By Keith Idec
Gennady Golovkin didn’t watch 40-year-old Floyd Mayweather Jr. beat Conor McGregor on Saturday night.
The undefeated middleweight champion still can see himself fighting until he is Mayweather’s age. Golovkin is 35, but if he beats Canelo Alvarez next month the Kazakh knockout artist probably would need to fight only another year or year-and-a-half if wants to break Bernard Hopkins’ record of 20 straight middleweight title defenses before he retires.
Golovkin has made 18 consecutive defenses of the WBA 160-pound championship he won in August 2010. Nevertheless, Golovkin seemed open to the idea of fighting until he’s 40 when answering questions on a conference call Wednesday to promote his September 16 showdown with Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (HBO Pay-Per-View; $74.95 in HD).
“Yeah, probably,” Golovkin said. “I hope so. Right now, I feel good. Probably like 40, five years more. You know, this is boxing. Every day [brings] physical danger. Only one punch change life. Right now, I feel great. My speed, everything, is good. My family, my team support me. You know, I feel very comfortable. Probably, yeah, five, six more [years].”
Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer, figures it’ll require more high-profile fights to continue motivating Golovkin enough to keep fighting that long.
“I think if we’re able to secure the kind of fights that motivate him mentally – physically, he’s always in shape,” Sanchez said. “All great fighters like that are always in shape. But the mental part of it is so important because you have to be motivated for a fight. If [promoter] Tom [Loeffler] and the Hermann brothers [Golovkin’s managers] and the powers that be can get him the kind of fights that motivate him and reward him to come back in the gym and work just as hard he does for all fights, then yes, I can see him fighting that long. But I think if there’s an if, that’s the big if.”
That decision ultimately will belong to Golovkin.
“If he’s motivated to fight on for another three or four years, then he should,” Sanchez said. “If he doesn’t have it in him, then he shouldn’t. But I think if we do better on the 16th, I think the public will ask for him to fight on. And as long as he keeps fighting the way that I know he can, the public will keep asking for that. Hopefully, Tom can put those together.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.