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What’s Next For Gennady Golovkin?

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By Nicholas Phillipowsky


On Saturday, October 17, 2015, in front of a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden, Gennady Golovkin (34-0-31) thoroughly dominated David Lemieux (34-3-31).

The fight was expected to be Golovkin’s toughest fight to date, however David Lemieux proved to be little threat to derailing Golovkin’s run of twenty consecutive knockouts. Lemieux, a big puncher himself, met the same fate as Golovkin’s last twenty opponents, as he was stopped in the 8th round. From the opening bell, Golovkin showcased his full arsenal, with his jab being the key weapon. He easily established the pace and range the fight would be fought at, working a stiff left jab with precision to keep the dangerous Lemieux at bay.

Golovkin continued to pummel Lemieux to the body and head, eventually producing the fight’s lone knockdown in the 5th round. Lemieux managed to survive the 5th round, but as the next few rounds progressed, it became apparent that he had no answers for Golovkin’s jab and superior boxing ability. Golovkin continued to methodically break Lemieux down, with every blow landed; referee Steve Willis’ expressions seemed to suggest a stoppage was imminent.


Finally, in the best interest of Lemieux, Steve Willis had seen enough, he called a halt to the contest at one minute, thirty-two seconds into the 8th round. After the fight, Golovkin made it clear what his future objectives in the sport are.

In an interview with HBO commentator Max Kellerman, Golovkin stated that he intends to stay at 160lbs and unify the Middleweight Division. After Golovkin seemingly silenced any critics, it raises the question of what is truly next for GGG and the middleweight division.

So what does this mean for us as boxing fans?

The Middleweight Division currently is one of the best divisions in boxing; there are many solid competitors out there that would possibly be interested in a Golovkin showdown. Some of the results of upcoming bouts may have a big impact on Golovkin’s future.

On December 5th, 2015, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (32-0-23) squares off with Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs (30-1-27) in a highly anticipated Middleweight title fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Both fighters are solid with impressive records, and equally impressive punching power.

The winner of that fight would make a formidable foe for Golovkin, however it is very unlikely that fight is made. It doesn’t seem like a feasible option for Golovkin’s next fight, considering the different promoters and networks. Golovkin is promoted by K2 and fights exclusively on HBO, both Quillin and Jacobs are PBC fighters, managed and protected by Al Haymon. If I had to bet, I would say that both Quillin and Jacobs steer clear of GGG.

A fight that has been talked about for quite a while now is a showdown between two undefeated fighters, GGG and Andre Ward (28-0-15.) The undefeated Super Middleweight has been very inactive over the last few years due to a promotional dispute.

GGG and Ward are regarded as the top two pound for pound fighters in the sport by many journalists and experts. Both men at one point seemed to want to make the dream match a reality. However, no substantial negotiations ever took place and now the fight seems highly unlikely, at least in the foreseeable future.

Ward recently put an end to all of the speculation of that bout taking place. He announced that he will be moving up in weight to Light Heavyweight, this would create a fifteen pound gap in weight between the two fighters, which would suggest that a fight between the pair of undefeated stars is a long way off.

There is a chance that Golovkin could fight the winner of the late, great Emmanuel Steward protégé Andy “Irish” Lee (34-2-24) and Billy Joe Saunders (22-0-12) for the WBO title. That fight has recently been rescheduled for December 19th, 2015. If Golovkin’s team are able to seal a bout with the winner of Lee/Saunders, they may be throwing away a golden opportunity to take part in a huge event against the victor of boxing’s next super fight.

In my opinion, the most logical opponent for Golovkin is a showdown with the victor in the bout between Miguel Cotto (40-4-33) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-32.) Cotto/Canelo is the biggest fight boxing has to offer in a post Mayweather/Pacquiao era.

Both Cotto and Canelo have huge fan bases, punching power, and boxing ability. It is a fight that promises to make up for the lack of excitement fans witnessed on May 5th,2015 in the fight that was labeled “the fight of the century.” This fight will be a showcase for boxing, there will be a lot of media coverage and the winner will surely become the new top draw in the sport.

If Golovkin plays it smart, he would watch Cotto/Canelo very closely, and try to get a fight with the winner. It is not a guarantee that either man will fight Golovkin, but most journalists seem to think it is more likely that Canelo will fight Golovkin in the event of a victory over Miguel Cotto, whereas most do not believe Cotto will elect to fight Golovkin if he should emerge victorious.

Golovkin is a fighter that has come into the spotlight rather late; he is already thirty-three years old. If Golovkin wants to make his impact on the sport, he needs to land a fight with the winner of Cotto/Canelo. A fight between Golovkin and the winner would certainly be a super fight, one of great importance to his career and the fight game. The series of matchups we will see in the last few months of 2015, may be an indication of the future landscape of boxing in 2016.

All of this is purely speculation, only time will determine whether or not GGG will be boxing’s next mainstream superstar or if another fighter emerges as the future face of boxing.



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