By Keith Idec
Matt Korobov believes Gennady Golovkin is a better matchmaker than fighter.
The Russian southpaw told BoxingScene.com he is more than ready to fight Golovkin in March if negotiations for a Golovkin-Danny Jacobs fight fall apart. Representatives for Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs), the WBA “super” middleweight champion, and Brooklyn’s Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs), the WBA world middleweight champion, are still discussing contractual terms for a potential fight sometime in March.
The 33-year-old Korobov (27-1, 14 KOs) most recently beat Scott Sigmon (27-10-1, 15 KOs) by unanimous decision in an eight-rounder November 18 in Kissimmee, Florida. He has won three straight bouts by unanimous decision, including a decisive defeat of Bryan Vera (24-11, 14 KOs), since Andy Lee stopped Korobov in the sixth round of their WBO middleweight title fight nearly two years ago at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
“I want the Triple-G fight,” Korobov said. “Triple-G is a very good matchmaker. He fights guys smaller than him and with not equal skills. You can’t replace amateur experience. I am the only one who can match him in this regard. I was 315 wins and 15 losses as an amateur, and 27-1 as a pro. Triple-G understands there’s a big difference between fighting someone like me and fighting guys like David Lemieux or Dominic Wade. I can match his skill level.
“Besides, Gennady is not the same. He is slowing down and I see the mistakes he makes. I will exploit these flaws. Hopefully, I will get the chance if he doesn’t fight Jacobs. They say no one wants to fight Triple-G, but this is just big propaganda. I am one of the few people rated in the WBC [No. 14 at middleweight], IBF [No. 15 at middleweight] and WBO [No. 9 at super middleweight], and there are not too many opponents for Golovkin to choose from.”
Korobov, for whom Top Rank Inc. executives had high hopes when he turned pro eight years ago, feels he is in a better place mentally than when he fought England's Lee (34-3-1, 24 KOs) for the then-vacant WBO 160-pound championship in December 2014. Before Lee landed a fight-changing, short right hand in the sixth round, Korobov was winning their scheduled 12-rounder on all three scorecards through five rounds (50-45, 50-45, 48-47).
“I feel very good,” Korobov said. “My stamina was good in my last bout. I make small modifications in every bout and keep improving. People don’t understand that boxing is very much a mental sport. Now everything is good. I have a great team and a beautiful family that motivates me. All the ingredients are there for me to become champion in 2017.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.