Gennady "GGG" Golovkin: setting the record straight on several matters.

Discussion in 'World Boxing Forum' started by IntentionalButt, Mar 26, 2015.



  1. IntentionalButt

    IntentionalButt Tyler went away. Tyler's gone. Staff Member

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    First things first: I am neither a pro nor anti Golovkin fanatic. This is an informative thread, not a "gushing over Golovkin" nor a "rake Golovkin over the coals" thread.

    All the pro or anti nutters, please keep your inane debating and poorly disguised agendas out. If you derail my thread I will ban the living shit outta you, permanently, with extreme prejudice.

    Now, there are four key points I'd like to address, concerning the man called Triple Gee.

    1. His early professional career.

    It wasn't a bum circuit, and he actually fought legitimate opposition long before his American TV debut and the beginnings of his being a blip on mainstream fans' radar.

    Haters, calm yourselves. I'm not saying he consistently took on the best from his pro debut on, like a Lomachenko... or even that he was fast-tracked like other amateurs stars like an Inoue or Pulev or Ioka or what have you.

    What I'm saying is that he didn't just go barnstorming yurts in the steppes of Karaganda Province roughing up sheepherders with 6oz gloves for the first half of his professional campaign after turning over at the conclusion of a legendary amateur run. He wasn't just padding his record until he fought Grzegorz Proksa, when most saw him for the first time. I think a lot of the confusion stems from the fact that his WBA middleweight title run began with two horrible opponents: Milton Núñez & Nilson Julio Tapia. Golovkin vs. Núñez shouldn't have been for a world title; Núñez had no business whatsoever being in that position. Tapia was a dire contender & first defense. I think people look back at the start of his world title reign and just assume that everything before it was just as bad or worse. Not so. Núñez & Tapia were huge steps down in class from several previous Golovkin opponents.

    To wit:
    • Javier Alberto Mamani - the former South American champion, the "Argentinian Cobra", was, before he ran afoul of Golovkin, on a 7-2 (3) run including notable kayo victories over Crazy Kim and Omar Weis, and two points losses to Avtandil Khurtsidze and Nobuhiro Ishida, both in their backyards. (in the Georgian's case, his adopted home - and that was a majority decision). GGG wiped him out in three minutes flat. The wheels may have come off since then, incurring a bushel of additional stoppage losses including a rematch to Carlos Jerez (whom Mamani had previously defeated) but six years ago he was still a tough out and had a respectable trio of KO victim scalps in Kim, Weis, and Venezuelan slugger Charlie Navarro (that one in particular has aged very well). Golovkin brutalized him (already showing off his infamous "shifting" technique, alternating power-punches with both hands using on-the-fly adjustments of footwork in a stance neither southpaw nor orthodox but still firmly rooted and balanced), and it was child's play. For a novice in his 15th pro bout to abuse Mamani the way Golovkin did, was a red alert.

    • Mehdi Bouadla - the first man to carry Golovkin the scheduled distance, this very tough and tricky Frenchman would gain notoriety for being a pest with those qualities and capture a French 168lb championship (along with some other baubles) years later. He also was never stopped until the final stretch of his career, and only by heavy-thumping individuals such as Kessler, Abraham, & Chudinov. The raw Golovkin found himself for the first time in the paid ranks unable to smash the man in front of him, to either render him unconscious or make him quit, and yet he never lost his cool. Bouadla threw all sorts of strange looks at him, throwing punches from unconventional angles, utilizing movement Golovkin hadn't seen in any of his previous 8 bouts - or probably in the amateurs either. Without batting an eyelash, Golovkin put on his big-boy pants and hardhat and went about changing tactics, comfortably outpointing Bouadla in the neighborhood of 6-2.

    • Siarhei Khomitsky - this has aged like fine wine. I can't believe people never mention this feather in young Golovkin's cap. This is arguably Golovkin's best result until his last three - and people don't even realize it. Some probably aren't even aware they fought! The gritty Belarusian has made his bones upsetting prospects or giving them absolute hell, and fought on very even terms with: Murray x2, Stieglitz, Ndiaye, and Blackwell and stopped Moore and unbeaten Buglioni. Khomitsky has been stopped himself exactly thrice: once a corner retirement against the criminally underrated "Tornado", Avtandil Khurtsidze, and once in a display of atrocious home-cooking in Germany to save the bacon of Stieglitz when Khomitsky had recently put him in dire straits, a TKO awarded to Stieglitz on the dubious basis of loose tape on Khomitsky's glove. The only time he was ever knocked out for a 10-count was by Golovkin - on a delayed reaction to a body shot. That was an insane bit of matchmaking, as Khomitsky already had a reputation at that point and had 23 fights under his belt; Golovkin had seven.

