in New York City, at Madison Square Garden. His opponent, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, will be one of the biggest test of his hall of fame career.
The eyes of the public will be fixated on this contest for several reasons. For one, GGG enjoyed success at the highest levels with former trainer Abel Sanchez. From 2010 until just last year, he captured every Middleweight title outside of the WBO belt. He successfully defended his crowns 20 times to tie the record with Bernard Hopkins for the most defenses in Middleweight history.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/DAZN
In the biggest fights of his career he always rose to the occasion. His record may indicate that he no longer has a perfect record but that shouldn’t be the case. In two matchups against Canelo Alvarez, GGG, to most observers, should have been awarded the victory in both contests. GGG has defeated challenger after challenger and he has looked dominating in doing so. In short, it was a historical run that GGG and Abel Sanchez went on.
With the accomplishments that they managed to achieve, it came to the surprise of many that the two decided that they were better off without each other. GGG began a new adventure with head trainer Jonathan Banks. So far so good, as GGG destroyed Steve Rolls in the fourth round in his last ring appearance earlier this year.
GGG didn’t look any different to be honest. It’s understandable. The relationship between a fighter and trainer is not one can not be an impetuous one. Those assumptions are erroneous. For this contest, GGG feels more comfortable with his new head trainer. That comfortably, he believes, will lead to a great performance as he is looking forward to unveiling a few new wrinkles in his game.
“We have new ideas to show you guys,” said Golovkin after his public workout. “I want to show Saturday night not right now. I’m just a little bit excited.”
As for his opponent Derevyanchenko, he has a plethora of experience at his disposal. Compiling a list consisting of 390 wins against just 20 defeats, Derevyanchenko has faced just about every style imaginable. GGG is very familiar with the work his opponent has done in the amateurs.
“He represented the national Kazakhstan team, national Ukraine team. He looks good.”
Even with the success that Derevyanchenko has enjoyed in both his amateur and pro career, GGG won’t hesitate to put an end to the contest early.
“I want to stay with my style. Big drama show. If he gives me a chance first round, second round, it’s finished so don’t blink.”
Whenever the former unified Middleweight champion enters the ring, the world is always watching. Questions about the pairing between GGG and his trainer will soon be answered. It won’t be enough that these two just win, but it will be more important that they do so in a way that looks different than how GGG has normally performed with his former trainer. With a possible showdown with Canelo Alvarez still possible in 2020, GGG has to put on a great performance in order to warrant it.
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.
By: Sean Crose
There once was a time, not all that long ago, when any fighter aged thirty or above was considered over the hill. Back in 1987, for instance, when Ray Leonard challenged Marvin Hagler in a battle known solely as “The Superfight,” both men were considered a bit past their best selves. Leonard was thirty years old at the time, Hagler 32. There was good reason to consider ages 30 years and up “old” for a fighter, though. After all, John L Sullivan was 34 when the younger James Corbett knocked him out in what is regarded as the first modern heavyweight title bout. Larry Holmes was 38 when he tried unsuccessfully to best a prime Mike Tyson. Joe Louis was 37 when up and comer Rocky Marciano sent him into crashing defeat. The list of such tales could go on and on.
There’s little doubt, however that this is a new era. Ever since George Foreman won the heavyweight crown back by besting Michael Moorer via stunning knockout in 1994 at the age of 45, the idea of what an “old” fighter is has been steadily moving back further and further. Today, top fighters thirty years of age and upwards abound in the sport of boxing. Manny Pacquiao, Sergey Kovalev, Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and seemingly countless other “big names” now fight at ages which were considered unfortunately advanced less than a generation ago. Still, there’s no denying that time can have an impact. That’s something Gennady Golovkin, at the age of thirty-seven, is willing to admit.
“I work as hard and as diligently as I can at this age,” he said to me during a recent conference call to promote this Saturday’s middleweight title bout against Sergiy Derevyanchenko at Madison Square Garden. I found those last three words of Golovklin’s: “at this age,” to be quite telling. Here is a man who is openly admitting that the years are taking their toll. That’s odd – and refreshing – for someone who makes a living always being in peak physical condition. Although he may not be the fighter of old, the terrifying Kazakh warrior who was essentially avoided by all, Golovkin still aims to do his best with the gas he has in his tank.
He can take a lesson from Bernard Hopkins, who made the needed alterations in and out of the ring to keep him performing into his sixth decade. Although Hopkins perhaps went one fight too far – as so many greats eventually seem to – there’s little doubt the man redefined what it means to grow older in the ring. While Golovkin is his own man (“I don’t specifically take an example form someone else,” he said in response to my bringing up Hopkins), it’s obvious that he, too, plans to remain at the top of the fight game.
