Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

What's Left For Gennady Golovkin To Prove?

image

By Corey Erdman

There was a distinct similarity between Gennady Golovkin and Lebron James’ performances on Saturday night.

After the plucky Toronto Raptors evened the game with James’ Cleveland Cavaliers with eight seconds left in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals, there was an aura of inevitability in the Quicken Loans Center. Everyone expects “Playoff Lebron” to show up when it matters most—the one that can win a game whenever and however he feels like it. With eight seconds left, James dribbled up the court, casually strode through the Raptors defense and easily banked a floater in off the glass for the win. A cold, calculated finish to a game that should have never been in doubt.

Golovkin, his fellow Jordan brand stable member, didn’t need 48 minutes to finish his middleweight title bout with Vanes Martirosyan—he didn’t even need six. Martirosyan, like the Raptors, is very good opposition, if just barely sub-elite. He’d given significant problems with Erislandy Lara and Demetrius Andrade, regarded as among the division’s best at the time they fought, and in Lara’s case, among the sport’s best. He landed some snappy jabs on GGG in the opening frame, and even caught him flush with a three-punch combination. But when Golovkin sat on his stool in between rounds, he had the same look Lebron always seems to have before putting the dagger through the heart of his opponent—a look of annoyance. Not long after he got off his stool, he knocked Martirosyan senseless with a series of brutal hooks. A cerebral, violent climax to a fight that should have never been in doubt.

Like James, Golovkin’s only threat to his status as best in the world would appear to be age. If and when someone beats GGG, it’s likely a result of GGG slipping skill-wise, rather than someone surpassing him. At his peak, Golovkin has faced adversity and challenge, but never his match. He was troubled by Danny Jacobs, but ultimately came out on top. He was challenged by Canelo, but nowhere near as much as at least one judge’s scorecard would have you believe. In the court of public opinion, reasonable doubt has never been proven in the case of Golovkin as best middleweight in the world.

Golovkin is the best middleweight in this era. If he were to retire today, his plaque in Canastota would say as much. But is it possible for him to be anything more? What can Canelo possibly prove from here on out?

gennady-golovkin (18)_2

You can tell it’s a query on Golovkin’s mind, because he’s started making statements pertaining to his place in history. Last week, GGG declared that his run through the middleweight division has been better than Bernard Hopkins’ was.

“I feel like a star, like a star because, just if you check Bernard’s opponents probably you understand that my record is much bigger, is much stronger, bigger,” Golovkin.

His trainer, Abel Sanchez, added “if you look at his record, he hasn’t had any rematches in there, so everybody that he’s fought has been a new opponent. The great Bernard Hopkins fought twice against Antwun Echols and three times against Robert Allen.”

Part of Golovkin and Sanchez’s positioning of his accolades against Hopkins’ is no doubt because The Executioner now helps run Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes their arch nemesis Canelo, and as such, makes for great promotional fodder. It surely won’t be long before Hopkins goes on a 55-minute philosophical diatribe in response that will be reposted by every boxing video aggregator on YouTube.

But it’s also a sign that Golovkin recognizes that he’s in the “legacy” run of his career—likely past the point in which anything he could actually do from here on out would impact his all-time standing, but not past the point in which conversation could aid him in that regard. His very own Lebron vs. Michael Jordan debate, inviting fans old and new to revisit his 20-title defense run, including the portions before he became one of the sport’s biggest stars.

In most fans’ minds, he already defeated Canelo. The prospective rematch might be an even bigger event thanks to the vitriol and controversy created by Canelo’s positive test for clenbuterol. That will make him more money, but in the general public’s eyes the best case scenario is a confirmation of what they already thought: GGG is better than Canelo.

Wins over the remaining crop of contenders—Jermall Charlo, Billy Joe Saunders and Sergiy Derevyanchenko—would be incredibly impressive to the readers of this website, but probably not to the general public. And one of the most endearing things about the hardcore boxing fanbase is also what would prevent Golovkin from surpassing Hopkins (or Carlos Monzon) in the all-time middleweight rankings--its romanticism of the past and reverence of its elders, which insists that older fighters are always better. Just as Jordan fans insist Lebron would crumble against the rugged 90s Knicks squads, there will be people arguing Keith Holmes would be a bad style matchup for Golovkin.

