Steak à la Golovkin

By Clarence George on April 13, 2013
Steak à la Golovkin
Golovkin was polite and brief: "Look at him. Same size, same power, same speed."

I attended a press conference this afternoon on the second floor of Gallagher’s Steak House on Manhattan’s West 52nd Street…

Did he meet the man
Did he shake his hand
Then let me shake the hand that shook the hand that shook the hand
Of John L. Sullivan

I attended a press conference this afternoon on the second floor of Gallagher’s Steak House on Manhattan’s West 52nd Street. There’d been talk that the venerable New York institution, around since 1927, would be closing its doors early this year. That’s proven not to be the case, fortunately, though I hear tell of “renovations,” which of course means change. And what does change usually signify? Modernization and ruination. Here’s hoping that the framed poster of Billie Burke won’t soon be replaced by a velvet rendering of Kim Kardashian or some other equally offensive tart. My apologies, I of course meant “upstart.”

Some spread, including all the steak sandwiches you could eat, of which I copiously partook. And then we got down to business—DiBella Entertainment, K2 Promotions, HBO, and Foxwoods Resort Casino officially announced the title match between WBA and IBO middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin and Matthew Macklin at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut, on June 29.

Both fighters are of the old school, and were characteristically and expectedly civil and courteous. Macklin spoke first, referring to his upcoming opponent as a “great fighter and a gentleman.” He compared Golovkin and himself to Rocky Graziano, Tony Zale, Jake LaMotta, Sugar Ray Robinson, and other great middleweights of the 1940s and 1950s, as well as to Thomas Hearns and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

The Brummie also compared his match with the Kazakh to that of the 2001 middleweight championship bout between Bernard Hopkins and Felix Trinidad. Hopkins was very much the underdog, but succeeded in stopping Trinidad by 12th-round TKO, the Puerto Rican’s first loss and the only one by stoppage.

Fearing that his message was perhaps unduly subtle, Macklin made it clear that while he considers Golovkin a great fighter with a bright future, “he’ll lose first, but will be the better fighter for it.” And that first loss will come courtesy of Macklin, “Mack the Knife” predicted, and via knockout.

Golovkin was as polite as he was brief, painting Macklin a worthy foe: “Look at him. Same size, same power, same speed.” No trash talk, arrogance, bragging, or predictions—collected, confident, and as cool and tranquil as a forest stream in summer.

I had the pleasure of a one-on-one with the champ following the presser. He greeted me as though a friend, though we’d never met. How much smaller he was than I…and how much more lethal. He very kindly autographed my reporter’s notebook and gave me a double-handed shake. The hand that knocked out 23 of 26 opponents shook mine.

Golovkin, who celebrated his 31st birthday just a few days ago, turned pro in 2006. The undefeated “GGG” has already scored two victories this year, stopping Gabriel Rosado by seventh-round TKO in January and Nobuhiro Ishida by third-round KO in March.

Macklin (29-4-0, 20 KOs), who’ll turn 31 next month, is a 12-year pro. His most recent fights took place last year, retired in the 11th by Sergio Martinez in March and stopping Joachim Alcine by first-round KO in September.

“Mack the Knife” suffered a controversial split decision loss to Felix Sturm in his only fight of 2011. His other two losses came at the hands of Andrew Facey in 2003, losing on points, and Jamie Moore in 2006, losing by 10th-round KO.

Macklin is good, but not good enough. Come June 29, Golovkin will score his 27th win and 24th knockout.

Next up for the Kazakh: Peter Quillin…Daniel Geale…Martinez?

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Gennady Golovkin vs Nobuhiro Ishida - Full Fight (03.30.2013)



Hopkins vs Trinidad (GP highlights)



Sergio Martinez vs Matthew Macklin 1/4



Sergio Martinez vs Matthew Macklin 2/4



Sergio Martinez vs Matthew Macklin 3/4



Sergio Martinez vs Matthew Macklin 4/4



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  1. Clarence George 02:30am, 04/26/2013

    Says HBO, as reported by Doug Fischer:  Golovkin is the only one of their fighters who accepts every opponent they put forth.  Just sayin’.

  2. KenM 08:41am, 04/15/2013

    Agree that Geale would be a tough match for Golovkin based on his style & toughness - high workrate, superb fitness, constant lateral movement, punches in quick combinations & moves out again at an angle.
    I think that there is a good chance we see that fight early next year, which would seem to fit both guys schedules.

    RE: ducking Golovkin, I think it is more a case of fighters & their management wanting a lot of money on the table for a Golovkin bout, & were not going to risk their shot at the Sergio Martinez or Chavez Jr sweepstakes.
    Thankfully that appears to be changing now as HBO has got behind Golovkin in a big way and there is now some serious money on the table.

