Gennady Golovkin—Second Best?

By Johnathan Lee Iverson on June 25, 2015
Gennady Golovkin—Second Best?
I concede Golovkin is good. He’s powerful, ambitious, and packs a devastating punch.

I refuse to cosign the notion that a man whose fight résumé leaves much to be desired is the second best boxer in the world…

It appears that our blood lust has a way of leaving our brains deprived. Crassly speaking that is how things tend to work out when our carnal urges peak. I blame the heavyweights. No matter the prodigious skill of boxing’s greatest little men, the mainstream public—those fly-by-night fans, who grace the sport with a windfall when the hype and the fighters are paired just right only know blood, and that blood, that pain, has traditionally been the prolific work of the heavyweight division.

However, we all know the heavyweight division has been overwhelmed by a proverbial drought for well over a decade, leaving fans famished; and with such severe hunger comes delusions. In the midst of such delusions may come masterful opportunists who stoke the violent hopes and even reap untold fortunes by not becoming the executor we all crave, but by becoming the most elusive target in boxing—he whose execution we long to see. It has carried him through 48 professional bouts, unscathed and unbeaten, all the while having not come close to putting an opponent on their backside, (at least one who bothered to pay attention) since 2009—cashing in on all the venomous hopes for his down fall.

Enter Gennady Golovkin—“The Most Dangerous Man In The Sport.” Can we try to come up with new phraseology? The man the sport has come to know as GGG is all the rage if your source for boxing news is Yahoo! Sports. Naturally, the network he fights on, HBO has pushed him as the second coming of Mike Tyson and why not? That’s their job. I concede Golovkin is good. He’s powerful, ambitious, and packs a devastating punch. Best of all, his punch is not all he depends on. But, who in the mainstream cares for all those incidentals anyway—we want blood! Fine, GGG brings the pain—but against who?

I’m all for hype. After all P.T. Barnum said it best, “without promotion something terrible happens…nothing!” This is ITALICPrize Fighting and when all is said and done bills must be paid, thus great fights must be made and if we are to have great fights, then great fighters must not only be cultivated. However, these things ought not happen at the expense of integrity. Grant it, I know such a word carries a rather loose meaning in the business of boxing, yet it still matters. Therefore, the loud whispers that have cleverly elevated Gennady Golovkin to the rank of Second Best Fighter on the planet must be corrected, for he most certainly is not. I’ll concede that he is worthy of our attention, I’ll even accept the recycled phraseology, but I utterly refuse to cosign the notion that a man whose fight résumé leaves much to be desired is the second best boxer in the world.

“Well, nobody wants to fight him…high risk, low reward…” his supporters like to claim. Nevertheless, you simply can’t wish a fighter into contention—they must earn it no matter how much they are perceived to be due. Until further notice that number two spot belongs to none other than Andre “S.O.G.” Ward. He actually earned it—you need only look to his record. He’s cleaned out his entire division.

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  1. No10Count 02:51pm, 06/30/2015

    Agree- Ward is a LHW slimming down to fight at SMW.
    Always has been.  Never understood why everyone was shouting for GGG to move up to fight Ward when he comes it at 158-159 every time.  He even said he could go down to 154.

    Please start shouting for Ward to move up
    to where he belonged in the first place.  LHW.  He needs to go fight Stevenson.  Take that belt (I dont hold Stevenson in high regards) and then fight Kovalev in a unification bout. 

  2. nicolas 09:35am, 06/29/2015

    How really good Golovkin is came somewhat into question when basically Cotto had the same result against Geale. true, perhaps with the loss to Golovkin, he was damaged goods as I call it, and the catch weight perhaps did not hurt, but I wonder if the catch weight would have really mattered, look at the Porter win over what’s his name. I became a believer the first time in Golovkin when he defeated Macklin with such ease. However what bothered me was when Golovkin’s people apparently turned down the challenge of Erisandy Lara. I don’t care about contractual problems, but I do think that would have been a much more interesting fight than against either Murray or most certainly Monroe.

  3. Galvar 08:11pm, 06/28/2015

    Correction on my last post.  Ward beats GGG at super middleweight.  I like GGG but I don’t think he can box as well as Ward.  I think GGG would have a punchers chance.  But at super mw, not sure it will carry up.

