It’s my first time writing to you. I love your mailbag but let’s get to the point.
Gołovkin is truly a beast, the way he not only overpowered Proksa but also how he read his moves after just two rounds is most impressive. Experience was crucial in this fight.
Back to Proksa, I must agree that he got totally destroyed but he had some good moments there. Especially rounds 2 and 3 (when he wasn’t down), he managed to connect with some proper lefts. I still think that Grzegorz has a chance for a middleweight belt, but right now he is “poor man’s Sergio Martinez” – I mean without a good jab and shoulder defense he will never be able to stand on the equal foot with top four middleweight contenders. What do you think Proksa should do improve in his boxing?
Another thing is Lucas Matthysse vs Ajose Olusegun. I mean these two matchups are so similar. I think the outcome will be the same – Puncher’s hand raised. If you think of Proksa as “poor man Sergio Martinez” than Olusegun is a “poor man’s Grzegorz Proksa.” I bet that Olusegun will hit the floor before the end of the fourth round.
One last thing, Sergio Martinez will wipe the floor with Chavez, who depends too much on his iron chin.
Some mythical matchups to think about:
Sergio Martinez-Carlos Monzon
Nicolino Locche-Lucas Martin Mattysse
Regards, and sorry for my English, don’t use it much. – Lucas
Thanks for finally writing in Lucas. Your English was fine.
You are absolutely correct about Golovkin’s performance on Saturday. He didn’t simply overpower Proksa. He quickly figured out a very awkward and unorthodox style and systematically broke the southpaw down.
Proksa did indeed have his moments when he landed shots that would have dropped or rocked “normal” middleweight contenders. But Golovkin ain’t normal.
There’s not much Proksa could have done against Golovkin. He wasn’t just outgunned, he was outclassed. However, going forward, I think the UK-based Pole could use his jab more, follow his sneaky left-hand bombs with right hooks and maybe keep his hands up a little more. I wouldn’t change his style or technique too much because those quirky moves are a big part of what makes him difficult. However, he needs to settle down a bit and mix in more lateral movement with his attacks – especially when he’s in with a bigger puncher.
You make a good point about Matthysse-Olusegun being a similar style matchup as Golovkin-Proksa and I agree that the Argentine will break the athletic southpaw down; maybe not before four rounds but definitely by the late rounds. I think Mathysse will tear Olusegun’s body up.
Nice All-Argentina mythical matchups!
Monzon keeps Martinez honest and at bay with his all-time great jab and wins a close but comfortable unanimous 15-round decision.
Locche frustrates Matthysse to a surprisingly entertaining 15-round unanimous decision (because the defensive master will invite the puncher into a corner and engage with him at will in almost every round).
Wow! This young lion is a beast! It’s been quite a few years since I watched a boxer and was so excited. He doesn’t seek to just win his fights he seeks to utterly decimate his opponents! His jab reminded me of Big George’s and it was stunning Proksa. I don’t see anyone from 154-168 being a challenge and think we all witnessed the beginnings of boxing’s next great crossover star. – Mitch Rapp
We’ll see, Mitch. Saturday was a good start. Now Golovkin has to continue to learn his craft while his handlers do their best to make significant fights in the 160-pound division.
I’m not going to bother mentioning any of the elite fighters in the junior middleweight (Mayweather) or super middleweight (Ward) divisions. There’s no way those guys agree to fight a scary dangerous dude like Golovkin, who literally just appeared on the U.S. scene.
It doesn’t matter. There are plenty of good matchups for Golovkin in the middleweight division.
Golovkin didn’t use his jab enough to make think of Foreman’s awesome left stick, but that’s probably something he and Abel Sanchez will be working on in future training camps.
His power-punch accuracy (he landed 40 percent) impressed me more than his jab.
You’re not alone in your excitement. I watched the fight with a group of folks that include a few old heads (guys who have been following the sport since the 1950s and ‘60s – guys who aren’t easily impressed) and even the grumpiest of the crew, Dave from Santa Monica, admitted that he wants to see more of Golovkin.
GOLOVKIN, YOUNG VALERO & NEUMAN
It has been a long time since I have been moved to write in to your mailbag (although I read it every week), and I know that after this ridiculously dominating performance, guys are going to be making all kinds of Golovkin comparisons (JC Chavez, Tszyu, etc.). Here is another one for you: Golovkin reminds me of a giant Edwin Valero, before he started training himself and lost his technique. He has punishing power, solid form, and looks a bit like the guy from Mad Magazine. What do you think? – Jonathan F.
It’s cool you remember that Valero looked like Alfred E. Neuman (the toothy kid with the big ears on MAD magazine covers) when he first came to the U.S. in 2003 (before he grew his hair out). A friend of mine who was closely associated with Valero, Ray Alcorta (who now does matchmaking for Top Rank), used to say that about ‘the V-nom.’
Now that you mention it, I see the slight Neuman resemblance in Golovkin’s smiling face. (Sorry Gennady, no disrespect meant.)
Of course, you’re correct that they have more than goofy grins in common. Golovkin is ridiculously strong, as Valero was, hard-punching and very smart. Both had a way of making the ring smaller on their sparring partners and opponents without resembling typical pressure fighters. Even though Valero stopped all of his early opponents in the first round, the 2003 version casually walked them down before dropping the bomb. Golovkin does that now. He’s not as dynamic as Valero was, but he’s more technically sound and methodical about the damage he dishes out.
Ryan Coyne, one of Golovkin’s main sparring partners for the Proksa bout, spent some time working with Kenny Adams in Las Vegas when the veteran trainer had Valero. So he trained alongside Valero for months. Coyne told me that Golovkin reminded him of Valero because of the intensity of his workouts, sparring sessions and roadwork. The difference between the two, he said, is that Valero would be up all night drinking tequila the night before he’d do a five-to-eight mile run Mt. Charleston. Golovkin gets his rest during camp.
Only time will tell if Golovkin has the underrated footwork and defensive capability that Valero possessed (and got very little credit for). I’m not sure that he does but he probably won’t need it do eventually become “the man” at middleweight.