    Disagree with raxman about the state of the middleweight division, as I think it is one of the strongest division in boxing - plenty of top fighters & exciting matchups, with a good crop of up & comers both in middleweight as well as big Jr Middleweights who will have to make the jump.

  3. Clarence George 07:19pm, 04/14/2013

    I don’t at all underestimate Geale, and I’m sure Golovkin doesn’t either.  A good fight, sure, but my money’d be on “GGG.”

  4. raxman 06:13pm, 04/14/2013

    Golokin has an amateur win over geale - but that could be deceptive in that era of oz amateur boxing we just didn’t get the level of sparing or tournaments that a euro amateur did. today the oz ammo’s have both a and b teams that do twice yearly camps to cuba and Europe for just that purpose.
    geale may well surprise you. he doesn’t have a punch but he does have a chin and I think he is just one of those fighters who wins when you think he shouldn’t be able too. he doesn’t stop working and is slicker than he appears. golovkins style, actually suits geale who struggle more with outside boxer style. i’m not saying that geale would beat golovkin per se but I do not think that it should be put down as a GGG win, if for no other reason than geales victories over sturm and Sylvester, wins in Germany that are far superior to anything GGG has done

  5. Clarence George 06:02pm, 04/14/2013

    I think Golovkin is indeed trying to embarrass and pressure guys like Geale into the ring.  It may not work with Martinez, who could be closer than not to retirement.

    You’re a good sport and debater—you know how to disagree without becoming disagreeable.

  6. raxman 05:48pm, 04/14/2013

    CG - And I return to my argument that the “duck” defence is no defence. if he wanted those guys he could have them. I want to see him crash maravilla’s post fight presser after he destroys murray. I want to see him calling those guys out. embarrassing them into fighting him if they are really ducking. I think its more about modern boxing’s technique of raking up as many no risk fights as you can and then go for a pay day. which again is fine but don’t try to sell me he’s gun until he’s proved it.
    Clarence mate, I think we’re gonna have to agree to disagree on this one!!

  7. Clarence George 05:42pm, 04/14/2013

    Raxman:  I, too, want to see Golovkin take on more impressive opponents, but I’m back to my original point:  He’s being avoided like Typhoid Mary with the “bonus” of a nasty dose of the clap.

  8. raxman 05:27pm, 04/14/2013

    CG- I just golovkin going down the same route - Rosado, Ishida and now Macklin? come one. this guy was an absolute gun amateur he has no right to pad his record for 26 fights - compare rigondeaux level of opponents after 12. that’s the way gun amateurs should come into the pro ranks. actually I take that back - he has a right to pad his record all he likes. but don’t expect me to laud him as the second coming just because the guy bangs out some blown up b-grade 154’s and over matched 160’s. I ain’t buying him until he fights someone better than matthew macklin. just like I didn’t buy bute!

  9. Clarence George 05:22pm, 04/14/2013

    I actually agree, Raxman, that Martinez has been overhyped and is overrated.  Look what Chavez Jr. came within a hair’s breadth of doing.  No, Martinez ain’t Ketchel, but I do consider him at the very least above average.  But even if you were 100% right, how is that Golovkin’s fault?  Let him play the hand (the quality of the division) he was dealt.  Both he and the fans have earned the right to see what he can do against the best available.  I think he’s very Zale-like.  I hope to be proven right, but I’m open to be proven wrong.

  10. raxman 05:06pm, 04/14/2013

    CG - make no mistake - Martinez is one of the biggest frauds in boxing. lets look at this guys career - a mediocre talent at 34 who gets a draw vs cintron - then he gets a win against pavlik (at the time we didn’t know about pavlik’s problems but they were present espec post Hopkins) and then he gets a ko victory from a fundamentally flawed Pdub - but lets count that as a good win - what has he done since? fought b-grade euro and brit fighters and another troubled screw up in chavez jnr
    I’ve said this over and over on this site - what is more likely that at 35 and after 40 fights that Martinez should suddenly become a p4p top 5? or that after a couple of not as good as they first looked wins he has been very carefully match made and hyped? I know what I think.

  11. Clarence George 04:52pm, 04/14/2013

    I have to disagree, Raxman.  While there’s no reason for Golovkin not to fight lighter and heavier guys, he should be given the well-earned opportunity to clean house at 160 and become the unified champ.  I also don’t agree that the middleweight division is shallow or that a match with any of its A-Graders is his for the asking.  I heard Lou DiBella himself claim that there’s no money in a Martinez-Golovkin bout, which is bullshit.  How much interest is there in the upcoming Martinez-Murray fight?  Just this side of bupkis.  That sure as hell wouldn’t be the case if the Argentine climbed into the ring with the Kazakh.