    • Ian Gardner - the second man to reach the final bell with Golovkin, and like Bouadla, appropriately one boiled-leather S.O.B. With little pop but some nice hand & foot speed to go with a fluid southpaw melt-in-the-pocket counter-tapping style, and with the coach of none other than Marvin Hagler in his corner, Gardner provided Golovkin with his first glimpse (since the amateurs) of a slick American style of boxing. He previously had survived a full twelve with Abraham despite getting dropped thrice. He also nearly went the championship length with a young Chad Dawson, again rising from several knockdowns and proving incredibly hard to finish off with his loose-boned elusiveness and quick-thinking instincts. GGG's first taste of awkwardness may have been served from Bouadla, but Golovkin didn't know the meaning of the word frustration until Gardner consistently made him miss or rolled into punches to clinch & smother, and slapped the white off Golovkin with light counters. Though flashes of annoyance did at times penetrate that winsome smile, Golovkin nevertheless remained calm and did what he needed to, and proved he could outbox a boxer.

    • Mikhail Makarov - a tall, fit 10-0 Russian southpaw. Not a fellow amateur legend or anything, but a capable and well-schooled opponent. In a sudden explosion of violence after both had boxed well (if cautiously) in the opener, Golovkin broke his nose with a single punch, dribbled him repeatedly off the canvas, and sent him into retirement (though he reemerged a few years later).

    • Kassim Ouma - yes, he was a difficult assignment for Golovkin. Very much so. That much is beyond debate. What is debatable is what gets extrapolated from that - with a vocal minority insisting that Golovkin was "exposed" as someone who can't handle anyone standing up to him and/or throwing a very high volume of punches while boasting a very good chin. All of that has since been disproved fairly satisfactorily, I think, but going back to Ouma, it was certainly no black eye that Golovkin hit a learning curve and experienced a hard night's work for once in the guise of the former light middleweight champion and 2-time middleweight title challenger. Ouma was running low on passion and nearing his career's twilight, yes, but he went out with a bang and turned back the clock in this performance, arguably closer to vintage Ouma that night than he was in either of his previous losses, giving Martirosyan and Rosado enormous headaches of their own. The punch stats alone bear that out - he was throwing as much that night as the prime, motivated Ouma used to. Oh, and did I mention Golovkin even while faced with the unexpected adversity of a spirited Ouma, broke the iron-made Ugandan down steadily and became the first person to ever legitimately stop him? (the loss to Agustin Silva was a technicality, as the Miami commission had a 3-knockdown rule in effect...not to mention Kassim was as green as his beloved kind-bud at that point...)

    ...to say nothing of Dziarra (solid European-level boxer, mutilated in the 1st, his face shredded to ribbons by legal blows forcing a cuts stoppage) or Lajuan Simon (known for being durable, had gone the distance with punchers Abraham, Dionisio Miranda, and Darnell Boone without so much as hitting the canvas - and Golovkin blitzed him, unconscious in two minutes...)
     
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  2. IntentionalButt

    IntentionalButt Tyler went away. Tyler's gone. Staff Member

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    So it wasn't like everything from before he landed on HBO was forgettable or meaningless. I'd say just about every name I mentioned above was a better scalp than either Núñez or Tapia (only nominally significant because they were beaten in world title bouts) and in some cases, even Proksa.


    2. His demographic.

    Golovkin isn't a Muslim, nor an ethnic Kazakh. He never has been the former and isn't even a tiny percentage the latter.

    Alarmists rallying to Wikipedia or BoxRec, settle down. Yes, his nationality is Kazakhstani, and has been since he was 9 years old, when the nation declared independence. When he was born in Karaganda, it was part of the Soviet Union, and his nationality in childhood was "Soviet". The region in which he lives was never predominantly Kazakh, which is the ethnic majority across the country on the whole. Golovkin was raised in a region that actually has an ethnically Russian majority, with only a third of the population being ethnic Kazakhs. His father was full-blooded Russian and his mother full-blooded Korean. So he is ethnically Russian-Korean, and his nationality originally was Soviet but defaulted to Kazakhstani when the USSR collapsed in the early 90's.