Hence this weekend’s battle with the skilled Derevyanchenko. Not that Derevyanchenko himself is any spring chicken. Although he has a considerable age advantage over the venerable Golovkin, the Brooklyn based fighter will still be stepping into the ring on Saturday and the ripe age of 33.
By: Sean Crose
“It’s the biggest fight of the year for us,” said Gennady Golovkin during a Thursday conference call to promote his October fifth middleweight title battle against Sergiy Derevyanchenko at Madison Square Garden. “I feel great. I feel like champion.” The fight, which will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service, is seen as something of a question mark for the now 37 year Kazakh warrior. Having been the top fighter at middleweight for years, Golovkin went on to come up empty in two highly controversial bouts against superstar Canelo Alvarez. A third fight between the two men was expected, but Canelo has made it clear he wants nothing to do with his arch rival, opting instead to move up to light heavyweight to battle WBO world titlist Sergey Kovalev.
That leaves the 39-1-1 Golovkin to face to the 13-1 Derevyanchenko for the IBF world middleweight title Canelo gave up in order to face Kovlaev. “The only choice he had was to go to a choice with Kovalev,” Golovkin said on the call. “He did this on purpose to not fight me.” Golovkin has always presented himself as a consummate professional, giving off an air he still maintains to this day. “How can I be disappointed looking at these people?” he asked, referring to those around him like trainer Jonathan Banks and promoters Tom Loeffler and Eddie Hearn. “I feel great.”
It’s important for Golovkin, who was last seen in the ring defeating Steve Rolls this past June, to keep feeling great as he works his way into his forties. The consensus around much of the fight world is that Golovkin has missed a beat due to toll Father Time has taken. “At this point in his career,” Derevyanchenko promoter Lou DiBella said of Golovkin on the call, “he’s not getting younger, he’s not getting faster, he’s not getting better…Sergiy Derevyanchenko is an incredible risk to GGG.” It can rightly be pointed out that DiBella was merely pumping up his fighter on the call at the expense of Golovkin. Still, I found it worth asking Golovkin whether or not he was changing his training or fight plan due to his age, the way – say – Bernard Hopkins made adjustments as he grew older.
“I don’t specifically take an example form someone else,” he responded. “I work as hard and as diligently as I can at this age.” The question fans and analysts have now is whether or not that hard work and diligence is enough. My biggest opponent,” Golovkin said, “is not a specific person. My biggest opponent is my age and desire.” Still, it appeared on the call that Golovkin was excited to return to Madison Square Garden, home of some of his most memorable fights. “I’m so excited for this fight, he claimed. “I like atmosphere. I like the people.” New York has been known to love Golovkin, as well.
Still, there’s the matter of Derevyanchenko to consider. “You hear people say it often,” said Andre Rozier, Derevyanchenko’s trainer, “but this has been one of the best training camps ever.” Rozier, one of the top trainers in the sport, wasn’t afraid to call it like he saw it on Thursday’s call. “This is not Steve rolls he’s facing on the fifteenth,” he said of Golovkin, “this is Sergiy ‘The Technician’ Derevyanchenko.”
By: Sean Crose
“I have the best opponent, Sergey,” says the 39-1-1 Gennady Golovkin, who will be battling Sergey Derevyanchenko for the IBF world middleweight title on October 5th at Madison Square Garden. “I’ve known him for a long time and he’s a very good fighter. This is a real fight. I’m a little bit scared because he’s good. I know his team is very strong. And I’m scared because he looks good. He looks strong. He feels it’s his time right now. Maybe – this is boxing, nobody knows. So if you want to watch a real show, a real fight, come to MSG on October 5 or watch live on DAZN.”
For the 13-1 Derevyanchenko, the Golovkin fight offers a chance of a lifetime, after having dropped a close decision to Daniel Jacobs for the IBF crown last year. “I’m really excited and happy,” he says, “to be at Madison Square Garden…thank you to my team, and I want to give thanks to Gennady Golovkin for the opportunity as well. I know exactly who I’m getting in the ring with. He’s the former middleweight champion of the world, one of the best fighters in the world, but his time is coming to an end and I want to be the one that makes that time come to an end.”
It had been assumed throughout the fight world at different times that both Golovkin and Derevyanchenko would be facing Canelo Alvarez this year. While neither man is set to face the Mexican star (who Golovkin has already fought in two highly controversial bouts), the October 5th throwdown between Golovkin and Derevyanchenko has been well received within the fight world. Golovkin is one of the most well known fighters in the sport, which Derevyanchenko is well respected.
“There’s been a lot of speculation recently about who he’s (Golovkin’s) going to fight,” says promoter Eddie Hearn. “Is it going to be Canelo? The thing that’s most important in a fighter’s career is to take control of your career. Have a strategy, have a plan, don’t worry about other people. And right now, we have a plan with Gennady’s career that’s extremely exciting to dominate the division and it starts on October 5 at the Mecca of boxing.”