  12. raxman 02:58pm, 04/14/2013

    oh please. the duck defence. he only fights B-graders because the A-graders duck him. do you know how ridiculous that sounds? if his people wanted him to fight any of the top ranked middleweights they’d make the match. but what about the 160 pounders? compared to 54 and 68 its shallow shallow pond. and golovkin? he may well be all that. he isn’t showing me anything but an ability to beat guys he should beat. a trip north and wins over ward or froch would be impressive - and what a guy with that amateur pedigree should’ve been looking at 2 or 3 years ago

  13. KenM 12:04pm, 04/14/2013

    I think that a lot of people should be waking up to how much more attention should be applied to fighters amateurs careers after Rigo’s schooling of one of the top P4P fighters in the sport.

    Golovkin was not only one of the best amateur boxers in the sport (345-5 record, World champ, Olympic silver, multiple top championship wins), but this was in a era of great matchups in one of the toughest middleweight era’s in amateur sport.
    He has also headlined shows as an amateur & pro for ‘President for life’ Nursultan Nazarbayev & won, so I very much doubt any kind of big stage pressure will bother him.

    Amateur champs don’t always carry through ofcourse, but it is pretty clear from looking at a fighters style & his level of competition just how good he can be once he makes the transition to 12 rounds, & Golovkin has clearly made that transition.
    As to him already being 31, Golovkin is not not a guy who depends on his speed or reactions - excellent fundamentals, superb balance, good ring generalship & brutal power.

    I see Golovkin having a very long career at the top of the ladder - perhaps struggling as he did occasionally as an amateur with clever boxers who can change up & are tough enough to hang in there, but still a top 10 P4P guy.

  14. Ted 11:36am, 04/14/2013

    GGG is probably too good for his own good and after his nuclear KO of Ichida, I would not get in line to fight him. Macklin took a terrific beating from Jamie Moore years ago. He took another one from Martinez in the late rounds. This will be a trifecta.

  15. Clarence George 09:17am, 04/14/2013

    Oh, how I love your comments, Irish.

  16. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:42am, 04/14/2013

    Clarence George-Now you got me going on a Sunday morning….Billie Burke!....which sends my libidinous mental meanderings straight to Margaret Hamilton….then Margaret Dumont….Marjorie Main…..and last but certainly not least Babe Kane when she wrapped her long legs around W.C. Fields in “The Dentist”....the sexiest scene in film history!

  17. Clarence George 02:19am, 04/14/2013

    A word, gentlemen, in defense of my man Golovkin.  He has made it repeatedly and abundantly clear that he’ll face anyone and everyone, particularly the best and the brightest, at any of the three middleweight divisions.  It’s those very men who refuse to face him—Sturm, Geale, Quillin, and Martinez.  They don’t think they can beat him—and they’re right.  One wonders, though, for how much longer they can get away with their game of hide-and-don’t-seek.

  18. Darrell 12:36am, 04/14/2013

    I think Golovkin is the real deal but he is in his early 30’s so needs to underline his very obvious talents against some of the bigger names out there pretty quickly before father time robs him of any vital assets.

    At least he’s busy, which is more than can be said for many fighters.

    Quillin, Martinez, Chavez Jr, Pirog & possibly Froch & Ward await….I don’t rate Geale, an average skilled puncher, that’s all.

  19. raxman 11:50pm, 04/13/2013

    macklin? oh my god? he was a b grade brit when one of maravilla’s bum of the month club and he aint change since then. but GGG will destroy him and all you gate jumpers will sing his praises just like you did bute and i’ll have to deal with ” no Rax, its not who he beats, its how he beats them”.
    Golovkin was an amateur superstar and 26 fights in he still hasn’t fought one A-grade fighter. not one name. in fact the closest name fighters he has been in with have been blown up 154 pounders - and second rate 154’s at that
    compare that to my boy Rigondeaux - another superstar amateur who 12 fights into his career already has a resume to put GGG to shame - yet because he’s a counter puncher he gets nowhere near the respect Golovkin gets for beating nobodies
    Golovkin even got his belt the easy way - stripped from geale.
    damn you all for getting so carried away about this guy before the facts justify the adulation. damn you for making me look the hater when all i want is a little reality check

  20. NYIrish 10:53pm, 04/13/2013

    Macklin sure talks himself into some good company; Graziano, Zale, LaMotta, Robinson, Hagler and Hearns. Has he had a recent EEG?

  21. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:37pm, 04/13/2013

    If Sergio and Jamie Moore can tip over that wagon….you can be sure GGG can!

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