One More Note on The Middleweights: 160 is Golovkin’s Division Now

By Paul Magno on May 10, 2018
One More Note on The Middleweights: 160 is Golovkin’s Division Now
Golovkin is the top rated and most bankable full-time middleweight at the moment.

Wherever the middleweight division goes from here, the reality is that the 160 lb. class is Gennady Golovkin’s…

Wherever the middleweight division goes from here, the reality is that the 160 lb. class is Gennady Golovkin’s.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is still the biggest draw in the division, by far, but even before the clenbuterol controversy that led to a six-month suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, it was clear that he was not really a middleweight. A few 155 lb. fights against other junior middleweights—including a win of the so-called “lineal” middleweight title over a fighter in Miguel Cotto, who, himself, was just doing cameo appearances as a middleweight—is hardly a commitment to the division.

No, 160 is Golovkin’s until further notice. He’s the top rated and most bankable full-time middleweight at the moment and sits atop the division. Three world title belts and big TV ratings on HBO over the weekend for his one-sided blowout of Vanes Martirosyan pretty much confirm that he’s the king in a world without a committed Canelo.

This king of the hill status, however, means that the dynamic has changed when it comes to his career decisions and what’s expected of him. The “we can’t get the fights we want, so we fight the fights available to us” narrative is now completely off the board. Every top middleweight seems to be gunning for Golovkin at the moment and as division top dog and top draw, he can fight anyone he chooses. If bouts with the likes of Jermall Charlo, Billy Joe Saunders, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, and Demetrius Andrade don’t materialize, Golovkin will be held accountable—fairly or unfairly—just like Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto, who opted to pass on Golovkin as a high risk/low reward challenger years ago, were held accountable.

But, then again, Golovkin has had a charmed boxing life with plenty of fawning media supporters eager to defend his honor at every possible challenge. It’s hard to recall a long-reigning champion receiving so little flak for such a slim résumé as Golovkin’s. A raging case of entitlement may make it so that the Kazakh KO machine can both have his cake and eat it too.

His team certainly seems to be kicking the tires on how far they can push their good fortune.

“I think there’s a lot of opportunities for Gennady,” Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler said after Golovkin squashed Vanes Martirosyan in two rounds Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. “You know, [Ryota] Murata’s really one of those guys who’s really blazing a trail, selling out arenas in Japan, getting tremendous ratings on television in Japan. He’s the WBA mandatory and that would be a tremendous fight…”

Who, exactly, would be eager to see Golovkin-Murata ahead of Golovkin-Charlo or Golovkin-Saunders? Maybe members of a secret Triple G fetish sex cult? Maybe. But no real fight fan, anywhere, is in favor of wasting the 36-year-old Golovkin’s remaining years on meaningless paper title grabs.

The “Most Feared Man” narrative is no longer in play for King Golovkin. Heavy is the head that wears the crown and, unless something crazy happens to the observational and reasoning skills of the boxing public, what got him support and sympathy from fans as an avoided fighter just won’t work anymore as the division figurehead. Even the deeply beloved giver of “Big Drama Shows,” probably can’t convince the world that he’s both in control AND at the mercy of others’ whims when it comes to who is available to fight.

These are the legacy years for Gennady Golovkin. His decisions from this point forward and his willingness to demand tough matches over tailor-made romps will determine how his long-lasting middleweight title run is regarded by future generations.

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  1. Paul Magno 07:19pm, 05/13/2018

    Yes, boxing, please…

    I don’t think anyone is to “blame” for the current once or twice a year fight schedules….it’s a product of the business…I guarantee you that if Sugar Ray had two seven-figure paydays waiting for him each year, he’d not be risking them by fighting club fights in between…plus, there just aren’t that many cards or events anymore to support legions of fighters wanting to stay active…I don’t think we get back those days ever again, unless the business crashes, the pay scale falls, and everyone is forced into extreme pay cuts….

    As for the eternal boxing nerd wish for a central commission…well…the problem is that the ones pegged to run it would probably be the same compromised hustlers and convenient idiots currently running the sport…who would the sport turn to in the search for fair commission appointees? Boxing will never clean itself up if left to do its own mopping up…

    Really, the only shot at cleaning up would be through networks taking control and limiting the current powers of the promoter…boxing needs cold and bold leadership that only cares about putting on the best and biggest fights…having promoters—who have the most to lose from taking risks—in charge of everything from matchmaking to the appointing of judges is ridiculous…Of course, the networks would have to also get their shit together and stop cockblocking one another….

    At one time, there was a project in the works to create a boxing network where all major promoters would own a piece and would therefore benefit from any and all good fights getting made…I was a consultant for this group of investors, but the project never really got any traction…

    There are ways to get to where we need to go, but nobody wants to stop clutching at nickels in pursuit of quarters….

