The Adept: Gennady Golovkin

By Gordon Marino on October 16, 2015
The Adept: Gennady Golovkin
The fighter known as “Triple G” may be the most feared prizefighter on the planet.

Saturday night on HBO PPV, Golovkin takes on IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux at New York’s Madison Square Garden…

Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin is the picture of amicability. But don’t be deceived, the fighter known as “Triple G” may also be the most feared prizefighter on the planet.

The WBA, IBO, and WBC (interim) world middleweight champion, Golovkin has run up a string of 20 straight stoppages. With a ledger of 33-0 (30 knockouts), he boasts a 91% knockout ratio, the highest in the history amongst 160-pound titleholders.

On Saturday, Golovkin takes on IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (34-2, 31 knockouts) at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

What makes Golovkin such a terror? Just a smidgeon over 5-foot-10, the 33-year-old Kazakhstan native with thin legs and a tapered upper body looks more like an elite swimmer than an economy-sized Mike Tyson.

And yet, despite popular perception, there is little correlation between bicep girth and punching power. Like most elite bangers, Golovkin is adept at bringing his upper and lower body in sync so that he can convert the power in his legs into his mitts.

One of the keys to slugging prowess is balance, keeping one’s weight over center. Golovkin’s balance is impeccable. He can zing a series of canon shots without pitching forward and always remains in a position to punch.

In over 350 amateur contests and 33 professional bouts, Golovkin has never been knocked down. He has confidence in his chin and ability to end a fight with one swipe. With that experience and aplomb, Golovkin has become a calm destruction-delivering machine — one that has shown steady improvement in timing and setting up his shots.

A relentless attacker such as Golovkin always runs the risk of smothering his power by getting in too close. But like the great Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Golovkin always maintains a cushion of punching space as he closes the gap with his opponent.

In 2013, Matthew Macklin had some of his boxing ambitions caved in by a Golovkin left hook to the liver. Macklin later explained that standing in front of a fighter who can deliver Golovkin’s packages of pain produces both panicky mistakes and premature exhaustion.

When asked what was best about his fighter, Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, said, “He has been knocking people out with the left hook lately, but his right is the more powerful punch. But more than pure pop. I love the fact that Gennady does not get drunk on his power. He is very patient. He cuts off the ring and comes in behind the jab.”

A professor of philosophy at St. Olaf College, Gordon Marino writes on boxing for the Wall Street Journal. He is on the board and works with boxers at the Circle of Discipline in Minneapolis, as well as at the Basement Gym in Northfield, MN. His The Quotable Kierkegaard was recently published by Princeton University Press. You can follow him on Twitter at @GordonMarino.

Special thanks to the Wall Street Journal.

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Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux Preview (HBO Pay-Per-View)

Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux Preview (HBO Pay-Per-View)

Face Off: Golovkin/Lemieux [Full Show]

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  1. Antony Kilele Mtemwa 06:02am, 10/22/2015

    Congrants GGG. You have proved to be a true Champion. Please make us pround by winning.
    A K Mtemwa

  2. Bob 03:41am, 10/16/2015

    The reality is this is a MISMATCH. Putting it on PPV is an absolute insult to premium cable subscriber in particular and boxing fans in general.

  3. Koolz 01:44pm, 10/15/2015

    This is going to be a great night!  The question in this fight is?
    How many times can Lemieux get up?  two times three times?
    Going to be a fantastic night of boxing! 
    I hope it goes beyond three rounds.

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:29am, 10/15/2015

    Monroe and Murray and yes even Curtis regardless of his piss poor showing against N’Dam would give Lemieux fits. N’Dam was down and up ten times with Quillan and Lemieux and made it to the final bell in both fights.The operative word here is up because N’Dam was obviously there to be hit but neither could keep his ass down. David doing lot’s of sneering and smirking in the lead up to this one and seems to think the first time he touches GGG it will be lights out….really ?....he landed his shots on both Alcine and Rubio with little real effect.

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