Golovkin vs. Ishida on March 30

By Clarence George on February 1, 2013
Golovkin vs. Ishida on March 30
Golovkin reminds me of one of my all-time favorite middleweights, the great Tony Zale.


Middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin is scheduled to defend his WBA strap against Nobuhiro Ishida in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on March 30. 

A pro since 2006, 30-year-old Golovkin (25-0-0, 22 KOs) engaged in his most recent title defense, his sixth, this January 19. He defeated game, but outclassed, Gabriel Rosado via seventh-round TKO.

Maybe I’m an incurable nostalgist, but Golovkin reminds me of one of my all-time favorite middleweights, Tony “The Man of Steel” Zale. Indeed, I consider the Kazakh the best of the current crop of 160-pounders. No disrespect to Ishida—who, after all, did stop tough James Kirkland by first-round TKO in April 2011, handing him his first defeat—but I don’t see him as remotely in Golovkin’s league. At the very least, “GGG” should be allowed to face more formidable competitors, such as Felix Sturm and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Ideally, however, the Kazakh should be given the opportunity to unify the titles and reign as undisputed Middleweight Champion of the World.

It’s an opportunity that none of his fellow titlists seem eager to provide. Peter Quillin, WBO champ, is taking on Fernando Guerrero on April 27; IBF titleholder Daniel Geale (whom Golovkin beat as an amateur) is coming off his January 30 unanimous decision win over Anthony Mundine; and WBC champ Sergio Martinez is slated to face Martin Murray, also on April 27. Hmmm, here a Kazakh, there a Kazakh, everywhere a Kazakh, Kazakh…except in the ring with Quillin, Geale, or Martinez.

A 13-year pro, 37-year-old Ishida (24-8-2, 9 KOs) last won in November 2011, defeating novice Edson Espinoza via first-round TKO. He fought twice last year, losing to Paul Williams in February and Dmitry Pirog in May, both via unanimous decision. 

I predict that the veteran Japanese will suffer his first career stoppage at the fists of the power-punching Kazakh, probably around the sixth round. Certainly, Ishida poses little threat to the seemingly impervious Golovkin. He has an unimpressive KO record of some 26%, while his opponent’s is an intimidating 88%.

The fight is scheduled to take place on the Easter Vigil. With any luck, Ishida will experience his own personal resurrection—a return to consciousness—at some point on Easter morning.

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  1. Clarence George 09:17am, 02/05/2013

    Especially Vegas, but New York is making a comeback.

  2. Sam 1969 08:33am, 02/05/2013

    50.00 bucks??, damn it, can’t beat that, man I’d wish to be closer to a big city like that, but down here in Florida we don’t usually get that kind of match, maybe Miami but hell, luckily we get to see andre berto or some good cuban prospect like rigondeaux, big fights are always close to Vegas, New York etc.

  3. Clarence George 06:05am, 02/05/2013

    I was offered a press pass, Sam, but couldn’t accept because She Who Must Be Obeyed had already gotten tickets.  They were the $50.00 ones—very reasonable, given that they were great seats.

    Big Matthysse fan.  Thought I’d be too tired to watch his fight with Mike Dallas Jr., but as it only lasted a few seconds….  What a great KO!

  4. Sam 1969 05:33am, 02/05/2013

    You are a lucky person Clarence, not everybody can enjoy such a fight, if GGG can really take hot shots to his chin is probably with my other favorite one, Lucas Matthysse the next big star in boxing, both are charging bulls, Martinez is good dodging most of them, but like you said the match between GGG and maravilla is just in our dreams for the moment.

  5. Clarence George 05:30pm, 02/04/2013

    I actually had the pleasure to see Golovkin-Rosado at the Garden, Sam.  Gutsy and able as is Rosado, he didn’t make much of an impact on “GGG”.

    I think Golovkin is hard to hurt, but he has yet to face another top-of-the-liner, such as Martinez.  I’d bet on the Argentine if he were a few years younger, but not now.  Like you, I’d love to see Martinez-Golovkin.  I think it unlikely, but anything can happen in boxing…and often does!

  6. Sam 1969 03:07pm, 02/04/2013

    Thanks Clarence for the answer, I have to be honest with you, I wanna see GGG against another puncher or slugger, let me know if I’m wrong but I think his chin has never been tested, I can tell Martinez can absorb hard shots and he did from williams, pavlik, just a few and finally from chavez counting the ko punch at the last bout, I couldn’t watch the fight between GGG and rosado but let me know if GGG can absorb or assimilate hard shots.

  7. Clarence George 11:30am, 02/04/2013

    Sam, Golovkin has made it clear that he’ll fight anyone at the junior middleweight, middleweight, or super middleweight levels.  In fact, he might very well have to move up to super middleweight if he continues to be frustrated within his current division.  Fellow middleweight titlists Quillin, Geale, and Martinez are avoiding him as though he were Typhoid Mary.  So is Sturm.  Not sure about Chavez Jr., but I do know that a bout has yet to be arranged.  Can any of these guys beat him?  I don’t think so.  More tellingly, they don’t think so either.

  8. Clarence George 11:16am, 02/04/2013

    Couldn’t put it better myself, Mike.

  9. Sam 1969 11:07am, 02/04/2013

    Clarence, we all know how good GGG is but you make it sound like the other guys are running away from him, and you probably right when comes down to Martinez or high ranked champions because of the money but I also think angulo, kirkland, martirosyan and lara have nothing to lose, well the last two are trying to catch canelo alvarez but angulo or kirkland won’t run away for a chance, I think the risk at this point is for GGG if he unexpectedly would get stopped.

  10. Mike Casey 08:53am, 02/04/2013

    Golovkin is a welcome breath of fresh air and I hope he goes all the way.  We can only judge him on what he’s done so far and he’s done it very well and with old-school efficiency. If he’s the second coming of Zale, that will do for me!

