Years Active: 2006-Current
Professional Record: 34-0, 31 KOs
Titles: WBA (Super), IBF, IBO, and WBC (interim) middleweight champion
Gennady Golovkin is a Kazakhstani professional boxer–his mother is from South Korea. Golovkin is presently the consensus world’s No. 1 middleweight and one of the best boxers regardless of weight or titles.
The Ring magazine currently ranks him as the third best boxer in the world, pound for pound, and named him the Fighter of the Year in 2013.
Known as GGG (“Triple G”), Golovkin is an aggressive, counterpunching pressure fighter. Although he is not fluid and tends to absorb a lot of punches as he looks to unload his own arsenal, Golovkin is highly skilled in taking away his opponent’s jab and cutting off the ring.
He has the distinction of owning the highest knockout percentage (91.2 percent ) in middleweight championship history and many believe he has one of the hardest chins in modern boxing. He has never been knocked down or knocked out in over 375 fights, neither as a professional nor amateur.
GGG has also defended the middleweight title successfully 15 times, more than anyone is the division’s history other than Bernard Hopkins, who made 20 successful title defenses.
Golovkin also had a stellar amateur career, winning a gold medal in the middleweight division at the 2003 World Championships. He later earned the silver medal, as a representative of Kazakhstan, at the 2004 Olympics.
The country of Kazakhstan (which was part of the former Soviet Union) has a disputed border in Europe as well as Central Asia. Most boxing fans are not aware that the Kazakhstan-born Golovkin is also half Korean, as noted earlier.
A somewhat controversial selection on here because many believe he is European. Moreover, his career is currently active and far from over.
He is both deserving and qualified to be on this list. Only Manny Pacquiao has garnered greater international status and recognition. He may still be in the prime of his career and bigger fights may await him (most notably against fellow middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alaverez), but there is no denying what Golovkin has already accomplished in the ring.
His stock and status will only rise as he looks to stay unbeaten and continues to defend his unified titles.
Photo by Ed Mulholland