  4. raxman 06:58pm, 06/28/2015

    the barker - and really Floyd is only just a welterweight. he walks around at not much more than 147 pounds - obviously, as B-hop has shown ones body gives greater career longevity if not taxed with boil downs; and no doubt there are other reason Floyd chose to campaign at jnr welter only briefly, but the fact is, as a welterweight Floyd isn’t built like either of the Sugar Rays, yet to make 3 of his biggest and more entertaining fights Floyd went up to jnr middle
    Beau Jack - Andre Ward is almost certain to move to 175. It was where he fought as an amateur and its where I think, he will cement his name as an ATG (and if his best is yet to come that is a big deal given his scalps at 168 include Kessler and Froch - arguably two of the best ever at the weight class). Everyone on here knows I’m a long time Kovalev fan, but I just don’t see him beating Ward. Saying Ward isn’t as slick defensively as Bhop, I feel is just wrong. I think Ward has exactly the same old school defensive skills as Bhop but has the young mans reflexes to go with them. Add to that very, very fast hands. Ward has the speed and reflexes to fight on the outside but unlike 99% of the amateurs from his era, including GGG and SK, Ward is a genius on the inside. that era of amateurs that needed 3 judges to push a button to recognise a punch gave birth to a whole generation of boxers who only ever learned to fight med-long range. the fighter that can get inside of GGG jab, smother him, and work short punches is the man who can beat him. and it may be that SOG is the only man who can do that - and after all it was GGG’s people that said he’d fight anyone from 154-75 - I always thought 54 was too small and 75 too big but 168 seems the natural progression, it would be a shame for him to wait until Ward was at light heavy
    Having said all that I am no fan of SOG the person. I find him sanctimonious and self righteous but I deal with this as I do with Floyd’s personality, by only watching them fight, and never watching an I/V.

  5. The Barker 03:02pm, 06/28/2015

    Isn’t funny how the bar is set and adjusted accordingly. The same people who berated Mayweather for pouncing on a smaller Marquez want that same Mayweather to move up two weight classes for a fighter whose fan base doesn’t extend beyond this message board.

    The question was posed why hasn’t GGG moved up for better competitions if that’s the concern?

  6. steve 11:53am, 06/28/2015

    It appears Ward has his fan base (barker) on here. I don’t see one mention of Wards fan base that Ward should and will step up for Kovalev and what they think outcome will be. I believe within 10 rounds Kov KOs Ward, as Ward is not the slippery boxer B Hop is and therefore will be hit more cleanly.

    It is NOT GGG’s fault he hasn’t had better opposition. In fact those that scream Lara are hypocritical in that they also say GGG has to earn his rep and fight above his weight class. Fighting Lara would just further diminish GGG as Lara has NEVER had a victory and is indeed the smaller man.

    Let;s be fair and keep things in the proper perspective.

  7. beaujack 07:01am, 06/28/2015

    A poster writes that GGG should step up to LH or 168 pounds so we can be better entertained…But he doesn’t ask for Andre Ward to go up and challenge Kovalev for the LH weight crown . Why not ? What is good for the goose is good for the gander, it is said…I like Andre Ward a lot, but in the past a LH weight was from 161 pounds to 175 pounds, and truly the talented Ward is a lightheavyweight pure and simple… Give GGG his due as a great talent and EXCITING ring attraction, and remember folks GGG cannot be blamed for the dearth of top talent in today’s MW division. Not at all…

  8. raxman 01:47am, 06/28/2015

    there appears a new argument in this thread - Andre Ward shouldn’t be considered the measuring stick for GGG because he is a weight class above. Yet Floyd stepping up a weight class is regularly expected. 
    the fact is GGG should be fighting at 168 because there are better fights, better depth of fighter, at that weight class.
    golovkin wouldnt be the first fighter to step up a class for a better spectacle.
    and i actually believe aside from ward, he’d dominate at super middle - however there would be that little bit more risk than what he is facing now. and as much as anyone else GGG’s people are all about risk vs reward

  9. beaujack 08:28pm, 06/27/2015

    Galvar, you are saying “no matter what Ward beats GGG” ! SO WHAT ?
    Andre Ward who I like is a darn Lightheavyweight fighting GGG a MW under 160 pounds…A class heavier than GGG. I will come back with a Kovalev would certainly beat Andre Ward, though they both are lightheavyweights…We should compare fighters head to head from the same weight class, wouldn’t you think ? GGG though he through no fault of his own, hasn’t met top caliber MWs as Ward has met the opponents of his weight class, it is true…But GGG has decimated all his opponents he has faced and WHO is to say , HE HAS NOT BEEN IMPRESSIVE ?...