  2. TLIG 12:00pm, 05/13/2018

    Mr Murray Thrasher, blame the fighters as well for only fighting twice a year. It’s down to greed in most cases as if they wanted to they could fight off-tv and in nontitle bouts to stay active. But most of them are actually gunning for PPV.

  3. Murray Thrasher 11:49am, 05/13/2018

    Focus on boxing guys, no-one cares about your petty squabble. If I want to hear more unintelligible psycho babble, I’ll listen to a Trump oration. I hope Fe’Roz and Magno are finished pissing on each others Cornflakes!

    Problem with boxing is prize-fighting. The rating system is out the window. The boxing commission should dictate who fights whom, not HBO,  Pay-per-view, Showtime, Golden-Boy Production… When a boxer/fighter gets trapped into fighting once per year, how can they possibly stay sharp or even be compared to the greats. I’m was very happy when these Soviet boxers arrived on the scene and disposed of plenty of the Yankee Doodle garbage that was out there. They are disciplined, well schooled boxers and came up through real tough times.
    The toughest man out there in the middle-weight devision right now is Derevyanchenko. This man is a career ender for most middle-weights. Look what he did to Johnson.  He is a machine, like GGG when he first came to town.

  4. Paul Magno 10:55am, 05/13/2018

    To be lectured on ethics by a crooked art dealer…how rich…so easy to be a self-righteous asshole when hiding behind anonymous online identities…bye, bye crook…

  5. Paul Magno 08:27am, 05/13/2018

    This guy is an obsessed stalker….stuck on every word I say…It’s actually funny in a sad way…I’m happy to stick to boxing, but when guys like this loser get bested time and time again, they resort to trolling and psychotic stalking behavior….he’s clearly not worth paying attention to…a racist fuck with a bizarre fixation on me…

  6. Ollie Downtown Brown 07:00am, 05/13/2018

    Wow, there were only 15 comments when I checked out of this site yesterday. Looks like things got interesting.

  7. TLIG 04:21am, 05/13/2018

    Guys, please chill. This isn’t that serious; let’s get back to boxing.

  8. Paul Magno 01:43am, 05/13/2018

    Yet, here you are “FeRoz,” such a vital and connected member of the boxing community, following ME around, stalking ME, rushing from “ringside” to obsess on ME….so plugged in and sharp…yet confusing Charlo brothers….haha…the more you open up, the more pathetic you show yourself to be….

  9. TLIG 11:36pm, 05/12/2018

    Fe’Roz , you are mixing up the Charlos (understandably). Jermell is the one fighting Austin Trout and that is at 154. Jermall, on the other hand, fights at 160 and is calling out Triple. As I said earlier, I would like to see Triple take on at least two of the following dudes - Saunders, Charlo, Andrade and Derevyanchenko. If he beats any two of those guys (who all happen to be younger and unbeaten) then his reign at middle becomes just as good as Hagler’s. Yes, I said it.

  10. Paul Magno 10:32pm, 05/12/2018

    @Fe…You are a 24-year-old geek in your mother’s basement with ZERO connections and no insight whatsoever…Anyone with such a wealth of information would be actually working in the business and earning paychecks—like me—not trolling comment sections and stalking someone who you say has no value as a writer or analyst…You are just some pathetic loser living off the thrills of seeing your pointless comments addressed on any level…I’d just love to see some of your amazing work some day…but, you have nothing to offer the world…of the volumes and volumes you’ve written about your hatred of me, there’s been nothing worthwhile in any of it…just a sad exhibition of our failed mental health system…you are beneath me in every conceivable way…ok, I’m done feeding the troll now…you’re about to lose the one person who paid you any mind, loser…bye, bye…

  11. Paul Magno 10:21pm, 05/12/2018

    @Ten Count….Are you arguing that Charlo or Andrade would be less intriguing opponents than Murata? At this point of his career, GGG can pick and choose whoever he wants from the ranks beneath him…If the goal is to fight better fighters who can present bigger “drama shows,” then Charlo, especially, is a no-brainer…and you simply cannot pull the “who’s more deserving” card when we can go through a laundry list of GGG opponents who were absolutely not the most deserving of a fight for a title….you just can’t go there with a straight face….

