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In 2013, a couple of fighters made some impressive things happen inside the ring. Adonis Stevenson, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Leo Santa Cruz and a few others.
In spite of that, none has a growing fan base like Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.
Although his legend continues to grow, many fans continue to doubt or believe the hype.
As a long time boxing fan, I have seen great boxers come and go, some dominate, some are gate keepers, other are contenders and then there are the special kind like Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Andre Ward and GGG.
The plethora of boxers in our time have skill and boxing ability, but rarely do you see such a combination of skill, speed, power and charisma in a fighter.
GGG is a true warrior who we have not yet seen unleash the monster that is inside him.
His quiet and calm outside the ring conduct has many fans pleased and others confused. Some fans look at this part of his game as a weakness or a soft spot.
Others look at him as bringing respect back to the sport and art of boxing. I see it as a man living with a monster within.
GGG is criticized for apparently taking on some very low risk fighters, but let’s be honest, how many fighters are out there dialing K2 Promotions to set a fight up?
In his most recent fight, Golovkin was thrown in the ring with the hard hitting Curtis Stevens, who was coming off an impressive KO victory over Saul Roman.
Stevens was given a punchers chance to beat GGG, but that went down the drain when many fans saw GGG take some big shots from Stevens and still walked him down.
Golovkin may not be tested on paper, but I will be on this train until the last stop. I say this because GGG is the type of fighter that will not fail to give the fans what they want.
Do I see Golovkin losing a fight? It’s possible. But I promise this, he will not get beat easily, no fighter—C level to A level—will have an easy time.
For now, fight fans should stop comparing him to Adrien Broner as a hype job. Broner does not possess the amateur pedigree, power or humility that this monster GGG has. For those fight fans that believe that GGG is a hype job, by any means believe that.
But, I will guarantee that this monster will fight to the end.
Win or lose, Golovkin will be more impressive and continue his rampage in 2014. This campaign will start February 1 in Monte Carlo.
Photo by Naoki Fukada
Golovkin will be facing contender Osumanu Adama. Although this is a stay busy fight, this will probably mark the 16th consecutive KO of his career.
Many fans are asking, “why not fight Andre Ward?”
I think that Golovkin eventually will, but he must clean up the division full of fighters who are continuously avoiding him using excuses like “he doesn’t have a big fan base” or “he hasn’t beaten anyone.”
Ward is a tremendous boxer, but he has nowhere near the fan base that GGG has built here in America. The reality is that Ward could not even sell out his own hometown.
GGG has packed the Garden—in New York—in his last two defenses. Ward vs Golovkin will happen, but not now.
Then there are potential matchups against Sergio Martinez and Peter Quillin. For one, Martinez is getting old.
He is coming of a questionable win against Martin Murray and has been hurt after both of the bouts. Martinez is looking to cash is soon and who can blame him.
The fact is that Martinez would not fare well with Golovkin’s power and pressure. I see Golovkin taking the win via stoppage.
Now to Peter Quillin. If you had to choose hype between the two, Quillin is probably the guy to lean towards.
In Quillin, you have another Golden Boy fighter being protected who is also coming off a questionable victory against the very game Gabriel Rosado whose cut forced the referee to stop the fight.
Quillin seems to be a very entertaining fighter stylistically, but many fans would agree that he is an easy target with little head movement.
So what monster will you see in 2014? The quiet, humble one or the fire throwing beast from Kazakhstan?
We will see beginning February 1 in Monte Carlo.
Header photo by Al Bello/Getty Images