Canelo-GGG Sell Out T-Mobile Arena
By: Sean Crose
In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, the much anticipated fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin has sold out the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Still, the fact that the host location sold out in what was essentially a matter of days is impressive. As Lance Pugmire of the LA Times states: “The sellout comes even before promoters have announced their co-main event and undercard, with lightweight champion Jorge Linares a possible participant.” Such details are telling. One could only imagine the size of the live crowd had the fight taken place at [email protected] Stadium near Dallas, as many had hoped it would.
No matter. The September 16th twelve round middleweight bout between the 37-0 Kazakh and the 49-1-1 Mexican superstar is set to go down in the “Mecca of Boxing” and nothing can change that now. Vegas is where the money is, and Canelo-GGG has already proven itself to be a big money affair, with ticket prices ranging into the thousands and many willing to pay into the better half of one hundred dollars to watch the festivities live on pay per view. “The boxing public fully understands that this is the biggest fight in many years,” gushed Oscar De La Hoya, who clearly had reason to be happy.
What makes today’s news positive for die hard fight fans is it shows the September 16th event is not going to be overwhelmed entirely by the Mayweather-McGregor circus a few weeks earlier – though that might well be something Mayweather himself wishes would happen. While the circus may indeed take a lot of air out of the room, it’s not going to take all of it. In fact, right now it’s looking like there’s two major happenings on the horizon: The Most Interesting Fight In Boxing and the Pop Culture Event Of The Summer.
The Pop Culture extravaganza will come first, absorbing tons of mainstream media, fan boy and general societal attention before the Interesting Fight arrives. This may mean the Interesting Fight won’t get the attention and energy it might have had two possible narcissists not decided to perform a surreal duet in the public spotlight. Yet things are looking good for Canelo-GGG, regardless. Those who prefer good boxing to oversize personalities – and the numbers of such people are legion – are clearly looking forward to a top level event after the headache of August 26th subsides.
Canelo-GGG Will Go Down At T-Mobile Arena In Vegas
By: Sean Crose
Many people wanted the September 16th Canelo-Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin superfight to happen in Texas, at the AT&T arena, home of the famed Dallas Cowboys. Of course, fight fans had a right to want to see the fight there. AT&T is a location that might actually be able to fit a record setting crowd. And, after this past spring’s Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitscko war in front of 90,000 people in England, fans could only be expected to hope for the same kind of explosive atmosphere back here in the states. Canelo-GGG is the biggest legitimate fight in boxing, after all. What’s more, the sport has been on the uptick in a big way. Why not continue to ride the wave by letting the world see just how big boxing can be in America in 2017?
Unfortunately, for those hoping for a thrilling Texas night, Oscar De La Hoya announced on ESPN today that Canelo-GGG will, in fact, be happening at the T Mobile Arena in Vegas. Once again, Sin City will host the sport’s biggest match. So much for reasonably priced tickets. So much for an event exclusively of and for the fans. Still, it would be unfair to bash De La Hoya or Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler for this. Boxing, as we’re forever reminded, is a business, after all. As long as the big fights are being made, fans can only complain so much. None of that is to say that the [email protected] arena’s Jerry Jones didn’t work hard to make the fight go down in the same building where his Cowboy’s play. Ultimately, though, the allure of Vegas proved to be too strong.
“The city’s ability to attract high-rolling gamblers helped it bankroll the unrevealed site fee,” wrote the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire. What’s more, De La Hoya made it clear that Vegas is a party town and that there’s a lot more to a big fight than the big fight itself. Surprisingly enough, Vegas has, until now, not hosted Golovkin, perhaps the most feared individual in all of combat sports today, in a high level match. Canelo, on the other hand, can be seen as a Vegas regular, as he’s fought in major bouts in the city on numerous occasions – most famously against Floyd Mayweather in 2013.
Speaking of Mayweather, it’s been mentioned that perhaps Floyd’s interest in fighting MMA star Conor McGregor in a boxing match may have had some impact on the decided location for Canelo-GGG. De La Hoya and Loeffler, after all, wouldn’t want Floyd fighting in Vegas around the same time their own major event was going down.
