THE KAZAKH’S CONUNDRUM
What's good Fresh,
Thanks for the post showing which networks were airing the Gennady Golovkin fight. I watched it on the Fight Network here in Canada thanks to you and the Victor Ortiz-Luis Collazo fight also.
I was impressed as always with Golovkin but I still can't see a big money fight for him in 2014.
Peter Quillin has the talent and courage to challenge Golovkin but there's politics blocking that fight (not that Quillin offers a huge pay day but there would be plenty of exposure and a potential FOTY candidate). Floyd Mayweather won't fight him and neither will Miguel Cotto or Sergio Martinez. That leaves Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. I like that fight. Chavez has a good chin and his style would make it fun for as long as he lasted. Actually, I wouldn't put it past Chavez to go the distance. He'd also bring Golovkin some much needed exposure stateside.
As sad as it is that the P4P Champ won't face him, Golovkin should just go up in weight. He's too good for his size and too powerful. I think he'll need to try super middleweight or higher if he wants to face marketable opponents who are willing to fight him. When do you think we might see him in a meaningful fight or at least in with someone who won't add to his ridiculous KO percentage?
Take care, Dougie, and all the best. – WS
I don’t see any 160-pound fighters – even the top dogs of the division, like Martinez, Sturm and Quillin – going the distance with Golovkin. And I hate to say it, but I don’t think we’ll see GGG in a “meaningful fight” until 2015.
Quillin’s basically in a separate U.S. boxing league (Showtime/Golden Boy/Haymon) and the other notable middleweights/super middleweights you mentioned have 2014 plans that don’t involve facing a human meat grinder in the ring.
Martinez looks to be closing in on a June 7 pay-per-view showdown with Miguel Cotto. If he wins he’ll face WBC mandatory Marco Anotnio Rubio if he bothers fighting twice this year. If Cotto wins, he’ll target mega-money showdowns with either Canelo Alvarez or Mayweather. GGG can forget about getting a piece of the Puerto Rican star.
Chavez has to get by Bryan Vera on March 1 before he can talk about any significant fight this year. If he does, he’ll likely take on Carl Froch. The winner of the potential Froch-Chavez showdown has options that don’t include Golovkin, such as Andre Ward or George Groves.
Other 160-pound standouts also have options that don’t include getting “Good Boy’d.” Felix Sturm and Daniel Geale have each other, for example.
So Golovkin is going to have to continue doing what he did in 2013, which is stay busy against whoever’s got the balls to get into the ring with him. It doesn’t really matter who he fights as long as he fights often. The more he fights – even if it’s off U.S. TV and outside of America – the more hardcore fans around the world will tune-in, as they did this past Saturday. And the more he fights in the U.S. and on HBO – as he’s scheduled to on April 26 – the more tickets he will sell and the higher his ratings on the premium cable network will be.
Word is that James Kirkland (the perfect opponent for GGG in many ways) has priced himself out of the April slot (and I hear Ann Wolfe didn’t want that fight for her fighter, anyway), so it’s looking like Andy Lee might get the call. A lot of fans will bellyache about that matchup if it happens, but everyone will watch.
If he’s lucky, Golovkin will get at least one solid top-10 middleweight contender – such as Martin Murray – before the year is out. In 2015, maybe Martinez or Chavez will be ready to take part in a meaningful/marketable fight with GGG. By the way, I think Golovkin stops them both in the championship rounds.
Hey Dougie. It's been a few seconds hasn't it. Actually we've haven't spoke since last year. What's up?
Since the Golovkin-Adama massacre wasn't on HBO I wasn't able to watch it. But that's OK. I just logged onto Youtube and watched Bambi Vs Godzilla in which that poor dumb critter Bambi gets squashed by The Big G's humungous foot. Same sort of thing.
In fact that's been the same story with just about all of GGG's fights. Brutally one-sided mismatches. And don't you worry. This is not yet another “Golovkin fights nothing but bums” speech. I do recall that G. Proksa, Matthew Macklin, and Curtis Stevenson were heavy hitters themselves ranked in the top 10 and Golovkin, aka The Demolisher, pounded the f__k out of each one of them without breaking a sweat. Bottom line: Put GGG in against anyone less than a top 4 or 5 guy and we're going to get a one-sided beatdown of Godzilla Vs Bambi proportions.
So who should step up and face The Demolisher? Well it's like this. Sergio Martinez will be doing business with Miguel Cotto and just scraped by in his last fight anyways. Danny Geale lost to Darren Barker and Peter Quillin needs to finish off business with Gabe Rosado. So that leaves Felix Sturm. Indeed it should be Sturm who needs to man up here. The Sturminator just blasted out Barker and therefore has momentum in his favour. Plus that fight would be huge if in either Germany or Russia. Not to mention the fact that it will be big with us fight-freaks on this side of the globe.