With neither Golovkin nor Derevyanchenko relying on Canelo to dictate their futures for them, the focus is on the New York City fall matchup. “I’m so excited,” Golovkin says. “First of all, I’m happy to be back home, my second home. Thank you to my family at MSG for always supporting me. Of course, I’m very excited right now. Right now, I work with the best people from boxing.” This will be the Kazakh warrior’s seventh appearance at Madison Square Garden, while it will be Derevanchenko’s second appearance at the “Mecca of boxing.” The Golovkin-Derevyanchenko match will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service. Other fights on the card have yet to be made or announced to the public.
By: Sean Crose
“It is an absolute honour to announce I am now working with @gggboxing to promote his fights worldwide. Great man, great fighter – we look forward to bringing you the drama and excitement in arenas all over the world. #Oct5 @DAZN_USA”
The above tweet, which came courtesy of Matchroom honcho Eddie Hearn, let the world know on Thursday morning that Hearn has now teamed up with middleweight superstar Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. It’s a significant development in a middleweight saga that currently spans across numerous promotional outlets.
Golovkin, who had been the dominant figure in the division for years, was dethroned by Golden Boy Promotion’s Canelo Alvarez in highly controversial fashion over the course of two bouts during the past two years. With Canelo reportedly refusing to once again face the man most feel he still hasn’t proven himself against, Golovkin is currently set to face Sergey Derevyanchenko for the IBF middleweight title on October 5th at Madison Square Garden.
“My promotion company and I are happy to partner up with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom,” said Golovkin in a press release, “to bring the fans what they want – the best boxing and the best events. By teaming up with Matchroom, we stress that GGG Promotions is committed to presenting the biggest events in the most important arenas. I’m always happy to work with the best in business, and I’m looking forward to what this collaboration will bring to the boxing fans.”
Hearn was equally effusive.
“It’s an absolute honor to be involved with Gennady Golovkin’s career moving forward,” he claimed. “I’ve long admired Gennady as a fan and how he conducts his business and we team up at a very exciting moment. Gennady is one of the most recognizable and entertaining fighters on the planet and I can’t wait to get started to work together on the upcoming world title challenge against Derevyanchenko at MSG on October 5.”
Hearn also addressed the fact that a third fight with Canelo is the match most fans would like to see Golovkin engaged in. “We know the world wants to see the Canelo trilogy,” he claimed, “but there are so many opportunities out there for Gennady all over the world and we look forward to working together on them.
First things first is for Gennady to win the title on October 5.
Golovkin has long been promoted by K2 honcho Tom Loeffler. Today’s announcement doesn’t appear to have had a noticeable impact on that relationship (at least of yet), as Loeffler’s Twitter feed is still actively promoting the October 5th bout. Golovkin now joins fellow powerhouses Demetrius Andrade and Billy Joe Saunders as part of Hearn’s lineup in or around the middleweight division. With all three men fighting on DAZN, along with the aforementioned Canelo, it seems logical that a series of matchups will bring clarity to the middleweight division. The chaos of modern boxing, however, unfortunately offers no guarantees.
By: Sean Crose
Gennady Golovkin is back in the middleweight title picture. Canelo Alvarez, who drew with Golovkin in highly controversial fashion in 2017, then bested Golovkin, again in controversial fashion, in 2018, had little interest in fighting the Kazakh warrior for a third time in three years, even though fans and the DAZN streaming service (which broadcasts both he and Golovkin’s fights) wanted to see the men face off again. Canelo, however, was stripped of the IBF belt he won from Daniel Jacobs earlier this year. Why? Because, after numerous extensions, he was unable to make a fight with mandatory contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
“Gennady has always been ready to fight him (Canelo), ready for that third fight,’’ Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler is quoted by the LA Times as saying. “But if not, he can’t wait. He has to move on.’’ Needless to say, the IBF has now ordered a bout between Derevynachenko and Golovkin for its vacant title. Which means Golovkin stands a chance of winning another top middleweight belt without having to face Canelo for it. Derevyanchenko has already fought for the IBF strap once before, dropping a split decision to the talented Daniel Jacobs last autumn.
ESPN quotes directly from a letter given to attorneys for both Golovkin and Derevyanchenko from the IBF’s Carlos Ortiz Jr: “The IBF middleweight title was declared vacant on August 1, 2019. The IBF is therefore ordering that a bout take place between the two highest ranked contenders to fill this vacancy.” This is all good news for Golovkin, of course, as Canelo, temporarily at least, had iced him out of a large portion of the middleweight title pie (the exceptionally talented Demetrius Andrade holds the WBO belt). Still, the 37 year old will have to get past the 33 year old Derevyanchenko before he can begin celebrating.