Big Drama Show: Abel Sanchez
By: Francisco Martinez
March 18th at the Madison Square Garden in New York Gennady Golovkin vs Daniel Jacobs will take place. Pinning the 2 best middleweights in boxing today also making Golovkin’s 2nd appearance on the PPV platform. Golovkin had this to say about his March 18th bout on HBO “I have a strategy, I’ll show you, A, B, C because Daniel is a huge fighter, I need a huge plan. He has power, speed and movement” attributes also found in a much smaller opponent in Kell Brook. Who gave Golovkin all he can handle up until the 5th round where the size difference and power took it’s toll bringing Brook’s corner to throw in the towel.
But since then leaving questions about Gennady Golovkin’s supremacy; Kell Brook having made a jump from 147lbs to 160lbs in a attempt of daring to be great but falling short but in the process leaving an impression that only boosted his stock and rose awareness as to how great Golovkin really is. A question head trainer Abel Sanchez attacks with facts. Fact that Golovkin is the best middleweight since Bernard Hopkins dominated the division with 20 consecutive title defenses surpassing the great Carlos Manzon.
Abel Sanchez assures 160lbs dominance is Golovkin’s priority. Breaking Bernard Hopkins record of 20 title defenses would be the one way to claim history and leave his mark behind for all to look back at and talk about when it’s all set and done “Hopefully he matches the great Bernard Hopkins record of 20 defenses and if he does and breaks it that’s really gonna be remembered more than the millions he made” says Abel Sanchez of Gennady Golovkin’s current streak of 17 title defenses. Just 3 from tying Hopkins record and 4 from breaking it.
Abel Sanchez believes his pupil is no less than great at this point of his career. When asked who had a better resume when comparing to Saul Alvarez own resume Abel had this to say “I would say Canelo has fought the most known opponents but Canelo hasn’t dominated his division like GGG has. Wait a minute, has there ever been anyone in the history of boxing who has dominated their division like Gennady Golovkin is? You can’t tell me this is the only time in history that the division is weak”
Abel Sanchez and team insist that whether or not the mega showdown with Saul Alvarez happens Gennady Golovkin will not stray the course from an already cemented legacy in boxing as one of the best 25 middleweights in boxing in the last 25 years. Promoter Tom Loeffler defends Golovkin from criticism aimed at his resume “You can only fight who will agree to get in the ring. We tried to make so many fights last year, with Canelo, with Saunders, with Eubank, we give Brook a lot of credit but I think this fight will erase any doubts, if Gennady is victorious with Danny Jacobs. I don’t think anyone can question Danny Jacobs resume. Blowing out Peter Quillin in 1 round was extremely impressive”
With back and forward negotiations between Saul Alvarez & Gennady Golovkin’s camp these past couple of a years many issues arised from weight to money. Now money seeming to be the sticking point as Alvarez’s team, Golden Boy promotions, revealed after his last victory against Liam Smith in front of 50k plus in attendance that Golovkin’s team didn’t answer to a $8 million dollar flat fee which has since expanded to $10 million and grew even further to $15 million. A deal some view as fair and some view as not fair. Either way Golovkin’s team has made it known that their content and that a fight with Saul Alvarez isn’t a career defining one for Golovkin’s legacy.
However the fans are not so laid back when it comes to talks of this fight between Alvarez and Golovkin. A demand now that has been placed by the fans wanting the winner of Saul Alvarez vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to face Gennady Golovkin next. Tom Loeffler had this to say about possibly facing the winner of Alvarez & Chavez Jr. “Chavez is a lot bigger than Canelo, a lot bigger than Golovkin but when we tried to make the fight 2, 3 years ago it was gonna be at 168lbs so that would be a great fight” Alvarez wins and team Golovkin will gladly meet him at 160lbs, Chavez Jr. wins and they’ll compromise and meet him at 168lbs, end of story and the fans get what they want.
