A WELCOME NEW STAR TO BOXING
I watched with great interest the Gennady Golovkin-GrzegorzProksa bout Saturday night. Boxing fanatic that I am I had not heard of him before but have been reading your articles leading up to the fight and checking him out on YouTube so I wanted to see if he was really the goods. It seems that he surely is. The guy has technique, poise and – to say the least – POWER. He seems to be a likeable guy too which is a plus and the fact that he is trying to become fluent in English is very good too. (Going through long winded translations is such a drag). That being said, a couple of things become apparent… Floyd Mayweather will surely have NOTHING to do with him and this guy is ready to fight Sergio Martinez right now.
I know that in boxing the tradition is to stall and let the buzz for a fight build up but sometimes you can wait too long (can you say Ray Mancini vs Aaron Pryor for example?) The one thing MMA has over boxing is that when two exciting fighters emerge they throw them in together sooner than later.
After Martinez KOs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (yeah I said it) I think that would make for a great fight. Have you got any inside on what is next for Golovkin? Thanks for your comments. – David, Nashville
While visiting Golovkin’s Big Bear, Calif., training camp a few weeks ago, I talked to Tom Loeffler, the managing director of his promotional company, K2 Promotions, who said they definitely want to bring Golovkin back before the end of the year.
They’re only looking at middleweight beltholders and top-10 contenders. From the beginning of the year K2 was pressing the WBA to enforce their “super” champ, Felix Sturm, to make his long overdue mandatory defense against Golovkin, their “regular” titleholder. Sturmy held the sanctioning organization off by agreeing to a unification bout with IBF beltholder Daniel Geale, who upset him in a very good fight on Saturday.
So now, I believe Team Golovkin will pursue Geale, who is a draw in his native Australia. One thing Loeffler made clear was that despite their goal of making Golovkin a star in the U.S. (with HBO’s help) they are willing to take him overseas – to Germany, Australia, the UK or Russia – to fight top middleweights, such as Geale, Sturm, Mathew Macklin, Dmitry Pirog, Martin Murray and Darren Barker.
If HBO can’t find a date for Golovkin by the end of the year (And word is that they’re trying to find a spot for him in December), K2 can always add the middleweight crusher to the undercard of heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko’s defense against Mariusz Wach on Nov. 10 in Germany (where “Genna” currently lives).
I think Martinez vs. Golovkin would be a tremendous middleweight fight. However, Martinez has to take care of biz on Sept. 15 before we really start to demand that matchup.
I agree that the powers-that-be in boxing sometimes wait too long to match their top fighters, however, in Golovkin’s case, I believe he needs at least another two fights against the best possible opposition in order to prove that he’s really the “Heir Apparent” in the 160-pound division and deserving of a super fight.
He could use the media coverage and TV exposure that will come with another two bouts. Golovkin is still unknown by the general public. Until this past Saturday even hardcore heads viewed him as more of an “urban legend” than a real middleweight threat.
Wow. You were right on the money about this guy. What a beast! Cannot wait for his next fight…..who should he take on next? Winner of JCC Jr. and Maravilla?
(PS. Proksa is one tough hombre….I felt those body shots in Ontario, Canada.) – Dave from Ilderton
I was impressed by both Golovkin AND Proksa, who is indeed one tough hombre. Golovkin exceeded my expectations by stopping the rugged Pole before the sixth round (I thought Proksa would last into the late rounds). Proksa earned my admiration with his defiance in the face of an inevitable beatdown and by the accuracy of some of those wild-looking left hands and uppercuts that he landed in rounds two and three.
I hope members of THE RING Ratings Panel do not suggest that Proksa be dropped from the magazine’s middleweight rankings. I understand the reasoning given that he has lost two of his last three bouts, however, I hate to penalize a guy who was willing to get into the ring with a fighter that higher ranked middleweights (such as Sturm and Hassan N’Jikam) have shamelessly avoided.
You know what I’m saying? Why crap on a guy for acting like a real fighter and going out on his shield against a better man? Why reward boxers who act more like managers than fighters?
Whatever happens with the rankings, Proksa’s got my respect.
Who should Golovkin fight next? Anyone who’s got the balls and the self-belief to get into the ring with him! I don’t think Chavez Jr. will do it, even if he smashes Martinez. But I think Chavez-Golovkin would a hell of a fight because (as Roy Jones noted on the HBO broadcast) they have similar styles. Both seek to press their opponents to the ropes where they break them down with body shots and short power punches to the head. Golovkin has better power and technique, but Chavez is much bigger.
If Geale, who is one of my favorite middleweights, is willing to defend his two belts against Golovkin that’s a fight I’ve love to see. It would be a huge event in Australia and Geale would make for a competitive scrap.
Some random thoughts for you Dougie,
-Jonathon Gonzalez could be a decent prospect if he gets better discipline. He’s got durability and natural talent in terms of how to use distance properly and change defensive postures. Would like to see more of an inside game for a guy of his stature… and of course make weight. But against Dzinziruk, a “draw” is no easy task, even at a weight advantage.
-Gennady looked even better than advertised against the awkward, tough and very game Proksa. His calm demeanor amidst double and triple Polish bombs being lobbed at him from odd angles was downright freaky.
-GGG’s power in just throwing a jab, or tossing Proksa (a very athletic and strong lad himself) about seemed almost cartoonish as well.
-Lastly, while some will write GGG being your “V-nom 2.0” I beg to differ. If you recall, based on your first underground segment on the late Valero I went to Japan to meet him along with Jorge Linares. Gennady’s temperament and class inside the ring is what impressed me the most. He’s got all of Valero’s offensive prowess composed into a poised and calculated offense. I think we’re going to watch something very special blossom with GGG and Abel Sanchez finally getting exposure on HBO. – JB
I agree. Golovkin reminds me a lot of Valero in the machine-like way he goes about training, the manner in which he dominates capable sparring partners, and, of course, his take-no-prisoners attitude in the ring. However, mentally and psychologically, they are like night and day. Valero was manic and he had a huge chip on his shoulder. Golovkin is a friendly person who is obviously at peace with himself.
That inner peace can be the difference between being a great talent and actually evolving into a great fighter. Along with his medical history, Valero was often his own worst enemy. His ego did not allow him to remain with world-class trainers for very long. For too many years, he basically trained himself, which compromised his technique and development.
Golovkin is more humble and he wants to learn. If stays with Sanchez I think we might witness the emergence of a popular middleweight champ and perhaps a new star in the sport.
That jab Golovkin repeatedly stunned Proksa with was sick. Anyone with a power jab like that is going to give even the most talented opposition fits. Add to that hard left stick an iron chin (which was tested by some flush bombs from Proksa), freakish physical strength, and accurate power punching and you have a bona-fide threat in the 160-pound division.
I see the potential that you see in Gonzalez, who counters well and puts punches together nicely (although his technique is sloppy), but I think he has a ways to go before maturing into a real threat in the 154-pound division. First of all, he’s got to actually make junior middleweight. He’s weighed in as a middleweight and a super middleweight in his last two bouts. (And coming in at 163 against Dzinziruk was disgraceful; I don’t care what his excuse was.)
Still, Gonzalez almost beat an experienced, skilled southpaw who’s undefeated at 154 pounds and has only lost to Martinez (in a middleweight championship bout). That says something. Gonzalez definitely has promise. I wish he’d spend more time around stablemate Thomas Dulorme and pick up some good training/dieting habits.