COMMENTARY | It's no secret that Gennady Golovkin has the goods to be a huge star in boxing. He has the punching power that is eerily reminiscent of Rocky IV's Ivan Drago minus the bad attitude and Brigitte Nielson by his side. The fighter from Kazakhstan also possesses a very likable personality that, coupled with his crippling power, could give him massive crossover appeal. The only thing holding him back is the lack of willing competition. And if the middleweights were fearful of stepping between the ropes with Golovkin before, his wicked devastation of Matthew Macklin certainly sealed the deal.
But what about the other divisions where bigger names dwell?
Golovkin has said in the past that he is willing to fight anyone from the junior middleweight to super middleweight. The questions is, who in those weight classes is willing to fight him? As of right now, the list of fighters shrink with each devastating knockout. But if Golovkin's warpath continues, the big names in the sport will have no choice but to fight him. And if Golovkin and trainer Abel Sanchez have their way, that means a showdown with the likes of Floyd Mayweather or Saul "Canelo" Alvarez could be in their future.
In a recent interview with LifeandTimes.com, Sanchez explained the simplicity of Golovkin descending a weight class in the event that an opportunity to face the likes of Canelo or Mayweather opened up.
"If Canelo or Mayweather wanted to fight Golovkin at 154, we would just need to know ahead of time so I can start dropping him a little quicker," Sanchez said. "Right now I'm not even dropping him. It's so easy (making weight). I'm talking (he weighs) 167 lbs before training. That is his walk around weight. We did say that he'd fight anybody from 154 to 168 lbs and in those ranges I don't think that anybody at 154 lbs goes the distance with him."
While some may scoff at Sanchez' claims that Golovkin would stop anyone at junior middleweight inside of 12 rounds, the proof is in the pudding that GGG's power is paralyzing and no boxer once the bell rings. With 24 knockouts in 27 fights while campaigning at middleweight, a drop down in weight shouldn't sap the power from his punches. And that spells danger for anyone, including Mayweather and Alvarez.
But the reality is that Golovkin is a huge risk for either fighter and it wouldn't be a surprise if both Mayweather and Alvarez steer clear of Golovkin for as long as they can. But eventually, avoidance may not be an option as worthy opponents for Mayweather or Canelo will dwindle and public demand for either to face Golovkin will come to an inaudible roar. They may not face him in the near future (or in Mayweather's case, ever), but Golovkin is willing to wait and continue to bury everyone in his path.
"I think after three fights, or two fights, I will go to junior middleweight because of Floyd and Saul Alvarez," Golovkin said. "Those are great fighters. Miguel Cotto is also very good. Why not? I feel great and junior middleweight is no problem for me. Maybe in the next two years I will go to super middleweight."
Who lurks at super middleweight? Andre Ward. And Ward has made it clear that he's one of the few fighters willing to face Golovkin.
"It's a no-brainer," said Ward, who called the fight from ringside. "I don't have a problem fighting anybody. Look at my track record. But if you ask Golovkin's team, they'll tell you it's a year or two away. But I'm used to fighting the boogieman. It doesn't faze me."
Interestingly enough, it is Golovkin's promoter that isn't quite ready to set up the fight with Andre Ward. Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions, suggests that his fighter will continue to clean out the middleweight division and that a fight with Ward "wouldn't make sense at this particular time." The probable reason is that Ward is still working on becoming a big name himself and pitting two rising stars against each other this wouldn't maximize the potential financial windfall that could happen in late 2014. The waiting game is a plan that could backfire, but that's where Loeffler stands as of right now.
So who is next for Golovkin? Who knows. But what we do know is that Gennady Golovkin is an extremely dangerous fighter that is willing to fight anybody. It's just a matter of anybody outside of Andre Ward being willing to fight him.
Andreas Hale is a former editor at websites including BET.com and HipHopDX.com. Today, he resides in the fight capital of the world and has covered boxing and MMA for mainstream media outlets such as MTV.com and Jay-Z's LifeandTimes.com, as well as die-hard outlets including FightNews.com, Fight! Magazine, Ultimate MMA, CagePotato.com and others. You can follow him on Twitter (@AndreasHale).
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- Gennady Golovkin
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