Through out the group interview Golovkin’s team had nothing but great things to say about the May 6th date between Saul Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. as most would think otherwise “It’s a business and that’s a good business move for Canelo. A tough business move for Canelo but it’s a good move. It’s a fight more important for Mexico than it is for boxing. It’s gonna give us supremacy. Who the actual star is in Mexico. The guy who wins is gonna be revered over there. I think it’s important for Mexican boxing”
March 18th & May 6th two important dates in boxing, both HBO PPV. Gennady Golovkin’s dominance at 160lbs will once again be in display against The Miracle Man, Daniel Jacobs. Golovkin’s streak of knockouts & title defenses have captivated the masses leading him into his 2nd PPV show or as he would call it, Big Drama Show. With a win over Jacobs, Golovkin is possibly eyeing a chance at the winner of Saul Alvarez vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. which is the biggest fight in boxing since Floyd Mayweather Jr. squared off with Manny Pacquiao. Alvarez & Golovkin possibly facing each other has garnered the attention of all boxing.
Golovkin’s team aware of the opportunity but will not be blindsided by it as they maintain focus on the task at hand in Daniel Jacobs this March 18th will carry on about their business at the Madison Square Garden. Don’t miss it live on HBO PPV in New York.
Follow all coverage leading up to the fight by using #GGGJACOBS
Golovkin vs. Jacobs Promotional Tour Kicks off at MSG
By: Eric Lunger
On Tuesday morning at Madison Square Garden, Tom Loeffler and K2 Promotions kicked off the media tour for the upcoming middleweight title fight on March 18 between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs. With a slate of big fights on the horizon, boxing fans can be optimistic that the doldrums of 2016 are behind them. We have Jack vs. DeGale this weekend (an IBF and WBC super middleweight unification), Frampton vs. Santa Cruz II at the end of January, Cotto vs. Kirkland in February (I am fired up about this fight mainly because Rigondeaux is back!), and Thurman vs. Garcia in early March. Each of these matchups are intriguing in their own way, but in my view, Golovkin vs. Jacobs is the jewel in the crown.
There are two kinds of press conferences in boxing: the hostile, aggressive, showdown with posturing and scowling (a table or two might be thrown), and, on the other hand, the mutual-admiration fest, where both teams thank each other and outdo each other in praise and respect. The affair at MSG fell into the latter category.
Tom Loeffler of K2 was optimistic and positive, framing the bout as a super-fight and a triumphant return to MSG for his fighter. Having partnered with HBO, Mr. Loeffler couldn’t resist a slight dig at Showtime for passing on Golovkin early in the Kazakh’s US career. That’s a bit rich, as HBO seems to be fighting on the back foot in the network battle. But let’ not quibble: the fans win when an HBO-backed fighter can get in the ring with a Showtime (and Al Haymon) fighter. There is too much territoriality in boxing, a deeply rooted and often intractable problem.
But the human element of the sport was on proud display when the trainers addressed the media. Abel Sanchez (Golovkin’s trainer) opened his comments by thanking Danny Jacobs “for being the gentleman that you are.” He complemented Andre Rozier (Jacobs’s trainer), and said the run up to the fight would be “fun.” He then sat down. Mr. Rozier for his part recognized the paradox at the heart of the close-knit boxing community. Those in boxing at the high levels often respect and like each other, but then have to fight. Said Mr. Rozier: “I am a big fan of this young man [motioning to Golovkin], he’s a class act, but on March 18, I don’t know him.” It is an exercise in compartmentalizing strong emotions. I hope to see more of Mr. Rozier during the promotion; he is a boisterous and instantly likeable man, yet a man of serious substance as well. “I call Danny Jacobs my son,” he said. And he meant it.
Both fighters spoke, and both seemed to grasp the gravity of a big title fight at MSG on HBO PPV. Danny Jacobs was soft-spoken, self-possessed, and quietly confident. He was adamant that this was the fight he wanted as soon as he made his recovery from his bout with cancer. While professing his “utmost respect for Gennady and his team,” Jacobs said that his motivation in the ring was his son: “my mission in this fight is to prove to my son that as long as you believe in yourself, anything is possible.” Otherwise his remarks were brief: “I am going to let my fists do the talking. That’s what fighters do.”
