Is Golovkin Getting Old Fast?

By Paul Magno on September 28, 2017
Is Golovkin Getting Old Fast?
Ring life will continue to grow more complicated for Gennady Golovkin. (John Locher/AP)

Move a little, get in his head, keep him from comfortably plowing forward—and the beast is less beast-like…

If you value the acumen of boxing’s media experts, then you, too, are alarmed and concerned over the sudden, aggressive aging of Kazakh KO machine Gennady Golovkin.

At 35 years of age, after a career’s worth of soft touches and comfortable stylistic pairings, “Triple G” is said to be on the verge of old age—and it all happened, apparently, over the course of one year!

“[After watching the Canelo fight,] I’ve learned that Gennady Golovkin is deteriorating before our very eyes,” HBO haircut Jim Lampley recently told Boxingscene. “I believe that he’s slipping and I did not really see it that clearly in the Jacobs fight as I saw it this time. Most particularly his unbelievable footwork, his ability to trap opponents and put pressure on them—isn’t there anymore…he only landed eight body shots in the fight, apparently concerned about being countered upstairs by Canelo. Now I say that despite the fact that I thought Gennady was the actual winner of the fight.”

And who could doubt Lampley, who has watched A LOT of boxing over the decades? I mean, it’s totally proven that if you watch something intently enough, for long enough, that you become a true expert. My mastery of physics after a lifetime of watching things fall (because of gravity!) proves that point.

Anyway, per expert opinion, it’s now clear that Golovkin has contracted a rare case of Pugilistic Progeria, hyper-aging to the point of full deterioration in less than a year’s time and for no apparent reason whatsoever.

I suppose there’s no way that Golovkin being any less than a raging man-beast of late could have anything to do with WHO he has recently fought. It couldn’t be that he has simply looked more human and less like an ATG caricature god of war because his last two fights have come against opposition with the skill and/or ability to actually challenge him.

Or maybe there’s some denial in play here from a media that has lusted after the macho fairytale Golovkin narrative the way I lust over Shakira videos. It has to be hard to admit that your fap fantasy is, really, just a flawed human being like everyone else. I know it was pretty tough on me when I saw some less-than-flattering Shakira pregnancy photos.

Realistically, as I’ve written several times, there was no way to judge how Golovkin would respond to ANY opponent not stylistically made to order for his KO highlight reel. As good as he has been in dismissing those there to be brutalized, there was never any guarantee that he could do the same against someone who could move a little, box a little, and who was actually there to win.

Daniel Jacobs was big and athletic enough to give Golovkin pause for concern. Alvarez was smart enough and sharp enough to give Golovkin pause for concern. And, predictably, when given pause for concern, Triple G paused. And that’s okay. The man IS human.

So, what we’ve learned about Golovkin from his only two fights outside his well-worn comfort zone is something known about most offensive dynamo-types we have seen in the past. Move a little, get in his head, keep him from comfortably plowing forward—and, suddenly, the beast is less beast-like.

Yes, this even applies to Quadruple G (add the extra “G” for “Glorious”).

Golovkin is the rightful no. 1 ranked middleweight in the world and someone whose overall level places him above the likes of Martin Murray and David Lemieux, but right around the Jacobs-Canelo high water mark. And on any given night, he has the firepower to beat anyone from 154 to 168. That’s not at all shabby. It’s no macho fairytale where he’s the smiling prince slaying angry dragons and chasing down evil, cowardly black knights, but it should be good enough.

Golovkin is most likely not suffering from sudden onset Pugilistic Progeria (especially, since I just made that disease up). It’s much more probable that he is simply an example of what happens when a talented offensive fighter, grown half-complacent on easy feasts, is extended beyond his comfort zone to face opponents not perfectly suited to make him look good.

If history plays out true to form, with his mystique dampened and stylistic flaws exposed, ring life will continue to grow more complicated for Golovkin. And, yeah, as this happens, the “experts” will feel validated in their “he’s getting old” analysis.

But, no, Golovkin ain’t getting old; He’s just finally stepping up.

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  1. Valentine Belfiglio 08:55am, 09/28/2017

    If Golovkin combines a body attack with a head attack next time he will win.