The camps for both Golovkin and Derevyanchenko will have to come to an agreement by early September. ESPN reports that DAZN is reportedly planning to air the fight between the two men on the fifth of October. This would be Golovkin’s second fight on the streaming service, one which will be part of a deal between the fighter and the service reportedly worth around one hundred million dollars. Naturally, DAZN would rather run a big money fight between Golovkin and Canelo, but Canelo isn’t budging at this point. What’s more, Canelo appears to be at odds with his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, over the events that led to him being stripped of the IBF belt.
Although Golovkin has never technically bested Canelo, most fans and analysts seem to agree he should have won the first of their two fights. Furthermore, many apparently believe the former king of the division won on both occasions. In short, Golovkin is a bit like Marvin Hagler and Jack Dempsey, two fighters who lost their most famous bouts in controversial fashion while maintaining their reputations and popularity.
Canelo’s next opponent has yet to be determined.
By Jonah Dylan
It was a weird boxing weekend. The biggest event was a non-title fight, and most of us were still getting over the shock of a week earlier, when Andy Ruiz upset Anthony Joshua to win three heavyweight titles. Still, we had the long-awaited return of GGG and a title defense from Oscar Valdez, so let’s jump right into the three takeaways from the weekend.
1. GGG may be 37, but there’s no doubt he’s one of the best fighters in the world
Listen, beating Steve Rolls is not particularly impressive. Even doing it the way Gennadiy Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) did isn’t particularly newsworthy, given that he pretty much did exactly what we’d expect. The chopping left hand he hurt Rolls (19-1, 10 KOs) with in the fourth round was a thing of beauty, and he finished him with a devastating shot that served as a kind of throwback to the guy that demolished everything in front of him during his remarkable 23-fight knockout streak. That he did it from the southpaw stance was all the more impressive.
Coming into the Rolls fight, three of Golovkin’s last four fights had gone the distance, but he’s either been fighting top-level competition (Danny Jacobs, Canelo Alvarez twice) or low-level foes (Vanes Martirosyan, Rolls), so it’s hard to really get a sense of where he’s at. This is a problem that will forever cloud his legacy, especially because he still doesn’t have a win against Canelo (for the record, the first fight wasn’t close, and I the second fight for him as well).
But alas, this is not the time to get into GGG’s legacy or his past fights. The guy is still at the top of the sport, and he has huge fights ahead of him. We don’t need to look back quite yet.
2. GGG-Canelo is the fight, and there’s only one person to blame if it doesn’t happen
After the fight, GGG didn’t try to play games, and he didn’t even call anyone out besides Canelo. That’s the fight to make in the middleweight division, and to be completely honest, it’s the fight to make in all of boxing. Joshua’s loss threw a wrench into Joshua-Wilder as the biggest fight in boxing, and Terence Crawford-Errol Spence is light years away from being a reality. Golovkin and Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) are both with DAZN and they’re both ready to fight in September. This shouldn’t be difficult.
Golden Boy seems to want to make it difficult, though. They’ve been throwing out Callum Smith’s name a lot, and he obviously wants the right for good reason (I looked at Smith’s problem in this spot last week). But it doesn’t make sense for anyone else. DAZN is paying a ton of money to both Alvarez and Golovkin, and they did it specifically for them to fight in September. Why else would Golovkin have made close to $15 million to fight a guy most boxing fans had never heard of?
So if the fight doesn’t happen, it’s 100% on Alvarez. Golovkin has pushed him further than anyone this side of Floyd Mayweather, and the idea that fans aren’t interested in seeing them fight again is ridiculous. There’s unfinished business, and there’s more money in that fight than any other fight for either Alvarez or Golvkin. It’s not even about who needs who. It just makes sense. If they aren’t standing across from each other on September 14, it’s because Alvarez didn’t want the fight.
The idea that Alvarez wouldn’t fight Golovkin without a belt is laughable, because Golovkin fought Alvarez twice as a unified champion when Alvarez didn’t have a belt (he vacated it to avoid fighting Golovkin earlier). Someone should remind Golden Boy of that.
3. Oscar Valdez has had his comeback fights, and now it’s time for bigger things
Sure, Oscar Valdez more than deserved a couple tune up fights after he broke his jaw against a much bigger Scott Quigg in March 2018. He knocked out Carmine Tommasone (19-1, 5 KOs) in February and then outpointed Jason Sanchez (14-1, 7 KOs) on Saturday. Valdez (26-0, 20 KOs) is certainly near the top of the featherweight division, and he’d be favored against almost anyone. So let’s get some of those fights.
