Canelo Alvarez

Gennady Golovkin: The People’s Champion

Photo by Emily Harney/FightNews.com

Are you serious, Miguel? Are you serious?

That’s what WBA Middleweight titleholder Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (31-0-0, 28 KOs) might say to WBC and lineal Middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, who recently avoided a very lucrative fight with Mexican star, Canelo Alvarez.

Golovkin’s been calling out  big names in the division for years, doing everything he can to get a fight with a name like Alvarez, Sergio Martinez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. or even Cotto himself, but nobody seems to want to get in the ring with him.

So Golovkin can just continue to do what he has been doing, which is take on the best possible opponents who actually want to fight him.

He’s been training with Abel Sanchez in the mountains of Big Bear, preparing for his next fight on February 21 against English contender, Martin Murray.

Although Murray’s not a big name in the United States, he’s arguably Golovkin’s toughest opponent to date, and boxing fans appreciate the fact that Golovkin took the fight in a professional and timely manner.

Golovkin first stepped into an American boxing ring back in September 2012, when he destroyed Poland’s Greg Proksa by fifth-round TKO.

Since then, he’s been on a rampage of impressive and downright brutal-knockout victories over any Middleweight contender who’d gather the courage to face him.

Along with Proksa; Gabe Rosado, Nobuhiro Ishida, Matthew Macklin, Curtis Stevens, Osumanu Adama, Daniel Geale and Marco Antonio Rubio are all names of opponents who have tried and failed against the Kazakh KO machine.

Although not all of those fights have taken place in the United States, or been broadcast on premium cable, it’s “Triple G’s” modest and comical attitude, his salivating fight style and his continuous quest for knockout victories that have captivated American boxing audiences from coast to coast.

He also recently won over the large Mexican fan base in his last bout against tough Mexican contender, Marco Antonio Rubio back on October 8, 2014.

Rubio was transformed into a scared kitten before being consumed by Golovkin’s constant pressure. He was knocked down and compelled to quit in just the second round by a powerful Golovkin left hook.

The fight was dubbed “Mexican Style,” referring to Golovkin’s fight style which is similar to the Mexican boxing warriors of the past and present that fight in a grueling and punishing, take two to give one manner. Pressure your opponent, brutalize the body and go for the knockout, because knockouts please the crowd.

Golovkin sold out the StubHub Center in Carson, California the night he beat Rubio, breaking the venue record by filling 9,323 seats with boxing fans and celebrities alike who witnessed his 18th straight knockout victory.

He also once again eclipsed over one-million viewers on HBO, peaking at an impressive 1.3 million according to Nielsen Media Research.

It was undoubtedly his biggest step towards becoming boxing’s next major pay-per-view attraction.

So what does a fighter have to do to reach those heights?

The same as Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao before him, who convinced millions of viewers to pay high prices time-and-time again in order to watch them fight.

Pacquiao did it by daring to be great. A pip squeak from the Philippians who conquered eight-different weight divisions.

Taking on men much bigger than him and beating them in a dominate way that kept you wanting to come back for more.

Mayweather did it by selling a brand, calling himself the best boxer to ever live, all while keeping his perfect record intact that now stands at a flawless 47-0.

Boxing fans have been buying Floyd for years now not only to watch him win, but because they couldn’t stand the thought of missing it if he were to lose.

So how does Golovkin become the next superstar?

You can look to Mike Tyson, who wowed boxing audiences for years by being the most feared and brutal knockout artist of his generation.

Fans of combat sports love the knockout, and providing that to them is undoubtedly the quickest road to super stardom.

Golovkin’s already been doing just that, his knockout ratio speaks for itself. 90 percent of his wins have come by way of knockout and he’s currently riding an 18-fight knockout streak.

His fans wait impatiently for months, bundled in excitement to watch him step into the ring, take his bow, then devastate another “Good Boy” in a fight that certainly won’t even reach the championship rounds.

There’s still something missing for Golovkin though, and that’s a big fight, on a big stage, against a big name, preferably on PPV.

Mayweather and Pacquiao got their big break by fighting “The Golden Boy,” Oscar De La Hoya, who at the time was the most popular figure in boxing.

Neither Floyd or Manny had even managed to sell over a half million PPV’s before fighting De La Hoya, but began to do so on a regular basis after beating him.

If Cotto or Alvarez would agree to a fight with Golovkin, it would be one of the most anticipated boxing events in years.

An impressive win over either of those opponents would be enough to catapult him to the point of fighting on PPV regularly.

Until that day comes, he’ll just fight on, and his fans will love to watch him while he pushes towards the next level he so rightfully deserves to be at.

In a time when boxing is more of a business than a sport, and a lot of fighters lack pride in taking on the very best, Golovkin wants nothing more than to do just that.

He prefers to fight four times a year, he likes to fight in different parts of the country and the world, and has said he’d have no problem taking the B side in the negotiations of a major fight.

All characteristics that are respectable and likeable in a fighter.

One is to assume that Canelo will not avoid Golovkin forever, it’s just a fight that needs some time to marinate.

Canelo Lara - Photo by Josh Hedges Getty Images5
Photo by Josh Hedges/Getty Images

The fiery scrapper proved to boxing followers that he’s willing to fight anybody when he took on the very high-risk, low-reward challenger Erislandy Lara back in July 2014.

Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin would be a fight to claim a division, a fight for the rights to be HBO’s number one attraction, and a fight that possibly decides who will be boxing’s next big PPV superstar.

It’s a fight for true fans of the fight game, and for casual fans, it has to be made.

Will Gennady Golovkin get his big fight in 2015?

We can only wait and hope.

Don’t miss Gennady Golovkin vs. Martin Murray on HBO Saturday February 21, 2015 at 5:45 p.m. ET. Please feel free to discuss your thoughts on Gennady Golovkin’s future in the comment section below.

Header photo by  Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports


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