GGG: The Gift & The Curse

This time it took 6 rounds rounds for Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin (33-0), aka Triple G, to yet again finish the opponent which stood across from him in the ring.

Last Saturday, the victim was Willie Monroe, Jr. (19-2), a Rochester, NY based pugilist who is the great nephew of Worm Monroe, one of only three men who beat the legendary “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler.

Golovkin, who now has 20 straight knockouts, has secured his dominance at middleweight; however, he is at a unique point in his career. Golovkin, like Terrence Crawford and Sergey Kovalev, is in that weird career holding pattern where he is too good for his matches to be eventful as the outcome is pretty much a lock.

Holder of the WBA (Super) and IBO Middleweight titles, Golovkin has much to offer any opponent in the form of jewelry but the path to take these belts is rife with his Kazakh explosiveness. The fighters who have the ability to raise GGGs profile to a deafening tone are not willing to fight him or are being shielded by promoters fearful of investment forfeiture.

Golovkin, who headlined The Forum and is now a Los Angeles-resident, called out Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto, who he knows a favorable showing against would raise his stock and get him closer to becoming a PPV star.

His current future is bright. He is promoted by K2 Promotions, the promotional arm of the world famous Vitali and Vladimir Klitschko brothers. This strengthened his brand amongst European fans and Golovkin also fights annually in Monte Carlo to maintain that regional base. He also fought in the Madison Square Garden Theatre in New York City frequently to reach the vast Eastern European transplants that now reside within the tri-state area.

However, moving his family to California is a brilliant maneuver towards attaining bigger fight opportunities. Golden Boy, Top Rank, Premier Boxing Champions and other promoters are all based on the west coast and Golovkin trained in Big Bear Lake, California with renown trainer, Abel Sanchez anyway.

If K2 Promotions Managing Director, Tom Loeffler, GGG manager Oleg Hermann and even trainer Sanchez can rally the regional boxing fan base around GGG, then powerhouse promoters will risk their fighter’s record for the paydays Golovkin can create. 

The last fight against Monroe registered an attendance of 12,372, which is good for the newly minted Angeleno. More interesting was the fact that he has now garnered the support of the Latino boxing community, as evidenced by his brief post-fight thank you speech in Spanish and the loud ovation that followed. He was even cheered when the names Canelo and Cotto were mentioned. That speaks volumes for the fighter from Kazakhstan. 

The fear of his career killing power is intimidating enough but if Golovkin, who speaks fairly good English, can market his friendly, always smiling, personality and make himself into a California notable like Manny Pacquiao, Arnold Swarzenegger and other international sports stars in the state, the compelling paydays could finally quell the trepidations of the boxing pool of eligible elites.

Golovkin is not a trash talker so perhaps he will find his brand more akin to Pacquiao to receive his attention. Either way, with Floyd Mayweather and Andre Ward posing different weight class options, albeit a little far fetched, Golovkin has to play more promoter than dominant athlete. But with his combination of boxing skills, punching power, infectious smile and new found, increasing influential Latino fan base, his future in boxing looks very bright. By capitalizing on these factors, Team GGG look like they have the means to elevate his brand and raise him from the doldrums of competitive mediocrity and into the realms of boxing elites.

Where he belongs.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. RhettĀ hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.