  11. Clarence George 06:36am, 02/04/2013

    If I may reiterate, Sam:  The issue isn’t who Golovkin is willing to fight (everyone), but who’s willing to fight him (no one of quality).

  12. Sam 1969 06:28am, 02/04/2013

    I still think GGG must, like nicolas said, fight a higher ranked opponent and if not higher somebody with more stamina than ishida, I’d like to see him against angulo, kirkland, lara, Chavez jr of course never against canelo alvarez since de la hoya keep him away from trouble, and since I’m a Martinez’s fan I’d like to see him against one of these guys too, Murray might be a good opponent but like somebody said here is a class B champ, I don’t blame Sergio anyway, he will fight in his country and is always better avoid surprises assuming Murray won’t get hot that night.

  13. nicolas 10:32pm, 02/03/2013

    I give Golovkin credit for fighting so soon after his last fight, a quite rare feat in this day and age. However, this is for the WBA title. Ishida from what I saw is not even ranked in the top 15 by that organization. His last victory, was a 1st round knockout over a guy who had not according to Boxrec fought a professional fight, and has according to them not fought since. Since that victory, in his two twelve round fights, not only has he not won, but on six judges score cards won only 4 rounds. Could they have not found a higher ranked fighter in WBA to fight him on March 30th? Govolkin also might be the best of the 160 pound belt holders, but his resume certainly does not show it. I don’t think that Geale avoided Govolkin, but he saw a chance to avenge a defeat on his record in a big money fight against Mundine, though I do wonder about Pirog with his injury.

  14. Clarence George 10:15am, 02/03/2013

    Have you looked out the window?  It is gray!

    Thresher Shark, me auld warrior, I would love to see Martinez-Golovkin, and I recognize the possibility…I just don’t think it’s very probable.

  15. the thresher 10:09am, 02/03/2013

    Well Clarence, I guess I’ll just have to defer too your knowledge on this one, but I bet if I said the sky was blue, you would say it’s gray.

  16. Clarence George 10:02am, 02/03/2013

    I think Golovkin’s plan is to win four or five fights this year as stepping stones to unification bouts with Quillin and Geale in 2014, with perhaps a sort of transition bout with Chavez Jr (I don’t envision Golovkin-Sturm).  In a perfect world, “GGG” would fight and beat Martinez, as well, thus becoming undisputed world champ.  But I just don’t see Martinez agree to it.  In fact, I think he’s getting ready for the pipe and slippers.

  17. the thresher 09:19am, 02/03/2013

    I have just written a comprehensive article for a magazine on GGG so I can’t really comment, but I truly believe (with all humility) that I have done about as much research on this fighter as any writer out there. That said, there are two major scenarios for him to engage….and both lead to a Martinez showdown. One is a tough path that must go through Pirog, etc. The other is an easier one that features more fights with lesser opponents.

    Take your pick.

  18. Sam 1969 09:04am, 02/03/2013

    So if Martinez doesn’t face GGG, will probably Chavez Jr get the chance? I think this match would be like a “redeption” fight for Jr.

  19. Clarence George 05:48pm, 02/02/2013

    I unfortunately don’t share Sam and Thresher’s optimism.  I think it’s extremely unlikely that Martinez will agree to enter the ring with Golovkin.

  20. the thresher 04:57pm, 02/02/2013

    Martinez will definitely fight GGG down the road. Bet on it.

  21. Sam 1969 02:56pm, 02/02/2013

    Also for raxman, Martinez might be fighting another euro B champ but he’s already faced bigger names than other boxers and to be honest with you I never saw Geale fighting yet, I hope they fight one day but money commands.

  22. Sam 1969 02:49pm, 02/02/2013

    Contrary to what Clarence George is predicting, I think Martinez will fight against GGG in 2013 or 2014, he didn’t run away from Williams or Pavlik back then and these guys were avoided by everybody, GGG is a fighting machine and is also getting known and when you get known the money grows quickly too, I expect a match between Sergio and GGG sometime, remember also one thing is fight Rosado, Proksa or Ishida who might be a little dangerous counter puncher another one is face Martinez, who run all fight, counter punch several times and many of these punches are scoring punches not to mention the jab constantly provoking cuts in their opponents, again I hope we all see this fight.

  23. the thresher 07:21am, 02/02/2013

    Rax. this is simply a benchmark fight for GGG since Pirog also fought Ishida. GGG will stay active until he fights Pirog in the summer. He is also chasing Martinez.

    This is all about money.

    As for Geale, he will now fight Sam who lost 3 times to your “has been.”

  24. Clarence George 07:09pm, 02/01/2013

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Raxman.

    My own view, as I hope my article makes clear, is that Golovkin isn’t ducking; rather, he’s being ducked.  My guess is that Quillin and Geale will ultimately have to face him, probably in 2014.  Martinez is close to retirement, and won’t want to go out on a loss.  It’s unfortunate, but nevertheless well-nigh certain, that we won’t see “Maravilla” test his mettle against “GGG”.

  25. raxman 05:20pm, 02/01/2013

    ishida? feather fisted 154 pounder Nobuhiro Ishida??? Ted the Bull and Meinhard Schimdt - this is exactly what i was saying!!!!! if he was going to fight this guy it should’ve been his 9th pro fight!! i can’t get it thru to all you GGG lovers that until he beats a real live opponent he is just a prospect with a belt. i agree with Clarence G here, he has a tony zale quality but for gods sake stop padding and stop the blind love.
    all of the title holders in this division are fighting push overs - although at least my boy Geale is fighting a has been who is his only conqueror and he got paid millions to do it.  and i wont even get started on martinez who is fighting yet another B grade euro champ

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