All this is to say that Golovkin may have reached peak appreciation levels in present day. When we’re all old and think of YouTube clips the way we think of fights on projector film, the mythology of GGG will grow the way it has for all of the sport’s greats. His legacy won’t be enhanced until we can’t see him in a ring anymore. Which hopefully doesn’t happen any time soon.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by j.razor on 06-04-2018

[QUOTE=Boksfan;18782673]Mayweather was caught doping on 3 different occasions, you can Google it, it's public. If you won't you are a Floyd dyck sucking bytch. #FACTS[/QUOTE] I searched but found only the same people who tried to ruin Floyd's career AFTER…

Comment by Boksfan on 05-18-2018

[QUOTE=j.razor;18779898]Please show me those "facts."[/QUOTE] Mayweather was caught doping on 3 different occasions, you can Google it, it's public. If you won't you are a Floyd dyck sucking bytch. #FACTS

Comment by Mike_R on 05-17-2018

Time may not be on Golovkin's side- but the middleweight division is loaded with competition. I'll admit I didn't even get past the headline of this article. He still hasn't unified with Saunders for starters. Canelo and Jacobs are 2…

Comment by DramaShow on 05-17-2018

the state of some of these comments lol. in what sport are you at your prime at 36? golovkin can fight who he wants now, hes done the hard work, hes now in his swansong

Comment by TonyGe on 05-17-2018

[QUOTE=Dle;18758137]Ggg needs to prove he can beat competitive legit experienced middleweights. Not up and coming bombs. Lost to Jacobs, drew with small Canelo. Much more to prove.[/QUOTE] Well you have a sense of humor anyway. Don't know how to score…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (278)
Top Headlines Photos: Tevin Farmer, James Tennyson - Putting in Work Photos: Demetrius Andrade Grinds For Kautondokwa Clash Photos: Jason Quigley, Freddy Hernandez - Ready For Battle Chocolatito, Cecilia Braekhus To Return on HBO, December 8 Photos: Rob Brant Showing Off His Moves at Top Rank Gym Photos: Ryota Murata Putting in Work For Rob Brant Video: Bob Arum Reacts To Canelo's Deal With DAZN Golovkin Promoter Will Be Ringside For Murata vs. Brant Clash Hearn on Canelo-DAZN: The Whole Game is About To Change Canelo-Fielding Contracts: Rehydration Clause, 2nd-Day Weigh-In Video: Rocky Fielding Discusses Showdown With Canelo Video: Canelo Talks Fielding Fight at 168, MSG, DAZN, More Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Canelo/DAZN, Joshua, DAZN Future DAZN Exec: De La Hoya The Most Important Figure in PPV History Badou Jack's Ripper Nutrition is Expanding Out To Asian Market Photos: Canelo, Golden Boy Announce Major Deal With DAZN Photos: Canelo, Rocky Fielding - Go Face To Face in NYC Andrey Fedosov Now Looking For Much Bigger Fights Golden Boy Prez: We Signed With The Leader of Sports Streaming! Josh Taylor: There is No Way That Anyone Beats Me at The Hydro Hearn: Canelo/DAZN Deal Will End PPV Boxing In the United States Dorticos on Masternak: I See a Man With KO Written on His Face Dogboe vs. Navarrete Set Down For Lomachenko-Pedraza Manny Pacquiao: Adrien Broner Fight is Next, January 12 or 19 Mayweather Believes He Can Get $200M Guarantee For Khabib Scott Harrison Begins His Comeback on December 8 Canelo, Oscar De La Hoya, DAZN Discuss New Mega-Deal Jessie Vargas Hopes To Return To The Ring By March Tevin Farmer: The Gervonta Davis Fight Won't Make Or Break Me Luis Ortiz Manager on Possible Hearn Deal, Status of Return Kautondokwa Warns: Andrade is Facing a Real Executioner! Sugar Ray Leonard: Joshua-Wilder is a Fight Made in Heaven Bradley Skeete Reacts To Talk of Gary Corcoran Clash Canelo's Deal With DAZN is 11 Fights, $365 Million Guarantee Iain Butcher vs. Ukashir Farooq For British Title on Nov. 30 Arum: Nobody Sees Al Haymon or Talks To Him - It's Not Normal! Dereck Chisora Inks Management Deal With David Haye Exciting Card Scheduled for the WBO Convention in Panama Farmer: I'm Still Learning on The Job Every Day, It's Just Scary Canelo: Mayweather Should Return The Right Way - Fight Me!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement