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Respecting the Sport


Respecting the Sport
By: Matthew N. Becher

Boxing is a sport based on respect. It is something that you need to earn. Either by fighting the toughest opponents available, or simply by garnering it with your punching ability while in the ring. Without respect you will not get far in the sport. Opponents will walk you down, feeling no need to respect your power and fans will tear you apart for not fighting, who they deem, the best possible opponent.

Photo Credit: Hogan Photos

Last week in Las Vegas, Amir Khan skipped two weight classes to take on the lineal Middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The fight went as almost everyone expected. It may have lasted a few rounds longer, but in the end, Canelo demolished Khan. A thunderous shot that completely melted Khan into the canvas. Thankfully Khan was alright, and in the end, it seemed that in defeat he gained just as much respect as though he had won. This seemed a little off. Social media was a blaze in praising Khan for taking on the bigger opponent, or standing toe to toe with Canelo for as long as he did. Khan lost. The fact of the matter is he lost pretty badly. Khan was hit with such force that he was completely unconscious on his feet, before crashing to the canvas. Is this what earns respect? Did Khan take this fight, truly believing that he could beat a rehydrated Canelo? Or did Khan take this fight because he could walk away with an estimated $6-13 million dollar purse regardless of the outcome?

A lot of fighters take on opponents that they surely cannot beat, and they get relegated to “Bums” or “nobodies” by the fans and Media. A few weeks prior, Dominic Wade, an undefeated middleweight contender took on and lost to Unified Champion Gennady Golovkin. Wade was unheard of and unofficially deemed the “tomato can” that somehow got in the ring with GGG. Wade had no shot at winning, but he did have a one hundred percent guarantee to walk out of that ring with a check for half a million dollars. The largest purse that he has ever seen in his life. Nobody rained down respect when it came to Dominic Wade, or for Golovkin for that matter.

Khan is a good fighter with a chin that does not hold up to solid shots. He was knocked out two times prior to Saturday night, both by men that weighed 140-150 lbs. What did we all think would happen when a 25 year old, prime, middleweight champion connected? Should we even be respecting Canelo’s power? Wouldn’t have any top 10 middleweight have been able to put down a welterweight with one shot?

In 2014, a little know fighter from Pittsburgh named Rod Salka was positioned to fight Danny Garcia in the main event at the Barclays center. Salka was a career jr. lightweight, but for a six figure pay day he was more than willing to go up and face an undefeated World Champion at Jr. Welterweight. Salka was nearly decapitated by Garcia and has since been the butt of many a boxing joke. Same for Garcia who has been dubbed the “Cherry Picker” ever since. What’s the difference between these two fights?

Garcia and Canelo both did what everyone expected them to do as the superior, bigger men. Except Garcia is seen as a “ducker” and Canelo as a big puncher who is at the top of the sports revenue stream. Khan and Salka, were both guys that took more money than they have ever made before in stepping up in weight. Though Khans’ future looks very bright, with multiple options available.

Boxing has weight classes for a reason. This is the reason! Jr. Welterweight champions shouldn’t be looking to strictly jump up two weight classes and be expected to compete with top middleweights. It’s not about trying to get “respect” from the sport, it is a money grab. Khan made a lot of it on Saturday, he paid a price to get it, but he will be ok, and drop back down to 147 where he may be able to continue his career.

Let’s not get it confused. Anyone who steps in the ring and puts their lives on the line, because that is what every single professional boxer is doing, should deserve our respect for that. When you go in with no intentions or chance of actually winning, then don’t try and think that we do not see what you are doing. It’s disrespectful to all of us.

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Golovkin Wipes Out Wade, Chocolatito Defeats Arroyo


HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Golovkin Wipes Out Wade, Chocolatito Defeats Arroyo
By: William Holmes

The Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California was the host site for tonight’s broadcast of HBO’s World Championship Boxing.

