Without question, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin has been instrumental in bringing boxing back to the forefront. Since 2013, he has fought three or more times a year while racking up every belt except one in the middleweight division, the WBO.
His highlight reel boasts the now infamous 2nd round knock down of Curtis Stevens, who literally looked like Mike Tyson’s Punch Out character King Hippo with the mouth-wide-open daze. However, besides Stevens, Gabe Rosado, Marco Antonio Rubio and David Lemieux, many have accused the fighter of not facing tough competition in his glorious KO-filled career.
If you ask Tom Loeffler, Managing Partner of K2 Promotions, which promotes Golovkin, most people talk but won’t sign the contract to face GGG. With flawless boxing records being the perceived as the crown jewel of fight salesmanship that is probably true as Golovkin has a 90% knock out percentage and 100% win streak. But when fighters like Andre Ward literally leave a division they have dominated, citing an inability to make a fight with you, that is a major statement.
This is why this weekend’s fight against Danny “The Miracle Man” Jacobs is so important for Golovkin. There have been no pre-fight shenanigans other than delaying the match-up from last December to March 2017. Each man has remained classy and exhibited extreme respect for the other throughout the promotion. That is because they both know what is at stake here: true middleweight supremacy.
When Golovkin fought Kell Brook last September in a 5th round corner stoppage, Brook did what no other man had. He took a licking and kept up the aggression. Although he suffered a broken right eye socket in the process, it showed the boxing world that Gennady was human, as the challenger's tenacity appeared to frustrate GGG just enough to give Brook the edge on the scorecard.
However, per his usual, “GGG” didn’t leave it in the hands of the judges.
But with boxing hotter than ever right now, the new judge is popular opinion. Danny Jacobs has beat osteosarcoma, returning to action and knocking out former champions like Peter Quillin in dramatic fashion. Jacobs has won every fight via stoppage since 2013, placing this fight in perfect trajectory for both men.
“I think that all of these fighters like Kovalev and Andre and Gennady – they need a challenge,” said GGG trainer Abel Sanchez on the international media conference call. “Not just a physical challenge but also a mental challenge and he presents that for us. He is the first guy in a while, since maybe Lemieux and Stevens, that got Gennady fired up.”
Golovkin has steadily become the darling of New York City pugilism. From making Madison Square Garden his pseudo-boxing home as this will be his fifth appearance there, to stoking the fighting embers of the large Kazakh community, NYC loves GGG.
So now with everything on the line in a division full of possibilities, like Jermall Charlo and current WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders waiting in the wings, this fight is a gift for both men.
This will be Golovkin’s second pay-per-view and after his low-viewed but highly attended PPV debut against David Lemieux, and with Thurman vs. Garcia selling out the Barclay’s Center for a historic attendance of over 16,000, the pressure for the ‘Mecca of Boxing’ is there.
For GGG these are the only things that you can give a man who already has so much, a true challenge.