  2. Harvey boy 03:57am, 09/28/2017

    Magno, Jacobs weighted closer to 190 and even if he didn’t and was at 180-182 ,10 to 12 pounds IS a big difference. Apparently you have never been in the ring with a guy a lot bigger than you. Phony Floyd, who is a legend in his own mind, cried about 2 pounds.

  3. Pete The Sneak 03:56am, 09/28/2017

    Toro (kid blast) has the beat! Succinctly and beautifully put. Mr. Magno, take heed…Peace.

  4. Kid Blast 05:44pm, 09/27/2017

    Look, If GGG is chronologically old, then Canelo is Ring Old. He’s been fighting forever and already has an old school won-lost record. Point: Two guys going at it on even terms though since I score even rounds, I had it for GGG by one point.

    Also, Paul, you need to take point every once and a while because no one is right all the time. If I miss something, I’ll say point taken. You should do the same.

    As for Jacobs being 180, that was huge. Maybe 10 pounds or more than GGG and it looked it. He didn’t violate anything; he just exploited it and that crap needs to stop.

  5. Koolz 02:39pm, 09/27/2017

    Golovkin has two close fights, beats a fast hard punching guy who is in the P4P rankings and you think he isn’t great?

    Well Ring Magazine just made him P4P!

    I guess he is Great!

    And next time he will TKO Canelo on the ropes.

    see Canelo fights beautifully!  amazing Combos great speed and power….
    no foot work, can’t last more then 50 seconds in a round. 

    Golovkin incredible foot work, cutting off the ring, amazing timing and distance, great jab, amazing power when he wants to.

    He fights two of the best fighters in his weight division has some close fights and people think he is done, faded, old, not the Monster he was.

    Trust me the Guy is Great!

  6. Adam Berlin 01:33pm, 09/27/2017

    While I look forward to his sure-footed pieces, I’m not always with Paul Magno, especially when he cuts boxing writers.  The truth is most boxing writers write for free (which is why there are so many apprentice fight writers), so they don’t have the time or resources to do the heavily-researched reporting that might wield real power against the corrupt powers-that-be.  I also question why Magno criticizes the HBO blow-by-blow team when they’re stellar next to Showtime’s buffoons (Paulie Malignaggi excluded).  But I do agree with Paul Magno here.  Triple G’s less-than-stellar performance made this a close fight—a justifiable draw (not a justifiable 118-110).  The truth is Golovkin is very good but not great, and for all his big-drama-show bs, he’ll no longer be able to claim (as he’s falsely claimed after past fights) that he’s carrying opponents for the fans’ pleasure.  From here on out, GGG will need to work harder.  That’s not old age, as Magno correctly asserts—it’s a new level of competition, worthy foes ready to challenge a very good (not great) champion.

  7. Koolz 11:38am, 09/27/2017

    never mind what I said Canelo just made a statement that he wants in 2018 GGG first.
    ok there you have it.

  8. Koolz 11:10am, 09/27/2017

    age is a thought process that effects the mind and body because thinking makes it so.

    remember that.
    Use Limitation that is No Limitation.

    Golovkin hasn’t taken enough punishment in the ring to be old.
    yes Canelo is faster but he can’t even last as long as GGG does.
    Canelo is busy being a hero in Mexico.
    I don’t know if he is going to fight Golovkin again.



  9. Paul Magno 10:08am, 09/27/2017

    @Kid….Who says GGG won? I scoffed the fight a draw and the official decision was a draw… so, I’m fine with the result…. any way you slice it, the fight was close—and it was supposed to be a blow-out, based on more than two years of hype…

    @Kid, @Pete….I’m so tired of the “Jacobs was so much bigger” nonsense… If Jacobs came to the ring at 180 (and that is not at all a given fact), so what? Golovkin routinely enters the ring at 171-173 on fight night…. This was hardly Gatti-Gamache….

  10. Old Head 07:53am, 09/27/2017

    Of course GGG is getting old. Used to be that a fighter was “old” at 30, especially in the smaller weight classes. Hell, this guy is a middle-aged man fighting a kid in his mid-20’s. Look at Ali at 35 years of age. Don’t kid yourself, 35 isn’t the new 25 or any of that other nonsense and bullsh*t that people afraid of getting old spew. Thirty-five is still thirty-five no matter how you slice it.