The featherweight landscape looks like this: Top Rank has WBO titlist Valdez and a deal with IBF titlist Josh Warrington, while WBA titleholder Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KOs) is with PBC and WBC titleholder Gary Russell Jr. (30-1, 18 KOs) has been with PBC but says he’s a free agent and was last seen meeting with Eddie Hearn. So it’s safe to say Valdez’ next fight likely won’t be against either Santa Cruz or Russell.
Top Rank seems to be grooming former two-division titlist Carl Frampton for a shot at Valdez, but can we take a second and ask why? Frampton (26-2, 15 KOs) is still a very good fighter, but he’s coming off a clear loss to Warrington. Since when does losing a fight earn you an immediate title shot against a different opponent? Frampton is returning for a comeback fight before a likely matchup with Valdez at the end of the year, but I don’t really get it.
Assuming Warrington (28-0, 6 KOs) gets past Kid Galahad (26-0, 15 KOs) on June 15, I’d like to see him and Valdez in a unification. That bout would pit two undefeated world titleholders – each with very unique and distinct styles – against each other in a true 50-50 fight. If we can’t get that – and there’s really no reason why we can’t, unless Galahad beats Warrington – I’d be interested to see Valdez against Shakur Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs), who’s passed every test thrown at him with flying colors. It might be early for him to get a title shot, but he’d definitely want the fight, and we’d learn a lot about both guys. Regardless, Valdez needs to be fighting a top-level opponent next, especially because he’s planning to move up to junior lightweight in the very near future.
Follow me on Twitter @TheJonahDylan.
By: Hans Themistode
Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) looked impressive against Steve Rolls (19-1, 10 KOs) on Saturday June 8th. Rolls, to his credit didn’t just come in looking for a paycheck, he forced Golovkin to work for his victory. With 2019 quickly becoming the year of the underdog, it seemed as though Rolls was on his way to his own seismic upset as he landed a few eye catching shots in the second round. Golovkin put an end to that momentum in short order with an overhand left in the fourth round that saw Rolls hit the canvas face down. The crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York City erupted as Rolls failed to beat the count.
Now that Golovkin has showed that he is still a force in the Middleweight division, he has a plethora of choices for his next contest. Let’s take a look at his best options.
Demetrius Andrade (27-0, 17 KOs) has the final piece of the Middleweight puzzle as he possesses the WBO crown. He’ll be putting it on the line against Maciej Sulecki June 29th. Barring a huge upset, it’s a contest that Andrade should come out victorious. If he does keep his undefeated record intact then a matchup between both Golovkin and Andrade should be next.
Golovkin has made it no secret that he wants a third fight with Canelo Alvarez. The new Middleweight kingpin however, has said time and time again that Golovkin would need to secure a title first before they would clash once again. If these words by Canelo ring true then Golovkin should shift his focus to Andrade. It’s a matchup that fans would want to see, and a victory would lead Golovkin to his long time adversary, Canelo Alvarez.
Former IBF Jr Middleweight champion and current WBC interim Middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (28-0, 21 KOs) needs a big fight. Although he has proven to be a force in his short career, he hasn’t been able to get the big names in the sport of boxing to step inside of the ring with him. Making a matchup between Charlo and Golovkin could be tricky because they are aligned with opposite promoters and networks. With that being said however, this is a fight that needs to happen.
To the credit of Golovkin, he mentioned that a possible showdown with Charlo is one that he would invite with open arms.
“I think fights with new young fighters in the division is more interesting than facing the same people that I have in the past. He’s a good, undefeated fighter so why not.” Said Golovkin during his post fight victory interview over Steve Rolls.
There may not be a title on the line in this contest but the fireworks that would ensue would make fight fans everywhere ecstatic.
You can’t mention the name Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) without mentioning Gennady Golovkin shortly after. These two will forever be linked to one another. Many feel as though Golovkin should have been awarded the victory in both of their contest. Instead, he had to settle for a draw and the first defeat of his career.
When these two step inside of the ring against one another they deliver classic battles. With such a dominant victory by Golovkin, and unfinished business between these two Middleweight stars, a third fight between these two seems inevitable.
By: Sean Crose
The main card at Madison Square Garden began on Saturday with an 8 round super welterweight bout between the 8-0 Brian Ceballo and the 14-0-1 Bakhtiyar Eyubov. The first round was an exciting one, with both men swinging and landing effectively. Ceballo had a great second round, moving, sharp shooting and looking like the more skilled of the two. The third saw Ceballo giving a master class while Eyubov came forward like a bull. By the fourth, Eyubov was able to land a bit, but it may not have been enough to take the round.
Ceballo continued to pick away at his man in the fifth. The fight continued to be a clinic in the sixth. By the seventh it was clear the match was all but over. Ceballo cruised through the final round, got the UD win, and made himself a name to watch.