    Centeno was a mandatory for Charlo, not a hand-selected foe…

    Who said that GGG had to keep his Cinco de Mayo date? The decision to face a softball was his and his alone when he decided to keep the date and not push things back in pursuit of a tougher fight…

    If you can get 18 world title fights, making 7-figure purses for most of them without ever fighting someone capable of challenging you in any way—and get ZERO flak for it—that’s pretty darned charmed in this boxing world, if you ask me…Literally, everyone he had faced up until the Jacobs fight was tailor made to make him look good…

  12. Ten Count Toronto 10:02pm, 05/12/2018

    The author is on shaky ground on multiple points.  First of all, just by virtue of beating N’Dam, Murata already has a better Middleweight resume than Charlo or Andrade.  You can’t in one breath dump on GGG-Marirosyan and in the next breath talk up Charlo who just the week before chose and opponent (Centeno) who isn’t half as good as Martirosyan.  And by the way neither Charlo nor Jacobs even floated the idea of cancelling their respective stay-busy fights to take Canelo’s place against GGG - chances are 90% that offer would have been rejected on 2 weeks notice but and that would have been a big PR win but obviously neither Charlo nor Jacobs wanted the fight any more than GGG/K2 did and wouldn’t risk the bluff being called.  Jacobs, who already turned down GGG twice understandably wasn’t tapped this time around but also failed to offer himself.  ONLY Andrade offered to take the fight, so he’s the only one GGG should be pressured to face next.

    Additionally to say someone has had a “charmed” career for not getting a significant fight until he was 35 is a truly bizarre interpretation of charmed.

  13. Paul Magno 08:55pm, 05/12/2018

    Fe’Roz is a dedicated troll and stalker of mine who wields some bizarre agendas and racial bias (and I have the messages to prove it), please disregard this mess of a soul, just as I do…As for my qualifications to comment on the fight game—I have over 40 years in the business, brought up in gyms by my uncle (who was a pro fighter and manager) and have personally worked in Mexico for almost 20 years, alongside the likes of Ruben Olivares, Lupe Pintor, and more…Boxing has been my main livelihood for over two decades…As a writer, I put out anywhere from 5 to 12 articles a week at my various gigs…I speak at great lengths and in great detail about a lot in boxing….time and space limitations (and money issues) determine how much you see in certain sites at certain times…I’m under no obligation to make sure any of you have read everything I’ve published or have kept up with in-depth pieces I’ve published elsewhere…

    And now to Golovkin—if you’re finding yourself trying to justify a thin resume in any way, shape, or form, consider yourself a victim of brainwashing…None of you have any real idea as to why certain fights were or weren’t made…all we have to go on is the weight of the black and white record of a fighter—which is the case for every fighter except, apparently, just this one…I prefer to judge a man’s legacy based on what I actually know, not what I wish to think…If you believe that GGG, who has been a media darling and sanctioning body favorite son with full and substantial backing by HBO since 2013 is some sad sack victim of boxing politics, unable to secure the challenges he craves, you are either naive or a member of the GGG fan club…I’m merely holding Golovkin to the same standards most every fighter is held to…don’t give me this bullshit about nobody wanting to fight Golovkin, so he was forced to fight junior middleweights, second tier gatekeepers, and Foot Locker employees.. If he fought tailor made opposition, it was by Team Golovkin design.and the fact that so many bought into this bullshit narrative, it empowered him to keep doing it…Golovkin is not the only fighter to have to dig in and win access to major money fights…the difference with the cult of Golovkinites is that these guys are actually trying to facilitate a path of least resistance for their guy…

  14. Ollie Downtown Brown 12:02pm, 05/12/2018

    Fe’ Roz… Nice link.  Bob Foster,  who was mentioned in the article, is a fine example of a guy who had a lengthy title reign while never defending his title against a truly outstanding fighter. Despite modest opposition,  the critics always list Bob Foster among the all time great light heavyweights.

  15. cyril 09:35am, 05/12/2018

    Fe’ Roz, yes I agree more writers and analysts like the bread man please. Measured, informed and analytical. And probably the main difference : real experience and stake in the boxing world.

  16. Tlig 07:39am, 05/12/2018

    I think guys like Magno are reacting to the hype that’s followed Golovkin for the last few years. He didn’t really live up to it in the Canelo bout (whether you thought the judging was fair or not). But he is reaching when he tries to make out Hopkins was beating better fighters in his time. That’s patently untrue l’m afraid. I think the main difference between their reigns is that Golovkin was avoided for a long time by both champions and challengers and built something like 21 straight KO wins in that period whereas Hopkins was never thought of as anything other than a reasonably good title holder. People forget this now but he was actually the underdog going into the Trinidad fight. In fact Trinidad was going to bypass him after beating Joppy and head straight for Roy Jones were it not for an outcry from the boxing public.

  17. Ollie Downtown Brown 07:16am, 05/12/2018

    Yes, agreed,  Bernard Hopkins title reign is certainly not a murderers row. Golovkin is an all time great,  the only blemish on his record was that ridiculously scored “draw” against Canelo. Most will agree that was a clear win for GGG. Golovkin deserves to have his name mentioned alongside past middleweight greats.

  18. don from prov 02:36pm, 05/11/2018

    Monzon: Those small WWs, Napoles and Griffith were also aging, but greats.