  10. Galvar 07:01pm, 06/27/2015

    No matter who GGG fights and looks against, Ward beats him.

  11. Travis Roste 06:14pm, 06/27/2015

    Golovkin is right there at the top.  He’s the real thing. If you saw what he did to Geale when he got punched right in the face, he didnt flinch and continued his punch and floored Geale, I don’t see anyone else who does that. There is something special about him.  If a lot of people are trying to say why Golovkin isn’t great, then he’s great, or else they wouldn’t be mentioning him. He’s scary great.

  12. The Barker 03:11pm, 06/27/2015

    There’s nothing to answer because you’re not even serious. Look at Ward’s level of competition in the Super Six alone. It’s not even worthy of conversing with you. I’m not trying to be dismissive, but if your argument is “well, we have to judge his potential” and that’s how he earns that spot it’s simply ridiculous.

  13. Koolz 12:55pm, 06/27/2015

    The Barker
    yep that’s what I think of Ward.  Hey it’s just my view of things.
    I still say you should answer.

  14. beaujack 07:40am, 06/27/2015

    Carlos M. A very good report on the fighting style of GGG…I have been watching boxing for 6 decades, and GGG has a style all his own. He has a way of snaking his punches in an arc style that gets around his opponents defense of his jaw, and is difficult to defend…I don’t know what his doubters want him to do short of maiming his opponents?...In days of yore Andre Ward would be a light heavyweight at 168 or so, and GGG is a true MW. If some folks who rave about Ward [an excellent fighter], why not match Andre up with the LH Kovalev ? After all they have to go out of GGG’s weight class to find a fighter who dares stepping into the ring with him…I would rather watch GGG fight than a Mayweather any day of the week, though he is usually rated #1 today. GGG brings BIG
    “DRAHMA” into his bouts…

  15. The Barker 10:31pm, 06/26/2015

    “Over inflated Ward?” You’re not even worth the argument.

  16. Koolz 06:56pm, 06/26/2015

    The Barker

    You also fail to read.  Who at Middle Weight is step up for Golovkin to fight.
    Let’s hear it.
    Post the Great Middle Weight that GGG is supposed to beat to bring up to an amazing Status like the Over Inflated Ward.

  17. The Barker 06:01pm, 06/26/2015

    I’m reading some sorry arguments as why GGG should maintain his manufactured status…very sorry. Great fighters are made by fighting and defeating the best.

    Andre Ward crushed all the top guys in his division. GGG has beaten a wash up Rubio. Stop the madness. We don’t rate potential, we rate achievement.

  18. Koolz 05:26pm, 06/26/2015

    I am little annoyed with you guys you remind me of all the others on forums that post GGG fights Bums .

    So Golovkin exists in this Time and in this Time it’s all about GGG.

    Boxers in four weight divisions say his name.  No can stop talking about him.  Coaches, Managers bring him up,
    But few, very few have the Balls to step in the ring with him.

    Golovkin is a Middle weight.  With your amazing knowledge of the game which Middle weight is a step up for GGG.

    No one?  yea thoughts so.  Golovkin is so good he has to go to whole new weight division up to challenge what you consider the very best.

    Or he has to go down a whole weight division to challenge what people consider the very best.

    In Martial arts you should be able to view someones ability and see who they would beat or who they wouldn’t beat by the way they fight.

    I see no one beating Golovkin.  I also see these amazing fights in multiple divisions not happening because those fights the Boxers will not risk it.
    Seems everything is about the Risk.  Are they willing to Risk it?
    The GGG Train Rolls on and Managers, Coaches, Boxers will call him out,
    But who will get in the ring to fight him.

  19. The Barker 11:23am, 06/26/2015


    You speaketh the TRUTH!

