Searching for Mr. Perfect

By Ted Sares on January 6, 2013
Searching for Mr. Perfect
Some say Golovkin is “hittable,” but with so many early KOs that criticism doesn't hold up.

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.

Gennady Golovkin

“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

Amateur Highlights

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?

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Gennady "GGG" Golovkin 2012 - Ultimate Highlights

Gennady Golovkin vs Kassim Ouma

Gennady Golovkin v Makoto Fuchigami (Full Fight)

Gennady Golovkin vs Lajuan Simon [2011-12-09]

Abel Sanchez speaks on Gennady Golovkin, Edwin Rodriguez, Chavez Jr., Sergio Martinez, Miguel Cotto

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  1. the thresher 08:01pm, 01/02/2013

    happy new year!, Meinhard

  2. Meinhard Schmidt 02:45pm, 01/02/2013

    Raxman… sorry for the late answer… yes, i think lomachenko would fight broner in something like his 7th pro fight. it all depends on your manager/promoter for that matter. but i don´t know if lomachenko or others like him will go pro. you see, in countries like azerbajdjan or kazakhstan or mongolia (even ukraine, where lomachenko hails from) pro-boxing doesn´t count. what counts for them is a gold medal, either olympics and/or world- championships… there is so much talent out there… the “golden era” (70s) of heavyweights wouldnt have been so golden if guys like vysothsky would´ve been interested and allowed to participate in prizefightin g(maybe). just my opinion. i´m bit drunk right now, excuse me! wish you a happy new year!

  3. the thresher 08:40am, 01/01/2013

    Of course you may.

  4. Mike Schmidt 05:50am, 01/01/2013

    Good morning Bull- I am a little late to the game but as our fearless Editor no doubt will tell you I have been out and about a bit- HAPPY NEW YEAR LAD - May I put in for mention a real technical terror combo puncher- The Nicaraguan World Champ- Roman “El Chocolatito” Gonzales.

  5. raxman 07:16pm, 12/31/2012

    Meinhard Schmidt - but would lomanchenko fight broner in his 7th fight? or would he pad his record like ward and golovkin and not take on a decent until this 27th fight?
    this the problem i have with all these gun amo’s turned pro - if you’re a world and or olympic medalist with a 150+ amateur fights to your name and dozen of international tournaments worth of experience you should be fighting 10 rounders by your 5th fight, against journey by your 7th and in against the top tier of your division by your 10th.
    the only fighter who has down this since probably kostya Tszyu is Guillermo Rigondeux who fought Ricardo Cordoba in his 7th fight for an interim title.

  6. the thresher 06:39pm, 12/31/2012

    Sandro, I respect yours as well

  7. SANDRO CAVASIN 02:14pm, 12/31/2012

    Thank you thresher, I respect your point of view and you are probably right, the advantage of being younger at some point is determinant but I also consider that boxers like Sergio Martinez who are like I said previously addicted to the gym have all my respect, I think GGG trains really hard, nobody can just jump on the ring and win with the name or record, if Martinez face GGG before 2015 he probably still win I wouldn’t beat for him after.

  8. the thresher 10:34am, 12/31/2012

    Sandro, my guess is that by the time they meet, GGG will be the favorite. Just a guess, but an educated one.

  9. the thresher 10:33am, 12/31/2012

    Thanks Mike. When I was in the corporate world, I often used the Downhill Racer as a reference point and it got to the point where others would say, “oh oh, look out for the downhill racer.” It was a great metaphor because there was always some young sneaky, slimy eager beaver waiting for you to slip up so he or she could slip in. Corporate politics were not for the tenderhearted but I was pretty good at it. .

    Boxing served as a good model because when you sensed competition you would go for the quick and clean KO. TKO’s were not good because the rats could come back.

  10. SANDRO CAVASIN 09:45am, 12/31/2012

    I’ve been watching GGG and I think he’s good, as good as the other undefeated sergey zinziruk, but when comes to face a boxer like Martinez who is really hard to find or punch and had faced bigger guys, the chances for this GGG become smaller even if Sergio is getting older is a gym addict and he is lethal with both hands, I still would love this fight right now.

  11. Mike Casey 09:31am, 12/31/2012

    Nice work Ted. I like what I have seen of Golovkin so far and I so admire Sergio for what he has done and how he has done it. He just kept travelling the world and winning fights until he rang the bell. On a lighter note, the reference to Downhill Racer clinched it for me. I’ve mentioned this classic movie to my nephew and some of my younger pals and drawn blank looks every time. My thanks to you and James Gandolfini, whose favourite movie is the equally underrated Jeremiah Johnson!