  11. Pete The Sneak 04:28am, 09/27/2017

    While I certainly don’t think GGG aged at all (who listens to Lampley anyway?), I do agree with Paul Magno that GGG’s less than stellar seek and destroy performances against both Jacobs and Canelo was indeed a result of a step up in class. No more, no less. The fact that he won razor thin decisions in both fights (yeah, I know the 2nd one was ruled a draw, but I thought he pulled it out and remember, he beat a light heavy weight in Jacobs), is a testament to his mettle. But this has nothing to do with “getting old overnight,” it has more to do with whom you are now being matched against. Nothing can ‘soothe the savage beast’ like defense, boxing skills and effective counter punching and both Canelo and Jacobs did plenty of that. Not enough to win, but enough to make the beast look human…Peace.

  12. Kid Blast 04:27am, 09/27/2017

    Come on Paul, you didn’t hate on GGG, but you showed a tad of subtle pro-Mexican bias. As in “step up.”  Fact is, GGG beat Canelo and you know it as well as anyone else. As for Jacobs who is a talented boxer in his own right, he exploited the weight conditions and came in much heavier than GGG.

    Bottom line, GGG is still undefeated and still holds his belts.

  13. Koolz 01:40am, 09/27/2017

    @Korla Pandit
    14th of October?
    I’ll check it out.
    He is an amazing Heavy.

  14. Korla Pandit 06:46pm, 09/26/2017

    @Koolz- Are you keeping up with Oleksandr Teslenko up in Canada? He has a fight with Daniel Martz on the 14th of this month.

  15. Steven Stahler 06:26pm, 09/26/2017

    Move a little, get in his head, keep him from comfortably plowing forward—and the beast is less beast-like…and he still whips your ass. I’m sorry Paul but I disagree. Pretty premature assessment after he SOUNDLY KICKED Canelos ass. Yes, 2/3 of the fight he owned the ring and made Can’t Yellow do anything he wanted. Don’t let those scorecards fool you. I am amazed at your assertion. SMH. Another writer blinded by the lies.

    Canelo was battered all over the ring yet nobody is criticizing him.

    Go take a knee.

  16. Koolz 01:32pm, 09/26/2017

    Golovkin is still the best Middle weight in the world and I can’t even imagine what will happen in the rematch.  Canelo run out of stamina and GGG TKO on the ropes in the later rounds.  I doubt he will even think about letting it go to the cards.
    No way.
    HBO those guys were really pro Canelo They couldn’t stop talking about him during the fight.  Geeze even the audience knew that the fight wasn’t a draw.

    Now why did Canelo get a break?

  17. Korla Pandit 01:32pm, 09/26/2017

    Let’s hold off on discounting GGG until after the rematch if it ever happens. GGG was pushed hard by Jacobs because Danny is just that good and BTW just that big….probably above 180 that night! A fight with Jacobs was always going to be a dangerous fight even if it happened a couple of years ago which was not far removed from his KO loss to Pirog and his bout with cancer. The fight a couple of weeks ago was another matter.  I say that GGG underperformed but not because he got old overnight or he finally met his match. I say he had a big time mental let down   and it was clear to see on his face that night in every moment when the camera was on him leading up to the opening bell. and in the opening rounds. I posit that the realization hit him and hard that this is a Golden Boy party and he’s gonna be in with the birthday boy! His epiphany was that all that it would take is one good scoring punch from Canelo in a round to put that in Alvarez’s column and a knockdown scored by Canelo in any round would seal the deal for the red head…..and GGG fought accordingly and came very close to losing his fight.

  18. Paul Magno 01:09pm, 09/26/2017

    Hate European fighters? I didn’t say one bad word about Golovkin in this piece…just pointed out reality…If anyone took it on the chin, it was Lampley…and he’s 100% American…The point you made is pretty much the point I’m making…

  19. Koolz 12:44pm, 09/26/2017

    WOW you really hate European fighters.
    who else?

    Through out the history of boxing when the best fight the best it has always been close fights.  Draws happen, rematches happen, epic trilogies happen that name those fighters to legend.
    Raging Bull against Sugar Ray just one example.

    Golovkin is doing fine.

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