Two titles were on the line tonight as Gennady “GGG” Golovkin defended his middleweight titles against the young American Dominic Wade. Top pound for pound boxer Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez defended his flyweight title against former Olympian McWilliams Arroyo.

Tonight was the third time that Roman Gonzalez and Gennady Golovkin fought on the same card.

---   Photo Credit : Chris Farina -  K2 Promotions  April 20, 2016 , Santa Monica,Ca. ---  Boxing Superstar and Unified World Middleweight Champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin, 34-0 (31KO’s) works out during media day Wednesday at the Wild Card West in Santa Monica, California.  Boxing Superstar and Undefeated, Unified World Middleweight Champion Gennady, “GGG” Golovkin, 34-0 (31KO’s) will defend his titles (WBA, IBF, IBO and WBC “Interim’) against Undefeated Mandatory Challenger Dominic Wade, 18-0 (12KO’s) on Saturday, April 23 at the Fabulous Forum in the main event at UNDEFEATED.  Co-featured will be Consensus #1 Pound-For-Pound Fighter and WBC Flyweight World Champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, 44-0 (38KO’s) battling World Ranked Contender McWilliams Arroyo, 16-2 (14KO’s) of Puerto Rico.  Both bouts will be televised Live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. Tickets for UNDEFEATED, priced at $400, $300, $200, $100, $60 and $30, are now on sale through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000) and the Forum Box Office.  Golovkin vs. Wade is promoted by K2 Promotions, GGG Promotions and in association with TGB Promotions. Gonzalez vs. McWilliams is presented by K2 Promotions in association with Teiken Promotions and PR Best Boxing Promotions.

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (44-0) opened up as a huge favorite over McWiliams Arroyo (16-2)
, but took his time in the opening round and both boxers spent the round feeling each other out while keeping a high guard.

Arroyo came out strong in the second round by landing multiple lead left hooks. Arroyo and Gonzalez exchanged several hard body shots, and at times Arroyo had Gonzalez moving backward. Gonzalez, hwoeve, slowed the momentum of Arroyo with a heavy body shot and closed the round strong.

Gonzalez’s dominance began to show in the third round as his body shots and uppercuts were landing with regularity and he was able to walk through some of the best punches of Arroyo. One left hook in particular rocked the jaw of Arroyo and Arroyo continued to take punishment to the body and head as the round came to an end.

The sole of Arroyo’s shoe came off in the fourth round, but Gonzalez showed no mercy and kept up the blistering pace. Arroyo fought back when he could, and was able to fire off some semi effective counters in the fifth and sixth rounds, but Gonzalez was still landing nearly double the punches of Arroyo.

Arroyo could do little but fight while moving backwards in the seventh round and his chin was tested often. A big left hook from Gonzalez hurt Arroyo in the opening minute of the eighth round and Gonzalez’s barrage of power shots continued into the ninth round.

By the tenth round the only chance of Arroyo pulling off the victory would have been by come from behind knockout, but Gonzalez never stepped off the gas pedal and battered Arroyo from corner to corner.
Arroyo showed incredible heart and gave Gonzalez a tougher fight than expected, but he was still outclassed and could not keep up with the pace of Gonzalez.

The judges scored the bout 119-109, 119-109, and 120-108 for Gonzalez.

The main event of the evening was between Gennady Golovkin (34-0) and Dominic Wade (18-0) in the middleweight division.

Wade was the taller fighter inside the ring, but Golovkin started the bout off strong and was landing hard shots to the body and head of Wade. Golovkin scored a knockdown in the first round with a right behind the ear of Wade. Wade was able to get up and survive the round, but Golovkin had landed three times the number of punches that Wade landed in the opening salvo.

Golovkin started off the second round aggressively and was looking for the kill. Golovkin appeared to let Wade land a five punch combination in the middle of the ring as if to say you can’t hurt me, and then followed it up with a right hand to the temple that sent Wade to the mat. Wade got up before the count of ten, but looked wobbly. Golovkin immediately jumped on Wade and took some shots in the process, but landed another right hook that sent Wade crashing to the mat by the corner.

