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Golovkin and the Willie Monroe Effect…

Gennady GolovkinBy J Caldwell: The problem with elite boxers with an endless list of no name fighters to his or her credit is this: It generally tends to rub diehard boxing fans the wrong way.

Clearly, the guy from Kazakhstan, Gennady Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) can fight: With an amateur record of over 340 wins, and a KO ratio in the professional ranks of well over 90%, the numbers speak for themselves. The argument, however, then turns to the ubiquitous question, presumably, most prize fighters hate being asked…which is this: Just who has he [Golovkin] been beating?

Still yet, when trying to make a case for the Kazakhstan banger as being boxing’s next big hit, you get the general impression, especially after doing a brief overview of some of his last few opponents, that the man they simply call “GGG” have yet to duke it out with a boxer with even a small semblance of notoriety, preferring instead to pad his resume with the likes of your typical gym fighter in Willie Monroe. Who was that?

Levity aside, the next move for “GGG” isn’t some kind of joke; and could, in theory, make or break this man’s boxing career. Perhaps this could be the reason why Mauricio Sulaiman, president of the WBC, has all but mandated that the winner of this weekend’s battle between Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez as a mandatory to face “GGG,” (the current IBF, IBO and WBA middleweight titleholder); or among other things, face being stripped of the WBC title.

The stakes are, indeed, high for both parties involves. Nonetheless, if “GGG’s” next opponent isn’t against some kind of named fighter, then he could very well risk becoming irrelevant in the sport of boxing, falling down, instead, into the boxing annuals of relative obscurity.

Fact is, as diehard boxing fans, we don’t ask for very much. Surely, you can make a case for the guys over at K2, (as perhaps stipulated under its contract with HBO) on their reasoning for choosing such subpar talent for their fighter in “GGG”—part of it could be fighter’s buildup; the other half, perhaps, a reluctance on the part of the fighter’s themselves, especially since “GGG” has now made a name for himself as being a bona fide KO artist in the division.

Alas, at this particular juncture in a fighter’s career, the guy with just three initials for a name will need to challenge a big name boxer of some kind to move on to the next stage in the fight game, which is, of course, boxing super-stardom. The reason for the cynical rant made by most boxing experts are as follows: 1) Golovkin is 33 years of age (isn’t getting any younger any time soon); 2) Boxing, for the most part, is a fairly young man’s enterprise; moreover, 3) Golovkin has yet to grace the ring with a fighter with even a minute amount of distinguishable accolades tied to his name, including of which not having one potential hall of famer or a really good Olympian added onto his resume as of yet.

Could this be a cause for concern? Surely, if Golovkin goes on to beat any one of the top name fighters in the middleweight division, such as Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, Andy Lee, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, or even one of the Dirrell brothers (at a catch weight, of course) then all else is forgiven. Otherwise, Golovkin’s biggest named opponent could, very well, be himself.

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