Golovkin in a holding pattern waiting for a big fight to open up
By Dan Ambrose: Gennady Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler has temporarily changed his strategy from having Golovkin fight nonstop contenders to having him wait on the biggest fight possible that can be made. Golovkin and Loeffler are waiting for the results of Saturday’s David Lemieux vs. Hassan N’Dam, Andre Ward vs. Paul Smith, as well as Andy Lee and his possible fight against Billy Joe Saunders.
If Golovkin can get one of those fighters in the fall, he’d do a lot more for his career than if he wind up facing another little known fighter in the Willie Monroe Jr. type category.
It’s unclear if Loeffler is reacting to negative feedback from fans, top fighters like Miguel Cotto, or perhaps directions from HBO. Cotto recently made a comment to the media about Golovkin never having fought anyone of note.
Presumably that was Cotto’s reasons for not wanting to fight him. But if Golovkin can get a fight against the likes of Andy Lee, Ward, the winner of the Lemieux-N’Dam fight, he’ll be doing well for himself. However, Loeffler can’t afford to sit Golovkin down for a long period of time waiting for a fight that never happens.
Loeffler is going to need to find out fairly soon whether Golovkin can get one of those fights, because he can’t use up his career by having him sit for ages. We saw how fighters like Winky Wright sat around waiting for a big fight to happen from 2007 to 2012, and he ended up fighting just twice during that five year period. By the time the big fights came, he was finished.
“I spoke with his promoter, Tom Loeffler, about it yesterday,” Dan Rafael said via ESPN.com. “They are basically waiting to see how some things shake out. GGG intends to fight this fall but there is no set date or opponent. The prospect of the [Carl] Froch fights is fading and basically not going to happen. They will see what happens with Lemieux-N’Dam on Saturday as the winner would be attractive for a unification. He said they will see what Andy Lee plans to do this fall. They’ll watch Andre Ward on Saturday as well. Basically, they want whatever the biggest fight is that they can make.”
I think it’s very doubtful that Golovkin will fight Ward, but you never know. Golovkin might be desperate enough for a big fight that he’d take even a fight against Ward, who would have a considerable size advantage over him if they were to fight. We’re talking three inches in height and likely 15 to 20 pounds in weight. Ward is fighting at a catch-weight of 172 pounds on Saturday against Paul Smith. You’ve got to figure that Ward is at least in the mid-180s at this point in his career.
It’s too bad Froch didn’t choose to fight Golovkin because it would have been a good fighter. Froch would have had a big size advantage as well over Golovkin, but Froch seems to have lost all interest in fighting after getting back to back huge paydays against George Groves.
Andy Lee is expected to fight Billy Joe Saunders in September. Golovkin can’t wait around for that fight because Lee likely won’t be available to fight again after that until December, and there’s no telling whether he’ll want to fight Golovkin.
The winner of the Lemieux vs. N’Dam fight is Golovkin’s best chance of getting a big fight. However, Lemieux is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and there’s no way they’re going to get Lemieux fight Golovkin until after they’ve matched Lemieux against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. By that point, it might not be worth it for Golovkin to fight Lemieux if he gets blown out by Canelo.
Most likely, Loeffler will wind up keeping Golovkin on the same course as he’s been on the last few years with him mainly just defending his WBA title over and over again against less talents. At some point the World Boxing Council will strip the winner of the Cotto-Canelo fight for failing to fight Golovkin, if they don’t vacate the strap first, which is likely what will happen.
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