Wade was unable to get back to his feet and remained on his knees at the count of ten.

Golovkin won by knockout, for the twenty second time in a row, at 2:37 of the second round.

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HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Golovkin vs. Wade, Chocolatito vs. Arroyo


HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Golovkin vs. Wade, Chocolatito vs. Arroyo
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night two of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters in the world, Gennady Golovkin and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, will defend their titles at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood California. These bouts will be televised live on HBO.

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Both Golovkin and Wade are considered the heir apparent to the throne that Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao have abdicated since their retirement, and both are deserving of that title.

Big money matchups await both if they are successful on Saturday night. The following is a preview of both of these fights.

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (44-0) vs. McWilliams Arroyo (16-2); WBC Flyweight Title

HBO has recently shown more attention to the lighter weight classes in boxing, and nobody has benefited more from that exposure than Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.

Gonzalez has some of the best movement in boxing today and has the ability to attack from all angles and finish a fighter when the opportunity presents itself. He has stopped thirty eight of his opponents with a knockout ratio of 86%. That nmber is even more impressive when you consider he’s been a world champion since 2008.

His opponent, McWilliams Arroyo, is a Puerto Rican boxer that has stopped fourteen of his opponents. However, Arroyo has not been as active as Gonzalez and has not faced the level of opposition that Gonzalez has faced. Arroyo is thirty years old and two years older than Gonzalez. He’ll have a slight one inch height advantage.

Gonzalez has been very active as a champion and fought three times in 2015 and four times in 2014. Contrastingly, Arroyo has only fought once in 2015, twice in 2014, and once in 2013.

Both boxers have had successful amateur careers. Gonzalez had a record of 88-0 as an amateur and won the flyweight gold medal in the 2004 Central American Championships. Arroyo won the gold medal in the 2009 World Amateur Boxing Championships as a flyweight.

Gonzalez has defeated the likes of Brian Viloria, Edgar Sosa Medina, Akira Yaegashi, Rocky Fuentes, Omar Soto, and most impressively, Juan Francisco Estrada. Arroyo’s losses have come against Amnat Ruenroeng for the IBF Flyweight title and Takashi Okada. His notable victories include Victor Ruiz, Foilan Saludar, and Miguel Tamayo.

Even though Arroyo had an impressive amateur background, he will be overmatched in the ring when he faces Gonzalez. Arroyo does have the power to pull off an upset victory, but it appears highly unlikely to happen.

Gennady Golovkin (34-0) vs. Dominic Wade (18-0); WBA/IBF/Interim WBC Middleweight Title

The main event of the evening will be between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Dominic Wade in a middleweight title fight.
Golovkin has been begging for a big money fight ever since HBO started televising his bouts, and it appears Canelo Alvarez could be next for him if he is successful on Saturday.

Golovkin is currently riding an amazing twenty one fight stoppage streak. His last non stoppage victory was way back in 2008. Golovkin possesses power that no current middleweight can match. He has stopped thirty one of his opponents, and has kept an active schedule.

Golovkin has fought three times in 2015 and 2014. His opponent, Dominic Wade, fought four times in 2014 but only one time in 2015.

Golovkin had a very successful amateur career and was a 2004 Silver Medalist in the Olympics and a 2003 Gold Medalist in the Amateur World Championships. Wade does not have the amateur success on the international stage that Golovkin posseses.

However, Wade does have some advantages in the ring. He is eight years younger than the thirty four year old Golovkin and will possess a four and a half inch reach advantage.

Wade, however, has never faced an opponent that is on Golovkin’s level. His biggest wins to date were over Nick Brinson, Sam Soliman, and Marcus Upshaw. His last fight was against Sam Soliman, and it was only a split decision victory.