Golovkin, who is generally amiable and charming with the media, made only brief remarks. He conveyed his respect for Jacobs and his team, and seemed slightly awed by the prospect of returning to MSG for a HBO Pay-per-View. Golovkin normally expresses a keen understanding of his position in the sport. He indicated that he understood that Jacobs will be his biggest test, with four out of five belts on the line (Billy Joe Saunders is currently holding the WBO belt hostage in England). This will be a career-defining fight. “Today, I understand, huge fight for us,” said Golovkin, “I promise amazing show, a historic show.”
Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko Set To Meet In Heavyweight Superbout
By: Sean Crose
This April, for the first time in what seems to be a long time, a truly big heavyweight title fight will be going down. For that’s when, on the 29th of that month, IBF champ Anthony Joshua will face off against the division’s former longtime kingpin, Wladimir Klitschko. Make no mistake about it, Klitschko was nothing if not a dominant force at heavyweight for years on end. Now, though, he’s in his forties. What’s more, he lost his last bout, as well as his heavyweight crown, to the bombastic yet under-rated Tyson Fury over a year ago. Is the Ukrainian still the fighter he was? That may well be the biggest question heading into this throwdown.
For Josuha is undefeated. And, as if that weren’t enough, the man’s won each of his eighteen fights by knockout. In short, the Englishman is seen as the future of the division. Not only does he appear to have an impressive skill set, he has a statuesque physique and carries himself like a gentleman. In other words, he presents himself as the nice guy who can lay the bad boy out cold. There’s a lot of green to be found at the end of that kind of rainbow.
Yet there’s questions regarding Joshua, as well…as is can he stand the pressure of a major bout, can he deal with Klitschko’s power, and can he overcome Klitschko’s vast ring experience? To be sure, it’s the questions involved with this bout that make it so intriguing. It might be easy to write Klitschko off at this point, but that might be a mistake. Sure, Fury made him look second rate, but Fury’s bullying also got in Kltischko’s head. Joshua, on the other hand, let’s his fists do the talking for him, so mind games shouldn’t be an issue.
Promoter Eddie Hearn knows what a big deal this fight is going to be. That’s why word is already out that the match is going to sell out Wembley Stadium in London. To be sure, it’s hard to imagine a crowd showing up in April of less than 80 thousand souls. On top of all that, Dan Rafael of ESPN has tweeted that HBO and Showtime might be in a bidding war for the American television rights to the bout. When’s the last time you heard of anything like that happening?
Although Joshua-Klitschko is a thoroughly European affair between two European fighters in one of the continent’s great cities, this is a fight that should resonate here in America. For here are two of the best men in boxing’s big division, battling for dominance. Sure, there may be other heavyweight champions now, but everyone knows that the winner of this one will reign supreme over the division. Speaking of which, the former premiere weight class of the sport is looking very exciting lately, thanks very much.
This weekend alone showed terrific bouts between the likes of Dillian White and Dereck Chisora, as well as the likes of Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz. It’s also good to keep in mind that American Deontay Wilder is swimming close to shore like a shark and that his countryman Shannon Briggs may be far from the joke some may wish he was. And then there’s Mr. Fury. Who knows what the former champ may bring to the table in the future, should he successfully slay his demons?
Things have gotten interesting.
GGG-Jacobs? It May Just Happen This December
By: Sean Crose
“I understand my situation,” Gennady Golovkin told me some time ago, before his match with Daniel Geale. Since then, the man has become less patient, and with good reason. Still, it seems like now a big name middleweight will finally be willing to get in the ring with the feared GGG. For word is out that Golovkin may get it on with Brooklyn’s Daniel Jacobs, a hard hitting, exciting slugger who holds the WBA middleweight world title (Golovkin is WBAs super world middleweight champion, but let’s not get hung up on the silly details) this December.