And if Germany's favourite middleweight refuses to man up and instead hide behind alphabet mandatories in his precious backyard then he can go f__k himself I say.
As for Triple G, he's really gotta push for those more meaningful fights even if it means pulling a Harry Greb and fighting the bigger guys. Hey, I'll definitely be tempted to give up the good things in life like booze, caffeine and junk food just to see The Demolisher challenge fellow badasses like Andre Ward and Adonis Stevenson. But there are also some good solid guys GGG can tackle like Robert Stieglitz, the Chavez-Vera winner, and Sakio Bika.
Bika in particular is one of the most rugged mother__kers in the game. He fought guys like Ward and Joe Calzaghe and he's never came close to being knocked out (as far as I know). He could be a real tough opponent for The Kazakhstan Krusher. Same with another tough bastard name George Groves. Triple G vs Double G.
Anyways it's just a few suggestions. But once again Golovkin is a world class destroyer and he needs to be fighting world-class opposition. That's all there is to it. Anything less obviously just doesn't belong in the same ring with him. Simple as that.
Anways, I gotta go! My kids' two bratty cats are scrapping it out and I'm just going to get out the pretzels and watch this latest installment of UFC (Ultimate Feline Championship). Call me easily amused, but it's still more entertaining that watching any of Mayweather's or Rigo's fights. See ya! – Triple T
You just had to rile up The Money Team Army and the Cult of Rigo before signing off, didn’t ya, TTT? Good to have you back!
Allow me to add to your parting shot simply by stating that Golovkin is my favorite boxer, I’m always excited to watch him fight, I think he always delivers and any “boxing purist” that has a problem with that opinion can kiss my half-breed ass. LOL!
GGG vs. GG looks like a hell of a matchup on paper. I can’t see it happening unless Golovin somehow grabs a major 168-pound title before Groves does, or if he becomes the mandatory challenger for a major belt that Groves wins in the near future.
I think Bika is getting old and he’s ready to go. He’s struggled in his last two fights (vs. inexperienced up-and-comers Marco Antonio Periban and Anthony Dirrell), but he does hold a major belt (WBC) and he does have a name because of all the top 168 pounders he’s faced over the years. He would make GGG look very good IMO. I think Golovkin would be the first to stop Bika, which would look great given that Bika went the distance with Calzaghe, Ward and prime Lucian Bute. The problem with that matchup is that Bika is part of the Showtime/GBP/Haymon league.
Stieglitz is an interesting choice of opponent. If The Sturminator bitches out of showdown with GGG, I think the Russian-German veteran (who holds the WBO title) would make for the next best Germany-based fight for Golovkin (who started his career in Germany and still lives in Stuttgart). Stieglitz fights his rubbermatch with Arthur Abraham on March 1. I’d love to see GGG face the winner.
Of course the winner of the Chavez-Vera rematch would be a bigger fight for Golovkin here in the States. Junior will look to more lucrative fights if he beats the tough Texan but I could see Vera manning up and fighting “The Demolisher.”
I really wanted to express my disappointment towards Victor Ortiz. I was really looking forward to his comeback and once again he let me down. I live in Mexico City so I don’t have access to Fox Sports 1but that didn’t stop me from searching the web for links for live streaming of the event. At one point I had given up ‘cause I couldn’t find good sources to view the fight, but after 2 hrs I tried again and boom i was at the ring walk for both fighters! So I’m all pumped up just like in his last 2 fight and then in the final seconds of the 2nd round he gets tagged by a short hook!! I couldn’t belive my eyes. I saw him trying to dodge the two punches Collazo threw while he was on his way down! To me he wasn’t hurt that bad and
I truly believe that he gave up again 🙁
I’m still like WTH just happened? He could’ve gotten up but he didn’t. What’s next for him, Doug? Do they feed him to the elite, do they release him from GBP or he retires? He’s still young and could’ve been a star in the sport but he keeps on being his own worst enemy!
Ps…For some reason as I used to read your mailbags I used to picture you an old white dude LOL…. then I read a bag where you were asked if you were to take on any of the middleweight champs who would you pick? And you responded that you did box, but you wouldn’t last a minute with any of the champs!!!! So I was curious and I Googled your name and saw some pictures of you and you’re really young man for all that knowledge!!! Anyways, keep up the good work.
I really hope I can make the bag. – Agustin Juarez from Mexico City
Of course, you’re gonna make the bag, Agustin. You made my day with that last comment. Thanks for the kind words. (I’m 43, by the way; not “old” by boxing writer standards but I’m hardly a Spring Chicken.)
I don’t know what’s next for Ortiz. He’s got considerable athletic tools, decent boxing ability, world-class experience and a polarizing personality that brings in lots of viewers but his psychological/behavioral makeup (as it pertains to the prize ring) can only be described as “fragile” at this point in his career.