  20. beaujack 08:20am, 06/26/2015

    Yes “until GGG beats someone better than Murray “,  GGG cannot at this juncture be considered an alltime great MW. BUT this reasoning doesn’t MEAN that he MAY NOT be an alltime great MW. You can have said this about any great fighter in history who was coming into his own. And I regard A Mayweather today as not comparable to a Robinson, a Gavilan, an Emile Griffith, a Ray Leonard or Tommy Hearns, in the WW pantheon of boxing. Whatever and whoever GGG has not fought, he destroys Floyd at 155 pounds IMO., Because a GGG hasn’t the MW competition of the MWs of the past modern era DOES NOT MEAN he couldn’t rise to the occasion…
    A fighter can only beat the fighters of his time and GGG does that impressively I say…

  21. raxman 10:16pm, 06/25/2015

    absolute music to my ears. finally. someone on here writing some truth.
    GGG may well be the next great thing in boxing. but I wont be on board until he beats someone a little better than Martin Murray.
    one of the common valuations we use to judge a fighters career whilst their still in the midst of it is how many future HOF fighters they’ve faced and beaten. Golovkin? none. its exactly the same hype that had carried a pre Calzaghe Jeff Lacy and pre Froch Lucian Bute. Both dismantled the first moment they stepped up.
    I can still remember on this very site the number of “no Raxman, you don’t understand, its not who Bute beats but how he beats them”
    well i’ll say this once more, it is absolutely all about “who” and not “how”.
    For mine the most dangerous man in the sport is the one who is proven at 175, the guy who’s actually well on the way to cleaning out his division - Sergey the Krusher Kovalev

  22. The Barker 08:18pm, 06/25/2015

    Are people actually disputing Andre Ward’s place at No. 2 ahead of Golovkin? Ward has not only shown superior skill, he’s shown it vs. superior opposition.

  23. beaujack 08:02pm, 06/25/2015

    You base your article on the assumption so commonly used saying “who of note did he beat to claim the No.2 spot in boxing” ?...But every great fighter of yesterday who roared through their division until they met the top contenders, could have the same criticisms said about them at some time in their career…I saw the young WW Ray Robinson fight early in his career, looking like a world beater though he did not meet the top challengers yet. So by your reasoning you could say “who did he beat to rave about him so early” ?. But sometimes a boxing fan who recognizes remarkable talents early in their career must go out on a limb, and in GGG though through no fault of his own, the present MW division is barren of top talent, I and others see a great all-time talent that transcends eras…

  24. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 02:24pm, 06/25/2015

    I for one hope that Monroe is not given a get well bout and is in tough next time out. As I posted earlier, it seems that these days everybody and their auntie is frisky and froggy for GGG based IMO in large part on the wrong headed notion that Monroe was little more than a walkover.

  25. Carlos Maryn 12:09pm, 06/25/2015

    Although GGG has yet to prove himself with worthy opponents, I still believe he belongs on top. Sure he has devastating power, but no boxer can land as many jabs as he can GGG is truly the king in that department. Aside from having a punch like a freight train, a jab that is world class (because it sets up most of his dangerous combinations) he is a very technical fighter. Golovkin does this thing called “shifting” which allows him to throw power from standard orthodox or southpaw stances, it’s sometimes subtle but Roman Gonzalez does the same thing. When it comes to defense, Golovkin likes to make things interesting, if he fights a fighter like Rubio then his hands will stay at home, he shows more lateral movement, tucks his chin in, raises his shoulder and tales half steps back. However, when faced with a light puncher such as Murray or Monroe, then he’ll drop his defense to allow for a “Big Drama Show” because it’s better to see a battle than a one sided fight. He gives guys a chance to fight back, but still manages to stay in control. Now, those skills are enough to be a great fighter, but perhaps one of his most dangerous assets is his ability to cut off the ring. Monroe has some of the best movement as we saw against Brian Vera, unfortunately it was not enough as he looked like a mouse in a controlled maze against Golovkin. For those reasons I believe he has earned a position to be where he’s at.

  26. Koolz 09:20am, 06/25/2015

    your opinion has been noted but it is nothing but your opinion.

    Yea I consider him to be the most dangerous in the sport too.

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