WBA Super World middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin is called “the most avoided man in boxing.” With four championship belts around his waist (WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO), the knockout artist from Los Angeles by way of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, is unbeaten in 35 professional fights, with 32 of those wins coming by way of knockout.
No wonder other fighters avoid him.
Ask former WBC middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez if you don’t believe me. The superfight between “Triple G” and Canelo, which looked like a natural, and still looks like a natural, has not yet materialized. Appearances can be deceiving, but it appeared Canelo relinquished his belt to avoid fighting Golovkin.
Golovkin is the man to beat and thus far looks unbeatable. His victims might not be a who’s who of the middleweight division—that list would have to include WBA World middleweight champion Danny Jacobs and IBF middleweight champ Billy Joe Sanders—but Golovkin is not to blame.
Negotiations between Golovkin and Chris Eubank Jr., Canelo’s latest replacement, collapsed like a house of cards. But Golovkin still has a date, September 10, and a venue, the O2 Arena in London, England.
The only thing missing has been an opponent.
Undefeated IBF World welterweight champion Kell “Special K” Brook (36-0, 25 KOs), from Sheffield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom, has stepped into the breach. Brook is a fine fighter. He defeated Shawn Porter in 2014 to win the IBF title. He is also a classy fighter. Brook can box as well as punch. With Golovkin’s middleweight belts on the line, this bout is a welterweight champion’s dream come true.
Other fighters have moved up in weight and won titles.
Fewer have moved up two divisions to get it on with the consensus pound-for-pound hardest hitter in boxing.
“When this fight was offered I accepted in a minute,” said Brook. “I’m a huge welterweight and I will carry my speed, accuracy and power through the weights.”
It’s an intriguing matchup, despite the disparity in weight.
“This is the ultimate fight,” Brook added, “one of the biggest international fights this country has seen in many years. You have seen some huge names run from Golovkin but I’m running to him.”
Brook’s countryman, former WBA Super World super lightweight champion Amir Khan, recently moved up from welter to middle to get it on with the aforementioned Canelo Alvarez. Khan looked great for several rounds. Working behind the jab and using the ring, he was a master boxer at the top of his game. But Canelo eventually figured Khan out and sent the welterweight packing.
But Kell Brook isn’t Amir Khan.
Golovkin isn’t Canelo.
“I’m very excited to be fighting in front of the great British boxing fans,” said Golovkin, “and promise another big drama show.”
The “big drama show” will be on pay-per-view in Great Britain and broadcast on HBO in the United States.
Social media buzz, at least on this side of the pond, has been somewhat guarded. Suffice to say that not everyone is as thrilled with the fight as the two fighters.
“It’s a tough fight,” Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC Radio 5 live. “Kell Brook is fighting one of the most dangerous fighters in the world.”
“It will be the toughest test of Gennady Golovkin’s career and I think he (Brook) has got a great chance in this fight.”
That remains to be seen.
“It’s a mega, mega fight for Britain and the world,” said Hearn. “He’s in it because he believes he can win, we believe he can win and he’s got as good a chance as anyone.”
Among those who feel overlooked by Golovkin is WBA World super middleweight champion Erislandy Lara (23-2-2, 13 KOs). The clever southpaw from Guantanamo, Cuba, took Canelo to school when they fought in 2014. Lara lost the split decision—some say he ran, some say he boxed—but he believes he can do to “Triple G” what he did to Canelo.
“Actions speak louder than words,” Lara told FightHype. “Triple G will fight a 147-pound guy, but wouldn’t fight me, who’s six pounds away, As far as I’m concerned, Canelo and Triple G are twin brothers; typical business first and not old-school throwback fighters.”
Those are fighting words. Golovkin loves a good fight. Hopefully he’ll respond positively to the challenge.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.