New Orleans’ Marcus McDaniel, 15-0, was up next as he faced the 14-0 Ali Akhmedov in a scheduled ten round super middleweight affair. Akhmedov came on strong in the first. The Kazakh fighter continued to be effectively aggressive in the second. A brutal assault of punches put McDaniel down in the third. McDaniel got up, but the fact that he wasn’t responding clearly caused the referee to stop the fight.
It was time for the main event. An energized looking 38-1-1 Gennady Golovkin stepped into the ring to face the 19-0 Steve Rolls in a scheduled 12 round bout at a catchweight of 164 lbs. Golovkin landed well in the first. The second round was very close. Golovkin landed well – but so did Rolls. The third was also close, though Golovkin landed more frequently. Rolls was holding his own in the fourth, but Golovkin’s combos started taking their toll. Then, with a missle-like left, Golovkin put Rolls smack on his face. The game Rolls tried to get back to his feet, but couldn’t beat the count.
After the bout, Golovkin made it clear that he was eager to face arch rival Canelo Alvarez for a third time. With both fighters operating out of the DAZN tent, a third go round in the controversial Canelo-GGG saga may well be likely.
By: Sean Crose
Gennady Golovkin will be returning to the ring this Saturday night after a nine month hiatus. It is supposed to be the beginning of a new era for the Kazakh warrior, who was last seen losing a controversial decision to Canelo Alvarez last September. For starters, the former middleweight titlist will be making his debut on the DAZN streaming service. He will also be fighting for the first time under the tutelage of trainer Jonathan Banks, after having broken with long time corner man Able Sanchez. In the leadup to GGGs return, however, one piece of the puzzle has been largely overlooked – Golovkin’s opponent, Steve Rolls.
“You can look at me as an underdog,” says the undefeated 19-0 fighter “but in my mind, I’m the best investment this side of Wall Street…GGG is going to face boxing’s version of Kawhi Leonard on June 8.” Undoubtedly most fans and analysts haven’t given the Toronto native much of a chance. Golovkin is seen as merely taking a tuneup this Saturday on his way to a potential third match with Canelo. Since last weekend’s stunning heavyweight title bout between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz, however, the boxing world has been reminded that anything can happen in the ring.
Should Rolls upset Golovkin as Ruiz upset Joshua, the future will be blindingly bright for the virtually unknown Rolls. Although he has yet to defeat anyone truly of note, the fighter can put punches together fluidly, and knows how to work the body well. His low hanging left hand may prove problematic against someone who hits with the power Golovkin does, but if Rolls shoulder roll defense is up to par, it might not be an issue. Rolls also has an ability to work on the inside well, something which may prove to be beneficial come this weekend.
The hurdle Rolls most overcome however, is not only Golovkin’s power, but the fighter’s skill. Far more than just a puncher, Golovkin has masterful balance and footwork. He’s also hard to frustrate (something which couldn’t be said for Joshua last weekend), and has a dedication to the craft which is almost frightening. “Boxing is no game,” he says. “I want a war. I have trained for a war. That’s why boxing fans enjoy the Big Drama Show. I come to fight.” Golovkin will probably be entering the ring looking to make a statement on Saturday. As Ruiz proved against Joshua, however, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that the statement is made by the fighter everyone has already written off.
By: Waqas Ali
Saul Canelo Alvarez is on the verge of facing rival opponent Gennady Golovkin or American Demetrius Andrade.
The Mexican superstar recently defeated former world champion Daniel Jacobs in a twelve round unification bout on Saturday night.
The bout took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with over 20,000 in attendance.
Alvarez took Jacobs’ IBF middleweight title and added that to his WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine belts.
Making him one belt away from the WBO claimed by Andrade.
In the first round, both fighters were caution with their punches. Carefully not trying to get countered as they go on. In the last minute of the round, Jacobs (35-3) increased his activity level to try and steal the round.
Jacobs would take the early rounds based on his activity level and would often land some hooks on top to win rounds.
In the fourth round, Alvarez (52-1-2) came back with punches of his own and around the 43-second mark, Alvarez connected three straight left hands to Jacobs that got the pro-Alvarez crowd on the edge of their seats.
In round nine, as Alvarez continued to dominate with his power punches and swiftly providing good head movement and footwork, he was hit with a massive over-left hook by Jacobs that didn’t even drop him.
It was perhaps the most memorable punch in the entire fight.
At the end of the fight, Judges scored the fight 115-113, 115-113, 116-112 in Canelo’s favour after 12 rounds.
According to Compubox stats, Alvarez landed 188 of 466 (40%) punches thrown, whereas Jacobs landed 131 of 649 (20%) attempted.
