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Roach: Golovkin is the No.1 fighter in boxing

Freddie Roach Gennady Golovkin Miguel CottoBy Allan Fox: Now that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has retired and walked away from the sport, trainer Freddie Roach believes that IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) is now the No.1 fighter in boxing. Roach feels that that Golovkin has clearly established himself as the best fighter in the sport with his impressive victories and his long string of knockouts that stretch all the way back to 2008.

Mayweather recently said that with him gone from the sport that he feels that Manny Pacquiao is now the No.1 fighter that takes his place. Mayweather didn’t mention Golovkin at all. But perhaps Mayweather had a reason for not saying Golovkin’s name.

He’d been getting hammered by the boxing fans and fighters for not stepping up to face Golovkin. It would look bad on Mayweather’s part if he said that he felt that Golovkin was the new No.1 fighter, because it would give a reason why Mayweather had chosen not fight him.

Mayweather’s excuse that Golovkin was too big for him was a weak one, given that Golovkin is actually smaller than Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, a fighter that Mayweather beat in 2013. Canelo outweighs Golovkin 175 to 170 when he fights. Canelo is just very good and in losing huge amounts of water weight to fight at junior middleweight or in what he become his favorite catch-weight of 155lbs.

It’s usual for Roach to suddenly be giving Golovkin credit as the Number 1 fighter now. In the past, Roach was saying that he never saw Golovkin fight when he watch boxing television. He claimed that Golovkin’s fights were never on when he would watch television. But it looks like Roach has changed his tune and is now recognizing Golovkin’s talent.

“No, I think Triple G will be number one next,” Roach said to Fighthype. “He’s the best fighter out there right now. He knocks everyone out. He’s not fighting any big names like that, but there are no big names in the division right now. But whoever they put in front of him, he’s knocking them out. He’s looking pretty good to me. I like watching him,” Roach said.

You have to wonder how Roach’s fighters WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao feel about Roach saying that Golovkin is now the No.1 fighter in the sport. Pacquiao was just beaten by Mayweather on May 2nd, and he has a record of 3-2 in his last five fights.

Pacquiao can’t claim that he’s the best fighter in boxing with a record like that in his last five fights. It would look silly of Pacquiao or his loyal fans to say that he’s the best fighter in the sport when he’s clearly not.

Cotto might not like Roach saying he’s not the new No.1 fighter, but he has nothing in his recent resume of sports that would suggest that he’s taken over the throne from Mayweather. Cotto hasn’t faced a good opponent since he was beaten by Austin Trout in 2013. Since then, Cotto has beaten 34-year-old Delvin Rodriguez, 39-year-old Sergio Martinez, and 34-year-old Daniel Geale. Cotto has beaten a bunch of old and shot fighters.

Cotto won’t be fighting a good opponent until his next fight against Canelo on November 21st on HBO pay-per-view, and he very well might lose that fight. It’s a good thing that Roach didn’t put a lot of pressure on Cotto by claiming that he’s the new Number #1 fighter in boxing because it would have become a joke.

What especially hurts Cotto’s claim to the No.1 spot is the fact that he’s sidestepped Golovkin in his last three fights at middleweight instead of facing him and finding out whether he has the talent or not to compete against him. A lot of boxing fans think that Cotto is avoiding Golovkin.

When asked if he’s interested in having his fighter Miguel Cotto fight Golovkin, Roach said “Yes, I am just for those reasons. That’s why I’d like to fight him. I don’t think he’s invincible. He’s a great fighter, but when anyone gets hit right anyone can go,” Roach added.
Roach needs to worry more about whether Cotto can get past Canelo or not rather than getting worked up about a fight between Cotto and Golovkin right now. Cotto will be very lucky if he’s able to defeat Canelo, because most of the fans think he’s going to lose to him.

Golovkin will further be able to cement his position as the sport’s No.1 fighter by going out and destroying IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs) in their fight next month on October 17th at Madison Square Garden in New York. The fight will be televised on HBO pay-per-view in Golovkin’s first ever PPV fight of his career.

If Golovkin can obliterate Lemieux in lightning fashion it’ll make it academic that he’s the No.1 fighter in the sport. WBC flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez is the No.1 pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, but he’s not knocking guys out like Golovkin, and he’s not seen as the No.1 fighter by the fans. He’s barely known by the casual fans in the U.S. He’s not on the level of Golovkin and likely will never be able to get to the level where he’s at due to him being in a smaller weight class.

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