The truth is that HBO, which would air the bout, is going through some money woes – at least as its boxing broadcasts are concerned – so it hasn’t been able to air as many fights as it usually does. The injury Canelo Alvarez received fighting Liam Smith recently, however, means Canelo won’t be fighting again this year on HBO as planned. Hence talk of this potential middleweight unification. Should the fight be made, it will likely go down December 10th at Madison Square Garden in New York. After what will be a slow October for boxing, the more good news there is for fight fans, the better.
Golovkin, as most fight followers know, is the most avoided man in boxing with the possible exception of Guillermo Rigondeaux. Sure enough, men like fellow middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders have openly admitted to being hesitant to face the Kazakh warrior. Boasting a record of 36-0 with 33 knockouts, Golovkin brings an impressive, patient skill set to go along with his furious punching power. Indeed, GGG can not only win a fight, he can beat an opponent severely. Case in point – welterweight champ Kell Brook, who went up in weight to fight GGG recently and had to have surgery as a result of his encounter with the man.
Jacobs, however, is no joke. Here is a fighter, after all, who has not only licked cancer, but who has earned himself a record of 32-1 with 29 knockouts. Sure enough, Jacobs is skilled as well as powerful. Peter Quilin, for instance, was dusted by Jacobs within one round and that was supposed to be a relatively evenly matched fight. Perhaps most importantly, though, Jacobs appears to be willing to fight Golovkin, a man even top fighters like Alvarez appear to be content avoiding.
That in an of itself is worthy of some kind of praise in this era of low risk/high reward.
GGG: Canelo Is “Just Scared”
By: Sean Crose
According to the highly regarded Lance Pugmire of the LA Times, middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin had some choice words for one Saul “Canelo” Alvarez recently. While fans want the two men to meet ASAP, Golovkin made it clear that he doesn’t think Canelo wants to step into the ring with him anytime soon. Why? Because Golovkin feels the red headed star is simply afraid. “Everybody wants to watch this fight,” Golovkin is quoted as saying. “He’s just scared.” Canelo’s reputation has already taken a hit due to the fact that he gave up his WBC middleweight title before defending it against Golovkin. Such talk from the generally mild mannered “GGG” clearly isn’t going to help matters for the PR department of Golden Boy, Canelo’s promoter.
“He’s fighting small guys,” Golovkin went on to say. “No one with a true big punch.”
Liam Smith, Canelo’s next opponent may beg to differ, but Golovkin supporters love to bring up the fact that Canelo, who won the lineal middleweight crown from veteran star Miguel Cotto last year, is moving down to junior middleweight in order to face Smith in Dallas later this month. Indeed, it’s now clear that Golovkin no longer thinks highly of Canelo, who once had a reputation as a take on all comers fighter. While word has made the rounds that the Mexican star will face Golovkin next year, Golovkin is no longer buying it.
Pugmire makes it clear in his piece that Golovkin believes Canelo will probably wait a full thirty-six months before agreeing to the fight. Sure enough, talk of a bout next September doesn’t seem to be anything more than talk to the Kazakh knockout artist. “He’s saying,” Golovkin claimed, “September’s the best date. Maybe he’ll fight Margarito, maybe Pacquiao or blah, blah, blah before then.” Fans who have felt Golovkin needed to be more vocal in calling out Canelo can no longer claim GGG is taking it easy on his potential opponent.
“He’s not serious.” Golovkin said. “Everybody understands it. People understand that G’s ready and Canelo’s not.” The undefeated mutli-belt holder also stated that Canelo and the gang at Golden Boy would engage in some sleight of hand by offering GGG virtual peanuts for a match before stepping away to claim they tried their best to make the fight happen. “It’s a 50-50 fight,” Golovkin claimed in Pugmire’s article, “but that’s what he’s going to do. It’s a game to him.”
Harsh words indeed. Whether they goad team Canelo into fighting Golovkin sooner rather than later remains to be seen. Golovkin made an interesting point in Pugmire’s piece when he indicated that Canelo is Golden Boy’s feature attraction and that a beat down at his (GGGs) gloved hands would be bad for business. Still, Canelo appears to have a strong, though perhaps diminished, fan base. And that base could well decide if and when a bout with Golovkin occurs. Canelo has long argued he’s not at all afraid of Golovkin. Whether or not his fans, especially the paying ones, believe him may make all the difference.