I was also disappointed by the way he bowed out of the Collazo fight. I had high hopes for that matchup and I honestly thought boxing fans were in for a competitive treat. I was sadly mistaken. I’m not mad at Ortiz for losing the fight. That was a very possible scenario, given his time away from the sport and the class of Collazo. I give Ortiz props for facing Collazo. He could have comeback against a much easier opponent but he gambled against a fellow former titleholder who has been active and was clearly hungrier than ever.
However, I agree that that the short right hook that downed Ortiz – while a very good, well timed shot – was not a punch that should have ended the fight. Ortiz was rocked – something that happens all the time in boxing – and he couldn’t handle the sensation and probably the memories it invoked (forgive me for playing psychologist – it’s hard not to do when talking about our dear “Vincent”).
If Ortiz wants to continue his career, more power to him. If Golden Boy Promotions wants to back him up, more power to them. But I think retirement from the combat side of the sport is probably a good idea for Ortiz. If you can no longer take a punch, you no longer belong in the ring.
I think he should give fulltime acting a try. If Hollywood ever tries to do a remake of Apocalypse Now (and you know it’s only a matter of time), I think Ortiz would be a natural to play the Lance B. Johnson character (the spaced out surfer from Southern California who literally “trips” his way through the film).
In the wake of what looks like the last meaningful Victor Ortiz fight (at least for now), I was wondering what your picks would be for the top 10 fighters who never reached the heights their potential suggested? The kinds of fighters I'm thinking of are the Jeff Lacys, who came with a pedigree, not sideshows like Seth Mitchell who were just creations of their promoter's hype.
At first, the fighters I kept thinking of (Mark Breland, Tommy Morrison, Prince Naseem Hamed, etc.) were all guys who had shorter runs as champion than expected but were still champions, were in divisions when they were just stacked with talent, or ran into HOF-level fighters before we all knew they were HOF-ers. The next batch were all Buster Douglas types who just had one glorious moment in otherwise journeyman careers. Just curious what your “blue chip busts” list looks like. – MT from OC
This is a good question, MT.
Maybe I’m just an old softie, but I don’t consider the boxers you mentioned to be underperformers. Lacy was a 2000 U.S. Olympian but he wasn’t considered a top-notch amateur (at least on the international scene). He did alright by winning a major 168-pound title and defending it a number of times before getting ruined by Calzaghe, who was just elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame on his first ballot. Lacy, like Fernando Vargas and David Reid against Felix Trinidad (who was also inducted into the IBHOF’s Class of 2014), simply had the misfortune of getting their careers cut short by fighting vastly superior veterans before they were ready.
I think Hamed arguably had a hall of fame worthy career. He’s not a first-ballot inductee, obviously, but his stats merit HOF consideration. He was simply outclassed by a better fighter/boxer (Marco Antonio Barrera) and called it a career.
Breland didn’t live up to his expectations but I honestly think it was impossible for him to do so. You’re probably too young to remember Breland during the 1984 Olympics and his first year as a pro, but his hype was off the freakin’ charts. He was already being compared to Sugar Ray Robinson (yes, the boxing media did that dumb s__t back then, too) before he had his first pro bout.
And I dare say that Morrison, our dearly departed Tommy, was an overachiever.
The thing about Breland, Morrison, Lacy, Vargas, Reid, and even Hamed, is that though they lost key bouts during their careers they always tried like hell. They never gave up, even when they were hopelessly behind on the scorecards or when they were literally having the life beat out of them. And at the end of the day, they all still won at least one major world title. That’s nothing to scoff at. Therefore, I can’t consider them “underperformers.”
The boxers that I consider underachievers or underperformers are naturally gifted hotshot amateur standouts who lacked the desire to dedicate themselves to the pro game or those who seldom gave 100 percent during a fight. I’m talking about talented boxers/athletes who somehow lost to guys who were barely fit to be their sparring partners and who never came CLOSE to even fighting for a major world title, let alone win one.
I’m talking about guys like two-time national amateur champ and 1998 Goodwill Games silver medalist Larry Mosley, 2000 Olympic silver medalist Ricardo Williams Jr., 2000 Mexican Olympian Francisco Bojado, 2000 U.S. Olympian Marshall Martinez (who was kicked off the team for credit fraud and later landed in jail for various felony crimes, such as robbery, attempted murder and drug dealing), 2004 U.S. Olympians Devin Vargas and Rock Allen, and 2008 U.S. Olympian Shawn Estrada. It’s still a bit too early to tell, but if 2009 national champ and world amateur silver medalist Frankie Gomez doesn’t do something special this year he could fall into this category.
I pray you and your family are doing well. Doug, make your answers as long as you want. It’s your mailbag and you’re a great read. Keep up the great work. God bless. – Blood and Guts from Philly
Thanks B&G, my man. Glad you got my back. (Hope you don’t mind that I kept this one short and compact like a GGG left hook.)
Photo gallery / Sumio Yamada