    ...and, while the overwhelming majority of Kazakhstani (the ethnic Kazakhs in particular) are practicing Muslims, the Golovkin family were & remain Orthodox Christians.

    He's a minority in many senses in his native land. (minority ethnic group, minority religion, and mixed race to boot)

    By extension, this means he is as much a part of the same boxing tradition as Kostya Tszyu and Yuri Arbachakov (both of Soviet and later Russian nationality, and both ethnically Siberian...which is a controversial subject but for all intents & purposes can be considered a subset of ethnically "Russian") and Myung-Woo Yuh as he is a scion of, say, Vasiliy Jirov.


    3. His skill-set.

    Golovkin is a boxer with a big punch, not a slugger, KO artist or "boxer-puncher". He in fact has stressed this numerous times himself in multiple interviews, but the simple & salient fact seems lost on the herd.

    Armchair Larry Merchants, cool it. I'm by no means saying his style is a timid one. He is ever aware of the opportunities to grind someone down & get rid of them and never delinquent to capitalize on those opportunities when they present themselves and the steel appears tempered enough in the master smith's eyes to strike - even at the risk of incurring collateral damage. He is by no means risk-averse.

    All I'm saying is that he is no Keith Thurman (a "boxer/puncher" who is avowedly ever seeking the KO as part of his branding schema, promising the fans what he feels they want to see to strategically improve his marketability). He is no Ruslan Provodnikov (who may not purport to care about getting the KO, but does prioritize, in his own words, "putting on a show", brawling at every possible turn, eager to swap best shot for best shot). He is no Carl Froch (who keeps his ability to actually box at range kept folded neatly in his back pocket in case he ever needs it: see Abraham, but who most often would much rather clobber whoever is standing in front of him, sadistically relishing the idea of flattening them whenever feasible...and even, sometimes, when not. See Froch vs. Dirrell & Ward, and the early going of Groves I & II).

    Even in the amateurs, despite racking up a highly abnormal rate of R.S.C.'s, he was always patient & technical. He never forced the issue. He never brawled. He never applied unintelligent pressure. Yet, he got results. He stopped or at least hurt just about everybody he faced, while facing the best, internationally. You don't belt around the guys he belted around (most of whom campaign at super middle if not light heavy or cruiser in the pros) with 'just' a big punch. It requires a precision of awareness that eludes most even after decades of dedicated practice. It requires timing & technique bordering on the flawless. It requires thinking ahead several moves in advance, like a chess master, all while coming forward, mastering range, and being the effective aggressor.

    He often gets lumped in with "punchers" because of the bloody and mangled trail of victims in his wake and high KO percentage, but make no mistake: he is every bit as fine a boxer as you'll find active today. His style may not look the part, but one needn't adopt the Philly shell or indeed even have a primarily defensive-oriented approach to be classed a skillful boxer.

    His power is natural, "god-given", what have you - but is a secondary concern with Golovkin. What makes him such a special - and dangerous - fighter is his skill (that is, his ring IQ and long years of hard work poured into honing the craft and conditioning himself to be a perfect tool for it) rather than his talent (with heavy-handedness being the foremost and perhaps solitary way in which he is naturally talented).

    The fact that his punches hurt like hell (and that he was just born that way) is just icing on the cake. He would be formidable enough without that.

    4.His size.

    Golovkin isn't a small middleweight. He could be competing at super middleweight or even light heavy without giving away too much.

    Knights in white armor, chill. I'm not saying he is remiss in not chasing Andre Ward or Sergey Kovalev or any of that. Nor am I saying that he is a habitual bully picking on career light middleweights (only three so far have been: Ouma, Rosado, and Ishida - and when you delve further, Ouma twice challenged for the middleweight title, Rosado was a massive strong 154lber and gave some legit middleweights a hard time, and Ishida has become a damn heavyweight :yep).

    All I'm saying is that he isn't "skinny" or "undersized" at MW, as some have claimed, nor would he be a shrimp moving up to 168lbs. He is a rock-solid middle. He could not possibly be any more average, in terms of height, bone density, or somatotype. He fought the last three years of his amateur career at middleweight (with a limit there of 165.5lb) and has thus nominally been one for twelve years. In his amateur days he faced and defeated many current light heavyweights of some renown. At 5′ 10½″, he would not be much shorter than average for a super middle. Carl Froch at 6'1" is tall for the weight, as is Andre Dirrell. Arthur Abraham - another middleweight champion that moved up and picked up a belt, is 1' ½″ shorter than Golovkin. Longtime titlist Robert Stieglitz has a half an inch on him. Sturm and Groves, one inch. J'Leon Love is shorter than Golovkin, as is Fedor Chudinov.

    To anyone who says Golovkin doesn't look body-beautiful at middle and would therefore carry bloat eight pounds north, I say phooey. He wouldn't be an underwear model at 154lb, either. That just isn't his body type. In fact, I firmly believe that Golovkin would kill himself making 154lb, and would best case scenario be a tight 70% of his normal self and worst case risk becoming another Ward vs. Dawson statistic at the hands of someone like a Yuri Foreman. I'm by no means saying he drains to make 160lb or that he's an excessively large middleweight, or that he enjoys a size advantage more often than not (he doesn't). I'm saying he's dead average for middleweight and with his physical strength (which is well above-average for men his size) and his skills he could easily make the climb and not suffer for it as others might.
     
  3. Russian_Glass

    Russian_Glass Well-Known Member Full Member

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  4. IntentionalButt

    IntentionalButt Tyler went away. Tyler's gone. Staff Member

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    Рахмет Досына! :good
     
  5. CST80

    CST80 The Mercurial Malcontent Staff Member

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    :thumbsup:good:thumbsup:good:thumbsup:good:thumbsup:good
     
  6. Russian_Glass

    Russian_Glass Well-Known Member Full Member

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    :lol: :good
     
  7. Xelloss

    Xelloss Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Spot on IB, good stuff :good
     
  8. antonio plaisir

    antonio plaisir the detonator Full Member

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    another thoroughly interesting read. you're on quality form tonight.
     
  9. Cafe

    Cafe Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I don't see the diff between a boxer/puncher and boxer with a big punch, isn't that basically the same thing? - A guy who can both box well and hits hard.

    Edit: I guess you can make the distinction in that one prioritizes the punching hard aspect while the other is strictly boxing first. I can still see GGG being categorized as boxer/puncher though.
     
  10. boxon123

    boxon123 Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Hi
    In regard to Heights of boxers .
    When the last group of great Welterweights were around Oscar 5 11" Tito 5 11" Vernon Forrest 6 feet Quartey and Mosely were the little guys at 5 8" . The group before Ray Leonard 5 11" Tommy Hearns 6 1" Wilfredo Benetiz 5 11' . Doesn't this make GGG short at middle? I also believe he only weighed 158 for his last fight.
     
  11. yeyo monster

    yeyo monster Boxing Addict Full Member

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    my point he needs to fight the best of the mw division...and this its one of the weekest division in the sport! he hasnt fought the best!
     
  12. IntentionalButt

    IntentionalButt Tyler went away. Tyler's gone. Staff Member

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    I made the distinction as clearly as I think can be done in the OP.

    Keith Thurman is a boxer-puncher. He want to score knockouts, and makes a concerted effort as his standing "plan A", but can box if needed.

    Shane Mosley was a boxer-puncher.

    Gennady Golovkin is a boxer (one that just happens to possess an inordinately hard punch). He boxes. He cares about getting the W in the most efficient and intelligent manner possible on the night given the opponent. In that regard he is more akin to a Mayweather than a Thurman or Mosley. This is too nuanced a distinction, I think, for most casuals, who can't move past the whole "but derp, Mayweather doesn't KO anybody but Golovkin does so how can they be alike hurrrrr-hurrrr ddummy YDKSAB IB xthxbye! :hi:"
     
  13. yeyo monster

    yeyo monster Boxing Addict Full Member

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    ducked?? :lol::lol: :patsch

    tell me who says that? his promotor? pleaseee :lol::lol:

    show me contracts show me all the inside info besides his promotor talking **** :)

    A lot of fighter have call him and nothing...he still fighting bums.

    from who he won the belt?? pleasee thats a jokeee :lol:
     
  14. Xelloss

    Xelloss Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Marvin Hagler was 5'10"

    5'9" to 6' is MW territory, note how many of your names also made noise at 160.

    If you are under 5'9" I'd say you are short, at 6'1" a bit tall at 160.

    5'10" - 5'11" is perfect MW territory.
     
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  15. drozzy

    drozzy AERE Full Member

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    Show me the phone calls. I don't believe you.
     
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