  12. Jim Crue 07:34am, 12/31/2012

    i don’t know who you are but I agree with you on “great.” These days a fighter wins what is nothing more than a sparing session on HBO and he is called great. I’m reminded that the old time trainers, when boxing was a MAJOR sport, were reluctant to call Ray Robinson great. Now everyone is great and a hero, the second most over used word in the English language. My dad, a decorated WW2 vet said the only guys who are heroes are the guys who don’t come home. There are no heroes in boxing and today with limited competition and likes of Al Haymon great is not on the horizon.
    Oh and Mayweather is not great.

  13. the thresher 07:31am, 12/31/2012

    Interestingly, Meinhard hits on something that I have been feeling for some time. Regionally speaking, I used to be partial to Latino and Asian fighters at the lower weights, and Brits and Americans at the mid-weights, but I am fast becoming a great fan of the Eastern Euros who hit the pro running and are doing some good work out there.

  14. Meinhard Schmidt 05:52am, 12/31/2012

    Dan Adams: i like the comparison between berto and broner. people should take a close look and reflect. broner is waiting to get exposed! you just need a patient boxer-puncher with equal athletic ability. there are a lot of unknown eastern europeans who could just do that. if vasyl lomachenko decides to turn pro for example… he would beat broner in his 7th pro bout!

  15. Stu 08:29pm, 12/30/2012

    Look B Red,  Great is the most overused word in the English language, What “Great ” fighter has either A. Broner or Andre Ward ever beaten?? For that matter whar “Great” fighter has Mayweather Jr. beaten in the past 6 years?  You’re the type of “no it all ” that will be calling Adrien Broner a “Future Hall of Famer” by the end of January. .

  16. B Red 05:42pm, 12/30/2012

    STU, your a troll, Ward Broner and Floyd are great fighters.

  17. the thresher 05:20pm, 12/30/2012

    Damn straight and btw, she is a dynamite boxing fan and a very nice person.

  18. cnorkusjr 05:19pm, 12/30/2012

    Dont know about Golovkin, but Bo Derek is definitly ” hittable”. In a kind way, of course.

  19. the thresher 05:19pm, 12/30/2012

    I know

  20. pugknows 05:09pm, 12/30/2012

    Ted, I have a better chance seeing God

  21. Stu 01:07pm, 12/30/2012

    Look, GGG has been intentionally kept off HBO and Showtime until his most recent fight. He would have gladly fought any of the overhyped HBO stable of filler material.  Al Hayman and company don’t want anyone to see how great this monster is. They want to showcase there own limited group of pampered crybabies, Broner, Berto, Ward, Mayweather, Chavez Jr. etc. They know if the boxing public sees how great GGG is,  their stable of “Talent” will be exposed.

  22. the thresher 11:38am, 12/30/2012

    PUG, I love to write about boxing. I enjoy writing about True Crime more, but the stuff just doesn’t flow or come out like it does with boxing. You do what you do best I suppose. With Boxing, I can get into a zone and stay there for a while. With other genres, it doesn’t work that way for me. I wish it did.

  23. the thresher 11:26am, 12/30/2012

    Pug actually she had a thang for me. hahahahahaha

  24. the thresher 11:26am, 12/30/2012

    Dan Adams , give it time. At some point in the future, he will end the rieign of the gtreat Sergio. Be patient. Stay in my lane for a bit longer. And then BAM. BOOM WHAM! GGG will have arrived.

  25. pugknows 11:02am, 12/30/2012

    They should call you the machine. You are very prolific!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also, I didn’t know you had a Jones for Bo Derek.

  26. Dan Adams 10:54am, 12/30/2012

    Not totally sold on Golovkin; personally I don’t see the boxing skills he should be displaying with all of his experience.  To me he looks to be trying for the KO from the get-go, and that might get Gennady in trouble going forward; especially in the late rounds of a fight when his opponent is still hanging around and is himself dangerous.  Still, GGG is exciting and I look forward to him totally selling me.  As for Broner, sorry, I see him as more of an Andre Berto type than another Lil Floyd.  Broner is good but me thinks his star will burn brightly but quickly.

  27. the thresher 10:01am, 12/30/2012

    If he reaches a perfect 10, he will be rather unique. Somewhat like Salvador Sanchez.

  28. the thresher 09:15am, 12/30/2012

    Don, see

  29. raxman 09:06am, 12/30/2012

    ted - my only criticism with this beast is he should’ve been fighting world class opponents after a ten pro fights. with his amateur pedigree there was no reason to have 20 + pro fights to find his feet. i mean hell mundine - before he was a joke - fought ottke after only 10 fights and you could count his amateur fights on one hand.
    also the comparison to Kostya Tszyu is actually pretty much on the money - Tszyu’s punch variety lessoned as he got thru his career (injuries played a part in that) but watch KT vs Vernon Forrest at the 91 worlds and you’ll see every punch in the book

  30. Don from Prov 08:56am, 12/30/2012

    I don’t know EXACTLY what this kid will become—

    a cross between Hearns and Hagler :)
    but between him Rios and Broner I know I have some good viewing ahead—

    Who are some of the other exciting prospects out there?
    Good stuff

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