The question all fight fans seem to be asking is what’s next for Gennady “GGG” Golovkin after a knockout victory over David Lemieux (34-3, 31 KO’s) at Madison Square Garden just two weeks ago.
The win improved Golovkin’s record to 34-0 with 31 KO’s and he has undoubtedly become the sport’s most dominant champion. He’s currently No. 4 on Ring Magazine’s top pound for pound list and holds the unified WBA Super, WBC (interim), IBO, and IBF middleweight straps.
“Triple G” also holds the record for highest knockout percentage for a middleweight champion at 91.2%. Even more impressive is the fact Golovkin has never been knocked down as an amateur or professional in his combined 375 fights.
Simply put, Golovkin has stepped in and taken over the reign as boxing’s biggest star now that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is officially retired. It was a very difficult road for Gennady due to an inability of securing big names to compete against. Not because Golovkin’s handlers refused to put him in against the sport’s elite, like we’ve seen time and time again in boxing, but instead it’s because the elite refused to fight him.
In fact, I had written a column for Gaming Today a few years ago, when Golovkin was relatively unknown except to the hardcore fight fans, about that very problem. I remember being completely blown away by how technically sound he was and how much power he appeared to possess.
I stated his greatest challenge would be to find quality opponents so that promoters would put him on a world stage, and fight fans can see just how special he truly is. Fortunately, Golovkin refused to get discouraged and instead continued to finish fights in spectacular fashion, which ultimately could no longer be ignored.
Today Golovkin is on the verge of becoming the next pay-per-view sensation and his popularity has skyrocketed. He recently signed a major endorsement deal with Apple and is quickly emerging as the most marketable boxer in the sport. “Triple G” has drawn interest from the world’s most recognized brands and he’s cashing in on his celebrity as well as his boxing skills.
So what does this mean for us fight fans and bettors alike? It means Golovkin will no longer be ignored by those opponents we all want to see him face off against. It means the top fighters in his weight class will be forced to enter the ring for the opportunity to be in big money fights and secure a world title because Golovkin is the man who can offer opponents both.
This is why we are now hearing names like Andre Ward, Canelo Alvarez, and Miguel Cotto as potential opponents for Golovkin. Also, Gennady has stated many times that he is willing to go up or down in weight in order to make the best fights possible. As a fight fan that is extremely refreshing, especially during an era where so many fights that fans wanted most never took place, or were made at a time when the participants were no longer at their optimum.
Bottom line, rather than protect his record and his ability to monetize from it, “GGG” is willing to face the toughest challenge available to him at the time. It’s as if he believes we will continue to support him as long as he continues to give us what he refers to as a “big drama show.”
Personally, I believe this is the type of fighter we should all get behind and be happy for when we see him become a huge success and extremely wealthy international star. Hopefully more athletes and notably more very talented fighters will see the way Golovkin has reached the pinnacle of the sport and follow the same path.
That road will not only benefit them, selfishly it will also benefit us, the fans just as much. I look forward to seeing who Golovkin will face next and am crossing my fingers one of the other big names in boxing will take up the challenge and attempt to dethrone the sport’s newest king.
Vegas-Runner is a professional bettor/handicapper featured on CNBC, ESPN, FOX, Yahoo, CBS This Morning, The Herd, JT the Brick, & More. Follow VR on Twitter @Greek_Gambler, and at the home of the Animals, Phillygodfather.com. Contact Vegas Runner at [email protected].