As for Golovkin, he’s set to face IBF welterweight champ Kell Brook in a huge fight in Britain next month.
Can Canelo Repair His Reputation?
By: Sean Crose
Things are good yet not so good for Canelo Alvarez. The middleweight/junior middleweight/155 lb weight superstar and (to some, at least) lineal middleweight champ is rich, famous and about to fight yet another world titlist, Liam Smith, in front of an enormous crowd at Dallas’ AT&T Stadium in September. On the other hand, Canelo now has been labeled by many as being a duck…and being labeled a duck is never, not under any circumstances, a good thing for a fighter’s reputation. What’s more, some of Canelo’s comments to the press – and let’s be fair here, his English isn’t great when he speaks to the English speaking media – have only served to alienate him further from some fans.
Still, are things meant to terminally be this rough for the Mexican icon? Or will he someday redeem himself in the eyes of his detractors (let’s face it, the man was until very recently one of the few fighters in the modern era who didn’t seem afraid to face a real challenge)? That may actually all depend on two things: whether or not Canelo faces middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin before the Kazakh warrior begins to age significantly and whether or not Canelo will somehow manage to avoid being beaten before such a fight actually materializes.
To be sure, there are some who feel Canelo just isn’t talented or skilled enough to pick up the mantle left by Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, respectively. And make no mistake about it, Floyd and Manny are no longer kings of the ring. Even if they were to fight again, it would be more of a novelty than a snapshot of an era. Is Canelo near either man’s caliber, though? While only someone clouded by bias would claim the red headed star isn’t very, VERY good at what he does, there are some legitimate questions regarding the true quality of Canelo’s ring performances.
For instance, in his two biggest twins, Canelo bested an aged Miguel Cotto, and destroyed a known welterweight in Amir Khan. Impressive feats, sure, but how impressive when one looks at the whole picture? What’s more, few will give a win over the game, but widely unknown Smith a whole lot of props. Not when guys like GGG and any number of quality junior middleweights are – figuratively speaking – just a phone call away.
The truth is that Canelo can only completely and thoroughly re-establish his reputation by facing GGG in a timely manner. Even if he were to move on to best top level competition other than Golovkin, the letters GGG would hang over his reputation for as long as Canelo walked the earth. Which would be something no popular fighter would want to have happen.
GGG Is Running Out of Excuses
By: Kirk Jackson
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin 34-0 (31 KO’s) is thought of by many, as boxing’s current Boogeyman.
The 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist from Kazakhstan is the reigning IBF and WBA ‘Super World’ Middleweight champion and highly regarded as one of the best fighters pound for pound.
Revered for his cosmic punching power, precision, overall technique and granite chin, it’s easy to see why Golovkin is regarded as a top tier fighter. The man from Kazakhstan also boasts an unblemished record, which is something certainly held in high regard these days.
With everyone from esteemed HBO Boxing analyst Max Kellerman, to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless gushing over Golovkin at every opportunity, the chronicle that is “GGG” has been embedded across the minds of many casual and even some hardcore boxing fans.
And of course not to be forgotten, there is wonderful promotion from Golovkin’s trainer/manager Abel Sanchez and from Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler.
The illustration of Golovkin standing as an indomitable warrior everyone is frightened to fight, is a vision constructed over the past few years by all of the aforementioned parties.
But the legend that is “GGG” can be perceived as a false narrative.
Although Golovkin is an impressive fighter, his resume leaves much to be desired. The 34-year-old is essentially a 10 year veteran of professional boxing and has yet to face anyone of note on the elite level.
My sincere apologies to Martin Murray, David Lemieux and some of the other fighters in the middleweight division who may be offended.
It may be difficult to criticize Golovkin in the “Alphabet title era,” but can anyone name three of his opponents without looking up www.boxrec.com?
What is interesting is despite Golovkin’s shortcomings or lack or quality opposition, he is given a pass from most media outlets and fans.
