Just minutes after Gennady Golovkin had cemented his Boogeyman status by vanquishing Daniel Geale with as much difficulty as it takes to ease into a jacuzzi, he called out current lineal Middleweight champion Miguel Cotto.
And why shouldn’t he? Cotto is a huge star, and he has the belt that Golovkin so badly wants.
Geale was supposed to be GGG’s first real test, a top five 160 pounder who could take a punch and deliver punishment. Not only did Golovkin embarrass Geale, but he did so on the main stage of Madison Square Garden, which packed in a respectable crowd of around 9,000.
MSG has been Cotto’s home-away-from-home for years. The house would be packed, and you’d have to think the PPV numbers would be rock solid. If Cotto wants the fight, it could probably get done easily.
But does he? And if he does, does he have a chance in hell of winning?
Golovkin has yet to face an elite fighter, but he’s not exactly knocking out stiffs his handlers found working the late shift at Subway. He’s absolutely destroying guys, fighters who usually make respectable showings of themselves. Geale had never been stopped before Saturday. In fact, it’s hard to find a fight where he’s even been hurt, despite taking on some tough customers at 160.
Golovkin not only erased him with one punch, but he did it off balance, after eating a right hand. The punch probably had 60 percent of his power into it. You get the feeling that if he’d landed clean, Geale would have flipped into one of the back rows like Thor had just hit him.
It would be hard to make a case for anybody from 154 to 168 to be the favorite over Golovkin, except perhaps for Andre Ward, who now fights as often as Ron Stander does.
Miguel Cotto has experienced a bit of a career resurgence with Freddie Roach as his trainer. It’s hard to believe that the guy who just destroyed Sergio Martinez was fighting to save his career a few years ago against Ricardo “You Are a Woman” Mayorga. But he’s found something with Roach. If anything, it’s a renewed self-confidence.
Cotto is 33, so the idea that Roach has now somehow taught him some new tricks that he was previously unaware of is absurd. But what Roach has done, is brought Cotto back to what worked best for him–combination punching, body shots, and that gorgeous left hook.
Again, there’s nothing new there, just a reconnection with what made Cotto a superstar.
But defeating a 40-year-old, one legged Sergio Martinez, who quite frankly acted as though just showing up in the ring would be enough to win is one thing.
GGG? He’s on another level right now.
Roach is a master at crafting solid gameplans and exposing the weaknesses of the man across the ring from his fighter. But at this point, Golovkin doesn’t appear to have many shortcomings. Cotto can hit hard, especially with the aforementioned left hook, but does he really want to trade hooks with GGG? Can he move and outbox Golovkin?
If the fight were to come off, the feeling here is that Cotto would be somewhat competitive early, before being overwhelmed by the mid rounds. It’s hard to envision anything else here but another spectacular stoppage win by GGG.
In this writer’s opinion, the fight would be quite similar to Cotto’s run in with Manny Pacquiao. That version of Manny was a gunslinger at the absolute peak of his powers. Golovkin fits that mold right now.
There just doesn’t appear to be a strategy that Cotto could use to win that fight. It remains to be seen whether or not Cotto even wants that matchup, especially when he can make a ton of money elsewhere without seriously risking ending up on the wrong end of a horrific beating.
Although everyone is clamoring to see GGG in a huge fight, it just doesn’t seem likely that Cotto vs. Golovkin will happen, at least anytime soon. His handlers may need to look at either Peter Quillen, the undefeated American Middleweight, as his next opponent, or ponder a move to 168.
The Super Middleweight division is loaded, but Golovkin seems to want to stay at 160 for the moment. And it’s hard to blame him–he seems to make the weight easily, and he desperately wants to be the unified Middleweight champion of the world.
The question isn’t whether he can be or not. At this point, it seems like a foregone conclusion. The question is, will anyone give him a shot?
Some Random Notes From The Weekend:
Mikey Perez became the latest fighter to decide that his game plan will be to throw a couple of sporadic punches and taunt his opponent. He deserved the loss. Let your damn hands go.
Bryant Jennings earned the victory, but he’d better hope to hell he doesn’t find himself in the ring with Wladimir Klitschko anytime soon. That ends badly for him.
Roy Jones is utterly shot, but dammit, the man is still having fun in there. So what if he’s rapping after a fight in front of a few very confused Latvians? At least he finished the fight conscious, which is 50/50 these days.
That point deduction from Harvey Dock may have sunk Perez, but it was still a good call. He’d warned Perez about a dozen times by that point not to push down on Jennings’ head, and it was clear to anyone watching that it was intentional every time. Dock made a gutsy choice.
As of this writing, the Brandon Rios vs. Diego Chaves fight is in limbo. It’s a shame, but it’s probably good news for “Bam Bam.” Not sure he can beat Chaves, and a loss will seriously wreck his career.
Anyone else prefer the Max/Lampley duo?
GGG is giving Hatton a run for most humorous post fight interview. If he fixes Max’s quaff at some point, he’s got it.
Header photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images