Alvarez landed 121 of his power shots and connected at 45%. Also, in round 11 he landed 55% of his power punches.
For Jacobs, 32, this was a complete downfall statistic for him as he landed 32% in his previous eight fights. He landed 7 power shots per round in this fight with Alvarez after landing 12 per round in his previous eight fights.
Officially, Alvarez has had two bouts under the super-middleweight division and five at middleweight.
The question now remains is: Will Alvarez fight Golovkin for a third time or attempt for a fourth world title fight against Andrade?
During the build-up of the Jacob-Alvarez bout, ‘Canelo’ stated his desire to aim for the WBO belt and add to his collection.
“Nobody in Mexico has ever done that, won all four belts in one division, so that’s my motivation,” Alvarez said, before the Jacobs fight.
However, after defeating Jacobs, Alvarez is open to fighting Golovkin too.
“I’m just looking for the biggest challenge. That’s all I want. No, for me, it’s over,” he said regarding any unfinished business with Golovkin.
“But if the people want another fight, we’ll do it again, and I’ll beat him again.
“That’s why I’m here. That’s what I was born for — to fight, to defend what’s mine. I’ll fight anyone.
Gennady Golovkin is a fighter with an exceptional power ratio of 87% and known for activeness, punching ability, calculating puncher and haymaker hunting.
He had a 23 knockout win streak dating from June 2008 – March 2017.
Both fights with Alvarez were close in their respected styles and performances. Fans on the Golovkin side firmly believe that both results of the bouts were exceptional robberies.
Both GGG and Andrade have fights later this year and have to win in order to secure themselves a bout with Alvarez.
By the numbers, Golovkin who is ranked no.3 Pound for Pound (by Boxrec), throws at a high amount of 64 punches which is nine more than the average middleweight (55) and lands at 25 (39%). The average middleweight lands at just 16 (30%).
In the power punching department, Golovkin throws around 35 with a connect rate of 44%. The average middleweight throws around 31 with a rate of 37%.
With regards to Andrade, his record consists of 26 wins (16 KOs) and zero defeats.
In the amateurs, he defeated future world champions like Keith Thurman, Austin Trout and Daniel Jacobs.
The 30-year-old, who holds the WBO middleweight belt has a great sense of style of being cautionary with his combinations and as a southpaw can be a limit for his conventional opponents on landing their jab.
His body movement is a positive asset, considering the fact that he is able to move away from any return shots.
Alvarez has not faced a competitive southpaw with lateral foot movement since Erislandy Lara in July 2014 in which he only landed five jabs out of his 97 landing total. A bout with these two would be interesting.
In terms of statistical data, he throws around 60 and lands at 18 (30%). By the power punches, he attempts 32 with a connect rate of 45%.
Another fighter that has entered the debate but not on the mainstream spectrum as of yet is current WBA and Ring Magazine Super-middleweight champion. Callum Smith. The Liverpool-born fighter has a record of 25 wins and no defeats.
He’s also tall with a height 6 feet 3 inches and a reach advantage of 78 inches. Smith is known for his active punching ability and body shots. Ironically, body shots are also favouritism of Alvarez’s punching of expertise.
Especially the left hook to the body.
His notable opponents that he defeated are Rocky Fielding & George Groves.
According to a poll conducted by Editinking, out of 5,100 plus voters, 59% chose Alvarez to beat Smith and 41% for the English fighter.
Canelo vs Callum Smith
90,000 Wembley Stadium
Who wins at super middleweight?
— EditinKing Boxing (@EditinKing) May 5, 2019
The boxing world is up and rolling by naming who should Alvarez fight next. Both fights are interesting as many of the Golovkin fans want to see vengeance taken against the Mexican based on the last two disputed results. Politics is a dangerous game and has a long history with boxing. Going as far as 150 years ago. Andrade is in a good position as he could prove how much has in value of his style and skills against one of the biggest names in boxing today. Though he did not manage to prove his name against Billy Joe Saunders but no doubt against Alvarez, it will be a mega-fight. Smith is a good name and also a possible threat to Alvarez. He’s tall and possesses good power to really knock his opponent off the canvas. Being England and his hometown of Liverpool, the fight would definitely be a huge sell in the UK. Venues like the Echo Arena, Manchester Arena, O2 or even Wembley stadium would be a big attraction. Liverpool is a passionate crowd for their heroes and figures and are always behind them. It wouldn’t be a surprise to many if a crowd was a majority pro-Smith rather than pro-Alvarez in the UK.
By: Hans Themistode
It’s official. Former unified Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (GGG) will make his return to the ring on June 8th, at Madison Square Garden. Steve Rolls will be given the task of spoiling his return.