It’s hard to make an argument for Golovkin being the most avoided fighter in the sport, when there is several fighters calling him out; Erislandy Lara, James DeGale, Andre Ward, just to name a few.
One reason Golovkin’s handlers may be swerving these challengers left and right is the risk for these potential match-ups; the risks may not merit enough for the potential reward.
Although another factor to consider into the equation of certain fights not occurring is the politics involved with boxing. The politics existing within boxing between various promotional companies, sanctioning bodies and networks.
Some fighters exclusively fight on certain networks (Showtime, HBO), deal with certain promotional companies (Top Rank, Golden Boy), thus nixing some favorable match-ups from a fan perspective.
Ultimately network and promotional politics may have played a part in the opponent selection process for Tom Loeffler and Team Golovkin.
Drawing back to the risk vs. reward factor, Golovkin’s opponent selection, from an economic standpoint, makes absolute sense.
Fight guys from a stylistic standpoint who match-up favorably with Golovkin; beat these guys decisively, play into the notion of a dominant, invincible figure, feed into the hype of being acknowledged as the most avoided similar to Antonio Margarito; build upon the mystique, generate a buzz, generate money.
Reduce the risk by facing limited opposition, hold out for a bigger potential reward fighting another fighter of note down the line that can generate the money you want. That’s where attempting to fight Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto and Saul Alvarez comes into play.
Along with Manny Pacquiao, those fighters are the highest grossing and most popular figures of the sport. They happen to be physically smaller than Golovkin, with Mayweather, Cotto and Alvarez having fought predominantly below the middleweight division for their respective careers.
Now even with analyzing some cases where challenges have been issued towards Golovkin and in turn ignored from Golovkin’s team because the challenger did not measure up to the reward metric, the risk vs. reward factor does not necessarily apply to every situation.
That’s supposedly why Team Golovkin opted to fight Willie Monroe Jr. instead of Erislandy Lara.
Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer, thought Monroe was the bigger name and better choice; thus that’s why he was selected over opting for a fight with Lara. Which is interesting considering Lara headlined a Pay-Per-View event with Saul Alvarez.
Now according to Sanchez, even though Alvarez isn’t a draw, he has better Pay-Per-View numbers than Golovkin and you’re still trying to fight him? Why not move on?
Why isn’t Golovkin criticized like other fighters for their apparent lack of opposition?
Because thus far, Golovkin is fighting limited opposition and that’s a fact. The best name on his resume arguably is Daniel Geale or David Lemieux. Neither guys are household names and are not regarded by most pundits as upper tier, elite fighters.
It appears fans and critics alike are quick to criticize fighters like Danny Garcia or Floyd Mayweather for example. With all of the criticism Danny Garcia faces, he virtually cleaned out the junior welterweight division and moved up to welterweight in search of greater fights.
Defeating Amir Khan, Robert Guerrero, (washed up versions) of Erik Morales, Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah, (prime versions) of Lucas Matthyese, Lamont Peterson and Mauricio Herrera (albeit controversial), is certainly more impressive than anything GGG accomplished as a professional.
For some reason Garcia is not even considered a top 10 fighter P4P via Ring Magazine and by other boxing publications.
Mayweather is an eleven-time world champion, 26-0 (10 KO’s) in world title fights, 23-0 (9 KO’s) in lineal title fights, 24-0 (7 KO’s) world titlists. He defeated the big names from his era (including the fighter of the decade), guys from his preceding era and guys from the upcoming era.
So why are their resumes dissected so harshly and not so much Golovkin?
In an interesting comparison, Mayweather and Golovkin actually share a lot in common.
Both are undefeated as professionals, both world champions, they reportedly possess a tremendous work ethic, they are Olympic Medalists and both have a skill set that essentially makes the average opponent look mediocre.
Only difference is Mayweather tested his abilities against higher levels of opposition consistently and extremely early in his career, having bested the late Genaro Hernandez in his 18th professional fight at the age of 21.
Another difference of course is the level of scrutiny each one faces from the media; overall public perception.
