Searching for Mr. Perfect
So who has the boxing technique down pat, and the puncher’s ability to ice an opponent with either hand…
There is an array of superb boxers, technicians, and brawlers roaming the boxing landscape these days, but finding one that combines it all is like finding a diamond in the sand. Here are a few that come very close—and one in particular that just might be a 10.
The first fighter who might come to mind is Adrien Broner, but that’s not who I have in my mind, not just yet—but if he continues to improve he will make it. “Lil” Floyd has been a Perfect 10 but he is starting to get a bit long in the tooth and is moving lower rather than higher. Andre Ward certainly rates high and if the power he showed against Chad Dawson is here to stay, then a Perfect 10 will be his. However, S.O.G. must fight more often, injuries or not.
So who has the boxing technique down pat, the puncher’s ability to ice an opponent with either hand, and the defensive skills honed in a long and glorious amateur career? Austin Trout you say? While he “No Doubt” is a technical master who remains as focused and disciplined as a laser and will give anyone big-time trouble, he lacks the numbing power to reach the pinnacle. Mikey Garcia is a more likely possibility, but his fight against Orlando Salido in January will tell us more. Juan Manuel Marquez comes close as well, but his tendency to take punishment so that he can counter perhaps drops him to a 9.4.
Aficionados should review the YouTube video featuring Japanese minimumweight champion Kazuto Ioka who has a great boxing lineage in his blood. However, his life-or-death offensive attacks are not geared for a lengthy boxing career. The accomplishments of Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios already have been detailed and clearly his aggressiveness blended with a super amateur background makes him an all-around killing machine, but killing machines seldom are perfect 10s.
What about Nonito Donaire who won four solid fights in 2012? At 31-1, he comes very, very close. His numbing KOs of Jorge Arce, Fernando Montiel, Vic Darchinyan, and Volodymyr Sydorenko were of the career-ending type. A switch-hitter who can fight either southpaw or orthodox, he presents a daunting problem for any opponent.
“If Golovkin keeps winning and keeps impressing, the money will be there for Martinez. Then, maybe in 2014, when Martinez is 39 and looking for the biggest money bout available, he’ll be ready to risk passing the torch to his heir apparent.”—Paul Magno (Yahoo)
“GGG at MSG on HBO is an exciting combination.”—Tom Loeffler, director of K2 Promotions.
“Golovkin is one of those fighters that nobody wants to fight. I had to make sure the business end was good, but I like taking chances. It’s no secret that he packs a big punch.”—Gabe Rosado
Many are calling the 30-year-old Gennady Golovkin (24-0 with 21 KOs) the “Next Big Thing.” Some refer to him as another Kostya Tszyu, though Tszyu had a shorter reach, did not jab as much, and did not have the variety of punches that Gennady has. Golovkin has great stamina, works off a stiff jab, uses combinations that sometimes feature two straight rights, possesses great balance and foot movement, has bludgeoning power, and never stops coming forward. He is the complete package and is exactly what boxing needs today.
Known as GGG, he is the WBA and IBO middleweight champion and will be meeting Philadelphian Gabriel “King” Rosado (21-5-1) at a catchweight of 158 pounds in The Theater at Madison Square Garden on January 19. Salido vs. Garcia will also be on this great HBO card.