Not much is known of Rolls, he sports an undefeated record at 19-0 to go along with 10 knockouts but he hasn’t fought anyone of note. For Rolls, stepping up his level of competition so drastically will be a difficult one, but he feels as though he is up to the task.
“Honestly, I wanted to face someone in the top 15 or even the top 20 before facing a guy like GGG but I could not pass up on this opportunity.” Said Rolls during a media day scrum in New York City.
Rolls is in a difficult position. Opportunities such as these don’t come everyday. He has been quietly building up his resume against lesser opposition but will now be thrown into the deep end.
Outside of Rolls and his team, you wont find anyone who gives him any chance against the future hall of famer. The naysayers don’t mean anything to him. Sure GGG will be a difficult fight but Rolls has shared the ring with plenty of great fighters and former champions as well.
“I’ve sparred against the likes of Adonis Stevenson and Billy Joe Saunders and they have told me on numerous occasions that I held my own. People that have watched those sparring sessions have said that it looked as though I was a champion myself. I know that sparring and an actual fight is completely different but I believe that those moments have prepared me for June 8th.”
As for GGG, he will be looking to right a wrong. Many felt that he won both of fights against Canelo Alvarez. Unfortunately he was forced to settle for a draw in the first contest and a loss in the second. What exactly does he want to do now? He is now signed to DAZN and has the opportunity to regain his championship status as every Middleweight belt holder is signed to the streaming platform. It seems as though the belts are not as important to him as they once were.
“I’ve been a champion for a longtime. I am now in a point in my career, where I am wiser. I have learned from my previous fights. I would like to fight good fights, whether these fights are going to be championship fights or not is not as important as the quality of the fighting.” Said GGG.
Having shared the ring with Daniel Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez, GGG would be the ideal person to ask his opinion on how their May 4th, showdown will play out. However, GGG could not provide an answer in terms of who he believed will be victorious.
“I think it’s very hard to predict. It’s going to be a very important fight for the middleweight division and for boxing in general. It’s pretty even keel. Everyone has a chance. Everyone has a possibility to win. This is boxing, this is even stuff. It’s going to be an interesting fight no matter what.”
The prevailing thought in boxing circles is that if GGG is the victor on June 8th, and Canelo also gets the job done against Jacobs, that a third fight between these two would be made for September. The only problem with that thought is that Canelo has said on numerous occasions that he will only fight GGG if he has a belt. GGG, isn’t buying that notion.
“I think Canelo is not correct to say that. We have to see what’s going to happen. I’m hoping to fight him, title or not.”
GGG undoubtedly has his eyes set on a third showdown with Canelo. Steve Rolls, will get the chance to play spoiler. As we have seen time and time again in boxing, not everything always go according to plan.
By: Sean Crose
“It’s no secret,” Gennady Golovkin said on Monday, “I had other offers from other companies. Right now I have the best partner that will let me now promote fighters on GGG Promotions and me as a fighter.” Golovkin had gathered together with Brian Kenny, trainer Abel Sanchez, DAZN honcho John Skipper, and a translator at LA’s Conga Room to promote his new deal with the DAZN streaming service. The contract with DAZN, which covers six Golovkin fights as well as bouts for the boxers Golovkin plans to promote, has been highly touted, as Golovkin is one of the most well regarded and popular fighters in the sport. “I hope I can do six fights,” Golovkin said. “I feel great! After six fights I’ll see what I can do, but have to focus on these six fights.”
“I had a chance to meet his wife and had a chance to see his new son,” Skipper, who is DAZN’s Group Executive Chairman, said of the leadup to the lucrative deal. “This took a long (time) because this is a lifetime decision. This is a moment in boxing where I think things are changing and what I think we will be able to do is bring the best fights back to fans and Gennady wanted to be part of that. It was complicated and it’s (a) decision he’s making on his life.”
The conversation, of course, got around to a potential third fight between Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, who also now fights on DAZN.
“Our intention is to bring fans the best fights and the fights they most want to see,” said Skipper. “A third fight between Gennady and Canelo is what fans want to see. We’re focused right now on May 4 with Canelo and Daniel Jacobs. Jacobs happens to be a DAZN fighter and we’re focused on the fight Gennady will have in June, which we also expect to be a difficult fight. He’s only interested in fighting appropriate opponents. So we’re going to focus on those fights and see what happens.”
Now that he’s in his late 30s, there are those who feel Golovkin is past his prime, whether he has a lucrative streaming deal or not. Yet Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer, claimed he hasn’t noticed any slippage in the ring. “I can only gauge in the fight,”Sanchez said of his fighter. “There’s not anyone that has dominated him or in the gym. He’s fighting at his top level. I imagine there’s but until someone proves it to me in the ring I have to say no.”