Friday, March 24, 2023  |



Is winning just a formality for GGG or is ‘The Mongoose’ a live dog?

Gennady Golovkin (R) vs. Martin Murray. Photo by Naoki Fukuda.

Gennady Golovkin (R) vs. Martin Murray. Photo by Naoki Fukuda.

He is at the point in his career where it seems sort of unfathomable that he could lose.

The man doesn’t lose minutes of rounds, let alone rounds …

Gennady Golovkin, so pleasant of face, so furious of fist … who will be the man to make him sip from the bitter chalice of defeat, we wonder?

Most – OK, just about all, save for some relatives and the people, I’m assuming, in the corner of Willie “The Mongoose” Monroe Jr. – are thinking that Triple G will put on another good drama show and whup the Mongoose on Saturday in Cali.

Number Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s tutor, who has been telling people since before it was cool how good the kid from Kazahkstan is, among those who see Monroe as a considerable underdog.

Abel, how big an upset would it be if the Rochester, New York, boxer, promoted by Banner, gets the better of the Cali-based middleweight with the kind face and nasty hands?

“According to the current odds, pretty darn big,” Sanchez told me. In the region of 15 or 20 to 1, the oddsmakers say

Monroe is a guy who moves a lot, defends smartly, can do what he wants to do from the range he likes to work at, keeps guys at the end of his punches well, has above-average hand speed, engages in the endeavor as a subtle art, from a sweetly scientific perspective … who will be pushed by a guy who imposes his strength and will on everyone he’s been in with to this point.

We are now at the point, unless Golovkin gloves up against a superstar, where it’s basically a foregone conclusion that he wins. Unless ÔǪ unless there is something amiss we don’t know about.

Hey Abel, Golovkin isn’t favoring a torn rotator cuff or anything, is he?

“No, he didn’t tear his rotator cuff ÔǪ but I did twist my pinky finger!” the trainer cracked.

OK, so no injuries which will impact him going in. What about his recent move to the U.S.? Is he doing too much California Dreaming? Going Hollywood on us? Maybe fallen in love with Fatburger, and his fast-food jones is going to be his downfall?

“I think he is more aware of his responsibility to all of us, his country, family, team, fans and the memory of his father and brothers to allow himself to get off track,” the trainer responded.

Noted …

As for Monroe, a super slickee who is thinking, hoping, that his brand of pugilism will allow him to NOT get hit and then allow him to unload enough offense while he keeps his chin tucked, does Sanchez sense he’s up to the task? Does he seem confident, unlike, say, a Marco Antonio Rubio? “Of course, he has a great opportunity to realize all his dreams, he understands he has nothing to lose,” Sanchez said.

Of course, many folks, not wrongly, don’t attach any credence to a man’s demeanor pre-fight. As my Twitter friend Tureano Johnson, the middleweight contender, noted, demeanor is just that and what you do in the ring likely has zero to do with how you act before. Right, I don’t disagree. People noted that Floyd acted and looked tight in the lead-up to May 2, while Pacman seemed to be loose as a drunk goose, like he knew something we didn’t, like God had visited him and whispered, “Don’t worry, I got you.”

While on the subject of Mayweather …

Will he ever lose, or will the millions who want to see him humbled stay frustrated?

“If he stays away from GGG he stays undefeated. The challenge for Floyd is ego,” Sanchez said. “Roberto Duran, a lightweight champion, moved up to middleweight to take on the great fighters, tested himself against the best in Marvin Hagler and battled to a decision 15-round loss. If Floyd doesn’t meet GGG at 154 what does that say about him?”

Rhetorical question, my friend. I agree with you, no need to lay it out there …

“GGG, according to all the experts, has not fought anybody. What is the hold up?” he asked, again rhetorically, because the Cottos, the Canelos, the Mayweathers have shied away from doing the John Hancock thing, while an Andre Ward fight is still more than a year away, probably.

“One of these ‘superstars’ better test GGG before he becomes the teacher,” said Sanchez, signing off with a classic line which pre-supposes that he is not already the teacher. Sadly, I don’t think Mayweather has it in him to seek out any fight in which the stars and odds don’t line up overwhelmingly in his favor. And back to the odds … Monroe’s are long, but stranger things have happened in this bizarre and wondrous sport we revere. Golovkin-Monroe unfolds on HBO Saturday night, and you can see if the Mongoose can handle the Golovkin.

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