Golovkin on the other hand has soundly beaten every opponent that dared step in the ring with him, including several top rated opponents. He has defeated the likes of David Lexmieux, Willie Monroe Jr. Martin Murray, Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, Gabriel Rosado, and Kassim Ouma.

This is one of the rare instances in which an Al Haymon fighter will participate in an HBO televised event. However, this is a case where Wade is a heavy underdog with little chance of victory. Golovkin is getting older and will be past his physical prime soon, so observers will be paying attention to see if he’s showing signs of slowing down, but his impressive knockout streak will likely continue on Saturday.

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The Making of a Boxing Star: Gennady Golovkin


The Making of a Boxing Star: Gennady Golovkin
By: Matthew N. Becher

The American Dream is a thing that many people strive for, from all walks of life, all over the world. The dream that you can work hard, be honest, and one day you will have formed a better life than the one you came from, for not only yourself but for your family. It isn’t an easy thing to achieve. Many obstacles present themselves to the immigrants and foreigners chasing the American dream. In the sport of Boxing this is no different. To be a fighter from a foreign country the opportunity for stardom lies in the United States, and to grab hold of your full potential, you must be able to work harder than a fighter who was born and raised here.

GolovkinRubio_Hoganphotos7

A world championship is something that can be won anywhere. A great fighter can be from any country, but to truly be ranked as the upper echelon of fighter, to be the fighter making the giant pay days, on pay per view, you have to have more than just the pretty smile and knockout punch.

Gennady Golovkin is the WBA & IBF middleweight champion of the world, and for him to become the face of the sport, he will have to work harder than any American fighter. Here is why.

Golovkin is from Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Not only is that a place few people could point out on a map, he grew up speaking a different language. To become a star in America, you have to speak English, it’s an unfortunate thing to say, but it has always been that way. People are not interested in hearing interviews, talk show appearances or press conferences and always hear their favorite fighter answer through a translator. Golovkin speaks English, he actually speaks several languages, and that is what is great about him. He realized how to adjust and did the work. Of course his English is not perfect, but you can understand him and he is able to get his point across to his fans. He can thank them and engage. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is a very big deal. This was one of the main reasons why Manny Pacquiao went from 2x world champion that nobody could pick out of a lineup to global superstar.

Something else that you need to become the best in the sport is branding. Floyd Mayweather had “TBE” or “Money Mayweather”, Oscar Dela Hoya is “The Golden boy” and Manny Pacquiao had “Pacman”. Golovkin is simply “GGG”, his initials, but those three letters have become synonymous with who he is, and ahead of his fight on April 23rd against Dominic Wade, he will have added a new sponsor to his already well branded “GGG”, Nike’s Jordan brand has signed the undefeated champion to their team. One of the most famous brands in the world. One of the most iconic athletes, Michael Jordan, has signed “GGG” up. Only the 3rd boxer to ever garner the jump man logo, in company with Roy Jones Jr. and Andre Ward.

Another way to get to the next level is adapting to your new environment. Just this past week, Golovkin threw out the first pitch at the L.A. Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants game. A man from Kazakhstan, who we guess, never played much baseball, threw out the first pitch in what is known as “America’s Game”. Golovkin also regularly appears on US television shows like TMZ and ESPN. He now resides with his family in Los Angeles, Hollywood. When he fought at Madison Square Garden last year, he made a one night appearance in the play “Rocky” on Broadway. He works with what he has, and doesn’t stop.

Inside the ring, Golovkin is one of the best in the world. He has the picture perfect smile and knockout power. He is ranked pound for pound in every imaginable list out there. He is a nightmare to all opponents and what he wants more than anything else is to hold all the belts in the middleweight division, fight the best opponents that will actually accept his challenge and make money.

They say on fight night that the work is done in the gym. With Gennady Golovkin it is and it is put in so many other places that it truly shows that the American dream is alive and can be obtained. With hard work, hope and will, anyone can make it.

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