In a battle of “G’s” in September in Verona , New York, Golovkin demolished rugged Pole Grzegorz “Super G” Proska (28-0 coming in). Proska, who had never before touched the canvas, held a stoppage win over Sebastian “Hurrikan” Sylvester and was highly touted. The result had Max Kellerman gushing over Golovkin which begged the question: did Max do much pre-fight research on him? Look for the highly marketable Golovkin to duplicate the Proska beating against Rosado who will be fortunate if he can make it to the 4th round
Golovkin’s pro record is deceptive given his sterling amateur accomplishments highlighted as follows
2000 won the Junior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary as a light welterweight
o Defeated Hao Yen Kuo (Chinese Taipei) RSC-3
o Defeated Alexander Renz (Germany) PTS (26-7)
o Defeated Benjamin Kalinovic (Croatia) PTS (21-10)
o Defeated Evgeni Putilov (Russia) PTS (24-10)
o Defeated Maikel Perez (Cuba) PTS (30-17)
2002 won the Asian Games in Busan, South Korea as a light middleweight
o Defeated Abdullah Shekib (Afghanistan) AB-1
o Defeated Nagimeldin Adam (Qatar) RSCO-1
o Defeated Song In Joon (South Korea) PTS (18-12)
o Defeated Suriya Prasathinpimai (Thailand) RSCO-3
2003 won the World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand as a middleweight
o Defeated Matvey Korobov (Russia) PTS (19-10)
o Defeated Andy Lee (Ireland) PTS (29-9)
o Defeated Lucian Bute (Romania) KO-4
o Defeated Yordanis Despaigne (Cuba) PTS (29-26)
o Defeated Oleg Mashkin (Ukraine) RSCI-2
2004 Middleweight Olympic Silver Medalist as a member of the Kazakhstani Olympic Team
o Defeated Ali Ahmed Khan (Pakistan) 31-10
o Defeated Ramadan Yasser (Egypt) 31-20
o Defeated Andre Dirrell (USA) 23-18
o Lost to Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov (Russia) 18-28
He qualified for the Athens Games by winning the gold medal at the 2004 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in Puerto Princesa, Philippines, where he defeated home fighter Christopher Camat in the final.
At the World Championships 2005 he was upset by the legendary Egyptian amateur Mohamed Hikal (who competed in four Olympic Games).
GGG is known for his tremendous conditioning and equally tremendous incoming two-fisted power. Golovkin won the WBA interim middleweight title in August 2010, knocking out Milton Nuñez in 58 seconds in Panama. In his next outing in December, he became the WBA middleweight champion knocking out Nilson Julio Tapia in three stanzas in Astana, Kazachstan. He has successfully defended his WBA title four times and added the IBO title to his resume with a startling first-round left hook KO of Lajuan Simon in Germany in December 2011. Simon had never before been stopped. GGG has won his last 11 fights by knockout dating back to 2008. Between the Simon and Proska’s KOs, he chilled overmatched Makoto Fuchigami in three punishing rounds in the Ukraine.
Some say he is “hittable,” but with so many early KOs that criticism doesn’t hold up. Aside from his 10th round brutal stoppage of Kassim Ouma in June 2011 in Panama, GGG has averaged 2.5 rounds in his last 10 bouts. Just how “hittable” can someone be when he is doing most of the hitting?
Another criticism is the relatively low level of his opposition, but that criticism is offset by his amateur credentials.
GGG has an incredible fan network on Facebook, of which I must confess to belonging, and they (particularly his Kazakhstan fans) are both knowledgeable and rabid. He is a native of Kazakhstan (of Russian ethnicity) who now resides in Germany and trains in the snow-covered mountains in Big Bear, California. As such, he is the prototype Eastern-European boxer.
Like the final scene in the movie “The Downhill Racer,” if Sergio Martinez had looked around the arena after he survived the final bruising round against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., he might have seen his next big challenge sitting ringside in the form of a “mild-mannered, affable human wrecking ball” named Gennady Golovkin.
After GGG dispatches the game Rosado (i.e., game for taking the fight while many others have avoided Golovkin at all costs), Gennady will make it known to all that he is after Sergio Martinez. In fact, he has been making this known for some time. Daniel Geale, Peter Quillin, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. act like they want no part of GGG. At one point, a fight with WBO champion Dmitry Pirog, who is Russian, had plenty of intriguing variables, but Pirog has been somewhat disappointing in his last few bouts and the shine has now dulled.
What it boils down to is that Martinez chased and finally caught up with Chavez. Now Golovkin is chasing Martinez. Will Sergio end up fighting a Perfect 10?
What do you think?