By Cliff Rold
Miguel Cotto-Gennady Golovkin.
It’s not the best fight that can be made at Middleweight. In fact, it would probably be a one-sided and brutal affair.
It still needs to happen, preferably next.
That’s how obvious it is. Gennady Golovkin is the best Middleweight in the world. It’s been assumed for awhile. After two third round destructions of legitimate top ten Middleweight Matthew Macklin and Daniel Geale (a former unified titlist), the validation is in. Missing is the last stamp Golovkin can make on this era at 160 lbs.
Golovkin is the best Middleweight. He is not history’s champion. Miguel Cotto is a noble warrior and there is easier money to be made. Cotto hasn’t had a pauper’s run in boxing and can make money after he fulfills a champion’s obligation.
What, Cotto-Canelo Alvarez isn’t a big fight any time? It’s not like that’s coming next anyways so Golovkin should wait until when exactly? The Fall of 2015?
Let’s go the report cards.
Pre-Fight: Speed – Golovkin B; Geale B+/Post: Same
Pre-Fight: Power – Golovkin A+; Geale C+/Post: Same
Pre-Fight: Defense – Golovkin B; Geale B/Post: B; B-
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Golovkin A; Geale A/Post: A; B+
Not forgetting the fight that just occurred, Daniel Geale did the best he could against the prime wrecking ball in front of him. Geale let his hands go and landed some good clean shots in the limited action that occurred.
The blows didn’t have enough affect. Golovkin easily cut off the ring on Geale almost from the start and showed some new, subtle defensive improvement. Golovkin blocked more off the shoulder and slipped as he chased. He was still touched, but that’s to be expected when the intent is to land hurting bombs. Ironically, the finishing right hand landed as Golovkin swung through one of the cleaner shots Geale landed all night.
Replays like that, of a Golovkin eating a flush right and not losing a centimeter of balance as he turns over the right hand that ends a fight, are why Golovkin sometimes struggles for foes. Geale was a proven foe.
Geale was walked through.
Golovkin is talking about unification now and IBF titlist Sam Soliman might be the most likely first stop. It’s not a fight that gets the pulse moving. Soliman winning the belt from Felix Sturm (twice, needing a second attempt after failing a post-fight drug test the first time) is interesting. Soliman is still a 40-year old man who was better when he couldn’t get past Anthony Mundine, Sakio Bika, or Winky Wright years ago.
Unification is a nice gimmick but in this case it solves nothing.
The only fight at Middleweight that matters for Golovkin is Cotto. If he can get that fight, a defense against undefeated Peter Quillin would be a nice icing on his time in the class. After that, everything that matters is at 168 lbs. Andre Ward, when he gets his issues cleared up behind the scenes, is the best foe Golovkin can fight.
That’s the fight that may end up meaning the most about who the best fighter of the 2010’s ends up being.
It would have a greater shine if it pitted the lineal champion of both classes against each other.
Miguel Cotto-Gennady Golovkin.
Everything else is just business.
Report Card Picks 2014: 32-15 (Including Staff Prediction in Jennings-Perez)
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]