By all accounts Golovkin appears to be a nice guy, down to earth, all that good stuff. But in the fight game, there is still a blank canvas that needs further illustration.
In regards to some of the missed opportunities for Golovkin, the choices vary.
Again with the aforementioned Erislandy Lara 22-2-2 (13 KO’s), the current WBA Super Welterweight Champion, he willing to move up in weight to fight Golovkin.
“There are a lot of people that are down to fight Golovkin. It’s just not the right people Golovkin wants. I understand he feels he is on the super star stage, but Erislandy Lara has been calling out Golovkin for a year now,” Former WBA Super Welterweight Champion Austin Trout told Sky Sports.
“If you look at everyone he has fought, they just all stand there. The one guy (Willie Monroe Jr.) who had good speed, had absolutely no power to keep him off. They are feeding him the perfect guy to make him look great, which I’m not mad about. I wish I had it so easy.”
Is the Al Haymon vs. HBO factor a large enough thorn to thwart this fight from happening? Or is it more so the case or Lara being too good of a fighter and too much of a threat?
We also have the case for Golovkin vs. Andre Ward 29-0 (15 KO’s). As each day passes, it appears this match-up seems more so like a fantasy as opposed to a match occurring in our reality.
You would think a match featuring an Olympic Silver Medalist (Golovkin) vs. an Olympic Gold Medalist (Ward) from the same Olympic Games (Athens 2004) would create enough intrigue with the network (HBO).
Both guys are world champions, undefeated; they even fight under the same athletic apparel company (Jordan).
For whatever reason, this highly intriguing match-up never manifested, as Golovkin’s team is preoccupied chasing other options.
In the past Sanchez was quoted as saying, “Ward is not relevant.” Very interesting.
Tom Loeffler appears to echo the same sentiments of Abel Sanchez and wants Ward to go through a gauntlet of stiff challenges before facing their prized pupil. The Ward vs. Golovkin fight is a story for another day.
Golovkin is approaching his mid-thirties and probably has a short shelf life in the sport; so the goal would be to maximize monetary opportunities. Thus the pursuit of Mayweather, Alvarez and Cotto.
Can’t blame Golovkin for seeking the best financial opportunities. Boxing is a dangerous sport and long standing health is not guaranteed. Golovkin is a good fighter, a consummate professional and definitely deserves large pay days.
But time is running thin and Dominic Wade 18-0 (12 KO’s) is not exactly a step up in opposition for Golovkin.
Many spectators argue Wade lost his last fight against former champion-turned-journeyman Sam Soliman 44-13 (18 KO’s), as Wade was awarded with the split decision victory.
By all accounts, Wade is not a stiff challenge. When it comes to the subject of another example of soft opposition, the excuses are tenfold but there may not be enough evidence to support the claims from the “GGG” fan base.
This can be viewed as an example of HBO protecting and building a product; matching him with limited opposition, while the commentary team manipulates viewers with false commentary and misconceptions of grandeur from Golovkin.
We’ll see an example of that this weekend. We’ll hear the commentary team herald the exploits of Gennady Golovkin, over saturate our ears with compliments so that the viewer is well informed about Golovkin’s greatness.
As a fan, we ask these fighters, these athletes to prove their greatness. Even for fighters we despise; the great ones proved their greatness at some point. The great ones embrace the challenge and combat it.
Politics are definitely a part of the sport and it would be unfair to place the entire blame on Golovkin’s team. There has to be compromise from both sides and there typically is an issue involving the networks when talking about potential match-ups.
At the end of the day, fans and critics want fighters to deliver even amidst the staple of politics. If guys are afraid of you and you can’t get the challenge you desire, move up in weight. Many great fighters of the past and even currently moved up in weight seeking greater opportunities.
Roberto Duran, Pernell Whitaker, Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, Roy Jones, Sugar Ray Leonard, Alexis Arguello, Tommy Hearns, Ray Robinson, all moved up in weight seeking bigger challenges and purses.
The argument can be made Golovkin is running out of opponents; but the argument can be made he is running out of excuses for facing bad quality opposition. Time for him to step up.