Gennadiy G Golovkin – Five things we learned:
- GGG is back – and it sure was great to have him. The threshing machine of the last ten years may have his tools blunted by the sands of time, but the chopping shots that exploded on Ryota Murata’s head on Saturday reminded us how good GGG still is. True, he was slow and it took him a few rounds to get going, after having one fight in almost three years, but once he checked in he forced the pace and started landing those powerful jabs followed by clubbing head and body shots and his brave Japanese opponent gradually unravelled. The stoppage came at 2:11 of the ninth. Murata entered the contest with a 16-2 (13 KO) record and an Olympic gold medal to his log. Golovkin, four years his senior, systematically took him apart and to this writer remains the most entertaining fighter in boxing. A man who’s never in a bad fight and always brings his ‘Big Drama show’ and undoubted class to the party.
- He ain’t what he was, but it doesn’t matter – Golovkin looked vulnerable to pace and body shots on Saturday. He’s never been dropped or stopped as a professional, but is starting to show a fallibility to body shots. A man of forty years of age should do ! Whilst the strength of his chin is unquestionable, it’s the softer parts of his finely chiselled body that may be his downfall. However, to get to it you’ve got to penetrate that jab and work inside his class and relentless attack. YOU will have to be able to take a shot to do that, and not many fighters are able to tough it out.
- The Canelo trilogy fight has to happen – One all in most ring observers books and you’d have to be GGG’s worst critic not to give him the right to challenge the #1 pound-for-pounder Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KO’s) in a third defining fight. First the Mexican must come through a tough assignment at light-heavyweight against Russian Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KO’s) on May 7 in Las Vegas. But, if and when that happens, September 17 is pencilled in for the Canelo-GGG trilogy fight. Despite it’s late coming it will likely be the biggest grossing fight in boxing history. Mexico City is the front runner for its staging, but the Vegas casinos will be pushing hard for that one.
- The Hall awaits – In the modern era it’s commonplace to give current fighters a lack of respect compared to those of yesteryear. True, life was tougher in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s. There was more hardship and more fighters operating of high quality. Even, into the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s there were great fighters and great divisions, non more so than the 160lb (11st, 6lb) category. Some of the greatest fighters of all time have operated in this weight class. Think – Robinson, Monzon and Hagler. But, Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin can rightly sit among them, making a record number of defences (albeit of a splintered title) but taking part in two ‘fights of the ages’ with Canelo and compiling a 42-1-1 (37 KO) record.
- The end is nigh – Enjoy Golovkin while you can. Realistically he has one more fight left. Win, lose or draw against Canelo that will be it. Even in the modern era no fighter can compete at the elite level well into their early forties, unless they don’t have to make weight. It’s likely the Canelo fight, should it ultimately happen, will take place at a catchweight 168lbs (12st) or at light-heavy. The nine years younger Mexican will be an undoubted favorite going in. However, most great fighters have one great night left. Don’t count the Kazakh out.
Other main news over the weekend was the successful return of Ryan Garcia (22-0, 18 KO’s) against Emmanuel Tagoe with a hard fought unanimous twelve round decision. The 23 year old Mexican is one of the brightest stars in boxing and will look to work his way through the stacked lightweight (135lb/9st,9lb) division.