Gennady Golovkin – A different view
By Jermill Pennington: When you say the name Gennady Golovkin amongst boxing fans you may be surprised at how different the opinions are of him depending on who you ask. The narrative that has been set in the boxing world regarding the opinion of Golovkin is one that has a great deal of racial implications. While prepping to write this article I quickly realized that this wouldn’t be an easy task.
I found myself searching for words that would be more palatable to the masses. I then realized why no one has tackled this issue as there is no easy way of putting this topic into context without being completely transparent. An issue such as this doesn’t allow one to ride the fence. For the known boxing pundits of the world writing such an article can be a bit compromising, as this issue regarding Golovkin for lack of better term is the opinion of blacks opposed to the opinion of whites.
Doug Fisher of Ring Magazine whom I have great respect for has said he has an article pending on the relationship between “flomos” and Gennady Golovkin. Being involved in some mentions on twitter I was able to see just how anticipated this article is for many fans. First let me clarify something, the word “flomo” to me is just code for black fans who like Mayweather in my opinion, however that is neither here nor there. The problem I have with Doug’s anticipated article is that in the eyes of many Doug speaks from a perspective of having the inside scoop on how black guys feel towards Golovkin due to the fact that Doug himself is black. For the record I’m sure if Doug is black, and in that case I would like to apologize if in some way what I have said is insulting. For the sake of the article I think it’s safe to say that if not black, he’s surely multi-cultural. To be clear, I’m not saying that Doug himself has said he’s speaking for the black fan, however I will argue that is how it will be perceived.
When talking about race people seem to like nothing more than someone from the opposing side to agree with their stance. It seems to me that nothing validates ones argument more than to say “look, that guys black and he agrees”. This of course goes for both ways. Nothing delights blacks more than someone with conflicting views to say “you know what, you guys are right”. Here’s where I risk being a donkeys rear end and make some assumptions. Doug has his professional affiliations, in which are not in the same allegiance as those who associate with Mayweather. That said I assume that Doug’s stance will be one in support of Golovkin. In doing so, somehow he will convey that the dislike that Gennady receives from Flomos has racial connotations. And what I have heard over and over from fans is it’s because Golovkin is white.
The black perspective
Before I begin this diatribe I would like to first say that my perspective is no more valid than Doug’s, though I think it’s not unfair to ask when’s the last time Doug has had his “ghetto pass” renewed. I myself have gone on record as the self- proclaimed “captain flomo”. So let’s get to the reasons why black fans still have the verdict out when it comes to triple G.
1) You have to earn it– In the inner city where the majority of flomos reside when you say you’re the best, you better be ready to prove it. The reason Floyd has been embraced is because he has always talked the talk, and walked the walk. See, we don’t mind trash talk as long you’re able to back it up. When it comes to Golovkin it seems that the pro Golovkin guys want to crown the man before he’s done the work to be king. Citing such things as fighting mandatories and top ranked middleweights. Well Bernard Hopkins did the same thing for a decade, and while being respected you never heard fans pounding the drums for him. Simply put boxing is about guts and glory, not fighting mandatories. Same goes for Marvin Hagler, ask yourself, why is Sugar Ray the more renowned fighter. Not because he beat Marvin, but because he took challenges, not mandatories. Oscar Dela Hoya whom I loved as a fighter is renowned because he fought all the tough challenges. Whether it meant going up in weight or down, Oscar was there to meet the challenge. That my friend’s is what boxing has always been about. Ali had to make a political stance, comeback from a three years layoff in the midst of his career and slay beast to be known as the greatest. What seems to get lost in the Golovkin conversation is the amount of respect black fans have for his talent and skill. In that same breath is the reason we won’t crown him for beating guys that don’t stand a chance. To whom much is given, much is expected.
2) Is it because he’s white? – Call me crazy but until I was told I had no idea Golovkin was considered white. Maybe I’m not in touch enough with what people consider themselves but I thought he was Kazakh. I had no idea that meant he was basically white, that said if I’m supposed to hate him because he’s white thanks for telling me. I think I can speak for many black fans and say we didn’t classify him on sight as being white, if anything we would have said he was Russian. So to me the notion of blacks not liking him because he’s white is a situation where your inner thoughts form a reality for others.
Here’s the reason why– Do some black guys have some ingrained ideology that they can fight better than a white guy? The answer to that would be yes. That thought in mind one could ask does it in some way make some blacks guys mad to see a white fighter on top? The answer to that as it pertains to Golovkin would be yes, but here’s why. I feel as though the bar for the amount of praise Golovkin has received has been lowered. In my estimation I haven’t seen a fighter get the amount of praise for beating these type opponents since Mike Tyson whom I say beat a bunch of scared stiffs. This sentiment when put in to context isn’t that perplexing. At your place of employment if you see others being promoted for doing less work then you, I’d imagine you’d take issue with that. In the years of debate leading to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in many boxing forums there was always a racial divide. Though that wasn’t as black and white as the triple G situation, it was still the view of some black fans versus opinions of others for the most part. While I was constantly being categorized as a Flomo, I would tell people that Pacquiao was one of my top five favorite fighters all-time; I just didn’t think he would win the fight. To conclude if you ask me do black guys dislike Gennady because he’s white, I would say no. I would tell you I do feel as though he has been given more for what I deem as less. Is he a fantastic fighter? Absolutely no questioned asked, but for my dollar you have to beat more than your mandatory is all. Gennady Golovkin is the Mike Tyson of his time, a sensation that brings the knockout in an era where the top fighter did not. What remains to be seen is like Tyson once the level of competition becomes elite will we see the same Golovkin we have come to know. And that for me is the reason the verdict is still out when it comes to Golovkin.
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