Thursday, June 08, 2023  |


Gennady Golovkin criticism is unfounded

Fighters Network

Gennady Golovkin broke Kell Brook’s orbital bone around his right eye and finished off the unbeaten Brit in Round 5 of their middleweight title bout on Sept. 10 in London after Brook’s corner saved their fighter’s career by waving the towel.

And there are still complaints about Golovkin’s performance.

“He’s too slow.”

“He gets hit too much.”

“He can’t deal with a real boxer.”

“He’s not that good.”

Honestly, I don’t know what to tell people about “GGG” anymore. If you have something negative to say about an unbeaten 2004 Olympic silver medalist who has never been knocked down and has recorded 23 straight knockouts while holding the WBA (Super), WBC, IBF and IBO middleweight titles, you’re simply hating.


Photo / Matchroom Boxing

What Golovkin did against Brook, THE RING’s No. 1-rated welterweight, was pretty much as expected. Although Brook looked solid at 160 pounds, he never had to deal with a true middleweight’s punching power. But there’s middleweight power, and there is Golovkin’s. Brook looked good for a few rounds as he boxed effectively. But when GGG’s leather landed, it was evident that Brook couldn’t handle the power. The jolt that he felt in Round 1 from a left hook that would break his orbital bone was unlike anything he had ever felt in his life. And, from that point, the Brit was doing his best to hang in there. It was also evident that Golovkin could care less about what Brook was throwing at him as he charged forward, willing to absorb whatever the unbeaten IBF welterweight titleholder threw at him, in an effort to get close enough to clobber his opponent.

Sure, Golovkin was hit more than he needed to be. But it didn’t matter as Brook was eventually worn down. The blitzkrieg of punches that Golovkin landed in the Round 5 was going to spell the demise of Brook eventually. Fortunately, Brook’s corner rescued their fighter. Dominic Ingle waved the towel because he was keenly aware that things were going to get worse in this fight. His fighter was damaged and about to take more punishment from a fighter who is known as one of the most feared punchers in the sport.

But until GGG fights Canelo Alvarez, the criticism is going to continue to flood in. That criticism that questions whether or not GGG is “that” good is invalid. He’s higher up on pound for pound lists because his performances have been scintillating displays of violence against some solid, but not stellar, competition. But the list of victims isn’t the fault of Golovkin. Nobody wants to fight him. And if they do, they want a lot of money to step in there with him.

Say what you want about GGG’s opponents, but the fact that the last 23 have been unable to make it to the final bell should tell you something. In fact, somebody needs to find Amir Amari and give him a medal for surviving eight rounds with Golovkin back in 2008.

Bernard Hopkins was handled in similar fashion when he began racking up his record middleweight title defenses. After losing to Roy Jones in 1993, Hopkins went on to reign as middleweight champion with 13 straight title defenses before is showdown with Felix Trinidad. Those who didn’t know better thought that Trinidad was going to roll over Hopkins. On paper, “Tito” had more recognizable names on his resume that ranged from Fernando Vargas and Oscar De La Hoya to Pernell Whitaker and Hector Camacho. But those who watched boxing knew that although Hopkins’ resume wasn’t as fancy as his Puerto Rican opponent, he passed the eye test. And when Hopkins and Trinidad finally stepped in the ring on Sept. 29, 2001, the world witnessed what boxing writers had been fawning over for years.

Granted, GGG is a completely different style departure from Hopkins, but the point is that Hopkins’ nuanced skill set was on display throughout those title defenses. He beat whoever they put in front of him and looked good doing it.

Golovkin is in a similar boat as middleweight champion. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a Miguel Cotto or Floyd Mayweather Jr. in his portfolio to suggest that he’s fought people the casual fan can recognize. All he has is 17 straight title defenses and 23 straight knockouts.

As for the criticisms, they are flat out wrong. If he couldn’t box he wouldn’t have taken a silver medal home in the 2004 Olympic games. If he got hit too much, he wouldn’t win as handily as he has. If he couldn’t deal with a real boxer, we would have seen it somewhere by now. If he were too slow, then he would have been exposed by now. What critics want out of GGG is absurd. He has to be the fastest fighter who never gets hit and outboxes every opponent for every second of every round. It’s pretty ridiculous.

This isn’t to say that Golovkin can’t be beat. We all salivate over what a GGG-Andre Ward fight would be like. Instead, this is to say that trying to pick apart an unbeaten fighter with a remarkable knockout streak and say he’s not that good is ridiculous. Until further notice, GGG is that damn good. Hopefully, he’ll get to show off just how good he is against opponents with bigger names. If Golovkin gets Daniel Jacobs in November, what will the naysayers say then?

They’ll say something, I’m sure.