    Valdez if far better than anyone that GGG has fought, IMO.
    And Bennie Briscoe wouldn’t be a welcome sight in the ring for Canelo/Jacobs

  19. cyril 01:06pm, 05/11/2018

    Mr. Magno sole purpose seems to be to poopoo triple G. The unoriginal critique of weak opposition really doesn’t hold up after close examination.

    He fought whoever was available at the time, being a non high reward but high risk opponent. Which other champions should he have fought? Felix Sturm, who avoided him for years in Germany and was already declining? Andre Ward would have been an interesting fight, seems like it didn’t happen for multiple reasons .Probably Ward, the supreme nullifier would have won, but it might have been a hard fight for him and it would have only made sense at 168.

    I’m really sick of the ever doubting, nagging boxing ‘journalists’, thinly masking some bizarre personal issues and preferences. We ,the boxing public (im excluding retarded, blind keyboard warriors) want to see great fights, hard and competitive and yes preferably KO’s instead of dubious decisions. Anyone who can deliver those, and there are luckily a few of late, is an exciting fighter to me…

  20. Paul Magno 10:18am, 05/11/2018

    Ollie, TLIG…pick the records apart and it’s easy to see the difference in weight when it comes to Golovkin’s championship vs. Hagler’s and Hopkins’...From something I wrote elsewhere:

    “Of Hopkins’ 20 defenses, 16 came against no. 1 contenders or fellow world champions. If Golovkin beats Martirosyan, only 5 of his 20 defenses would’ve come against no. 1 contenders or fellow world champs.

    One can argue about the dubious quality of alphabet soup sanctioning body mandatories in Hopkins’ day, but that very same argument can be made now—and Golovkin has never even bothered to meet the modest criteria of beating long lines of alphabet no. 1 contenders.

    Neither fighter reigned over an exceptionally tough or talented middleweight division, but Golovkin, in a weaker 160 lb. class, has the lighter resume of the two. And whereas Golovkin only managed to stay competitive against his high water mark opposition (Daniel Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez), Hopkins managed to dominate the best of his class and make a clear case for his superiority.

    Without even taking the time to compare their respective levels of opposition (Hopkins’ resume is better), it’s crystal clear that only Hopkins took his career above and beyond what was expected of him. Unlike Golovkin, he actually fought some of his championship fights as the underdog or as an even-money bet. He fought opponents of varying styles, temperaments, and levels of accomplishment—and he dominated them just as conclusively as Golovkin dominated a more limited, more tailor-made batch of contenders. Plus, there’s just something overall satisfying about a four-belt champ taking all four straps from a defending champ, rather than via boardroom decision, like in the case of two of Golovkin’s three world titles…”

    I don’t think the reigns are even close….

  21. Ollie Downtown Brown 07:12am, 05/11/2018

    TKIG… I have to respectfully disagree. Hagler was thought of as the uncrowned champion for a couple of years before he stopped Alan Minter for the title. His Philly wars with some tough hombres named, Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, Willie “The Worm” Monroe, Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, and Bad Bennie Briscoe were much talked about at the time. Hagler also had a trilogy with Sugar Ray Seales, a good fighter out of Seattle. When it finally came time when Hagler could no longer be avoided, he was curiously way too cautious against Vito Antuofermo. Antufermo was a fighter that would start bleeding as soon as the bell rung, and though strong, he wasn’t that heavy of a puncher, he should have been an easy win for Marvin. Instead Vito held on to his title with a draw. No disrespect to the legends Duran, Hearns or Leonard, but Hagler’s Philly tour was more impressive than his title defenses IMO.

  22. TLIG 02:49am, 05/11/2018

    Ollie Downtown Brown , Hagler didn’t really start getting credit for his resume until towards the end of his reign. It made sense because his opposition wasn’t by any means a killers’ row. Same thing with Hopkins. If Golovkin could turn back the challenge of at least two of the guys mentioned in the article then to me he’s gone up there with Hagler and Hopkins.

  23. Ollie Downtown Brown 01:18pm, 05/10/2018

    Cool looking robe. How much?

  24. Ollie Downtown Brown 01:17pm, 05/10/2018

    You could easily nitpick the opponents that Hagler and Monzon faced after winning the title. Hagler made his reputation for the most part, beating up on an old, blown up lightweight, Duran, a blown up “chinny” welterweight, Hearns, and a very limited John Mugabi.  Some of Hagler’s defenses came against fighters like Caveman Lee, Tony Sibson, Fulgenico Obelmejias, Wilfred Sycpion, good fighters, but not exactly world beaters. Monzon also beat up his share of small men, Napoles, Griffith, Benvenuti, all blown up 147-154 pounders. Throw in a couple of French pastries, a couple of matches with good but not great Rodrigo Valdez and Monzon’s title reign is long, but not extraordinary by any means.

  25. Koolz 12:39pm, 05/10/2018

    Murata and GGG in Japan would be HUGE!  I want that fight!

    Charlo who cares go fight Jacobs already.

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