Last year, Golovkin fought four times (three times on HBO and once in Monte Carlo, where he will be performing this weekend in the very same venue, Salle de etoile) and created incredible momentum for himself. No longer is he this urban legend from Kazakhstan with a huge amateur background. He is now firmly entrenched as one of the pillars of HBO and must-see-TV among boxing fans. Golovkin achieved this through sheer volume and one impressive outing after another. It’s interesting to note that some believed he deserved to be the “Fighter of the Year” despite being the heavy favorite in all of his fights in 2013. Let’s be honest; downing the quartet of Gabe Rosado, Nobuhiro Ishida, Matthew Macklin and Curtis Stevens wouldn’t normally merit such honors. But his body of work and the quality of his performances made believers of the general public.
Yet come Saturday afternoon, if you want to see Golovkin-Adama in America, you’re going to have to get on your laptop and start searching around (and if you happen to find a stream, hey, be a pal and throw one my way. Thanks).
So this question has to be asked. Will what we saw in 2013 - when Golovkin mowed down one overmatched foe after another as the marquee names acted as if he didn’t exist - be repeated in 2014?
Golovkin has built a constituency and has developed a cult following but right now, he’s still the guy who simply represents too much of a risk for the reward he brings. Yeah, he can pull a solid Nielsen number on HBO but the highest ceilings in the sport are really about having the ability to be a pay-per-view attraction or at least a B-side. The problem for Golovkin is he’s simply too dangerous for his own good at this moment. Sergio Martinez, the recognized middleweight champion, who is hobbling into the twilight of his career, looks like he’ll be facing Miguel Cotto on June 7th (now that they figured out whose name will come first on the fight poster). Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., seemingly targeted by everyone between 160-175 (more on that later) because of his vulnerability and marketability, has a March 1st date set as he faces Bryan Vera again and might be headed toward a summer pay-per-view showdown with Carl Froch. Felix Sturm wanted no part of Golovkin while they were under the same promotional banner several years ago and is safely ensconced in Germany.
Peter Quillin, the WBO beltholder, is a “Cold War” casualty given he’s with Golden Boy Promotions/Showtime. Martin Murray has had numerous chances to face Golovkin and it’s gotten to the point to where he’s now dropping out of Golovkin’s undercards (as he was scheduled to go this weekend in Monaco) and according to some sources, Danny Geale is already giving alibis as to why he won’t face Golovkin (again) on April 26th when he returns to the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
You catch the drift here?
Golovkin is having problems finding quality dance partners and until he finds them, it will be difficult for him to truly become a transcendent figure. Right now, he’s the proverbial chicken-or-the-egg conundrum. Golovkin hasn’t truly faced an elite 160-pounder but then, it can be argued that none of those elite fighters have ever given him that opportunity. If you say Golovkin hasn’t defeated anyone of note, you’d be correct. But you’d also be correct if you stated he’s been consciously avoided by those same individuals. It’s been reported that James Kirkland, the tough, rugged Texan, is in line to face him on April 26th (that is, if he doesn’t price himself out - which may have already happened). Kirkland is an exciting but flawed brawler and in all reality, a junior middleweight.
You get the sense that Golovkin is the real article. As Larry Merchant likes to say, “Sometimes, you have to trust your eyes.” In other words, don’t overthink this. When you see genuine talent, you have to just believe in it. Like when you saw a young Kobe Bryant light up the Memphis Grizzlies, you appreciated the skills that he exhibited, not necessarily the level of opposition. Certain guys just have “it” but at age 31, how many more developmental years will Golovkin have to go through?
We know he’s good. The real question is will we ever find out just how good he really is?
Based on what I’ve heard, it’s not a stretch to say that regarding Golovkin-Adama not being aired in the U.S., HBO/K2 Promotions tried and Rodney Berman failed. Regardless, Golovkin marches on and will continue to be one of the busiest champions in the sport.
Poster Photo © K9 Photos, MaxBoxing
“Gennady’s mandate to us is that he wants to stay active and this is a fight that’s definitely competitive. Adama was very competitive against Geale in Australia for the previous [IBF] world title challenge that he had,” said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions. “So even though it’s not broadcast on HBO in the United States, it will be broadcast over a hundred countries worldwide. So it keeps him especially in the strategic markets in Europe and the former Soviet territories.”
And yes, like in 2013, Golovkin could be going four times this year.
Loeffler says, “Absolutely; that was the plan. Gennady liked the schedule last year. We saw all the accolades that he got, two candidates for ‘Knockout of the Year’, he was voted ‘Fighter of the Year’ by many publications, so he definitely wants to stay on pace. We’ll continue to look for the biggest names available there for him, whether it’s Sergio Martinez or any of the top names, Chavez, but the plan would be to fight four times again this year.”
And to keep that itinerary probably means taking a fight in Europe but in a bigger venue. Production issues kept this weekend’s bout from being aired by HBO2.
“We’re definitely disappointed it wasn’t worked out with HBO. I know they went through great lengths to try to get it on air and they even made a lot of production concessions but at the end of the day, the venue just didn’t hold the capacity for all the equipment,” explained Loeffler. “HBO is our biggest strategic partner, so in the future, we’re definitely try to have everything in place where a show could be broadcast, regardless of where it is.”
SON OF FLIP-FLOP
And who can forget the obvious pandering of Chavez Jr. Ward engaged in during the HBO broadcast back in September in which the “Son of the Legend” faced Vera the first time?
I don’t have much to add on this. After all, Andre said it all himself; didn’t he?
The way he flip-flopped, one boxing industry insider dubbed him, “The Boxing Mitt (Romney).”
Episode 465 of “The Next Round” with Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly:
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March 15th will be a tripleheader on Showtime from Puerto Rico with Danny Garcia facing Mauricio Herrera, Deontay Wilder-Malik Scott and now Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Daniel Ponce de Leon II (http://ringtv.craveonline.com/news/315597-danny-garcia-2)...As for a possible showdown between Mikey Garcia and Yuriorkis Gamboa, Top Rank Promotions’ Bob Arum told Maxboxing, “That’s what we’re working towards. We’re looking at, hopefully, May 17th at the Forum in Los Angeles.” Please…pretty please - pretty please with sugar on top, make this happen!...NFL Super Bowl media day is something I hope I never attend...Did President Obama give a big speech or something last night?...Marshawn Lynch is a man of many Skittles but few words…