By Dan Ambrose: Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions says his fighter IBF/IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) had to put in a lot harder work for him to become a star compared to homegrown fighters Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Andre Ward, both of which were U.S Olympians in the past.
Loeffler points out that Golovkin came to the U.S from his home country of Kazakhstan and had to build a fan base the hard way by putting in impressive performances that wowed the American fans to win them over slowly.
“Golovkin had a much harder road to get to where he is than Mayweather or Ward – two U.S. Olympians,” Loeffler said to ringtv.com. “Golovkin had to go from Kazakhstan to Germany to the U.S. and then build a fan base in a foreign country”
Despite being loaded with talent, Golovkin didn’t immediately find a cushy spot on HBO. It took him a while to start getting TV time starting in 2012, but he quickly won the fans over with his impressive knockouts.
“Golovkin wasn’t immediately well received when I first shopped him to HBO and Showtime in early 2012,” Loeffler said. “They didn’t want Golovkin at first because he was from Kazakhstan and he didn’t speak English. He was a hard sell.”
Loeffler thinks Mayweather was smart to be rushed into a fight against Golovkin, even though it would have been a mega-fight if Mayweather did take that fight. Loeffler says Mayweather waited five years before he finally fought Manny Pacquiao. Loeffler thinks that Mayweather was always the businessman with the way he was matched against certain fighters.
Golovkin has come a long ways since he first started fighting on U.S television in 2012, but he still has a long ways to go before he can come close to the ratings that fighters like Mayweather and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez have had in the United States with their huge built in fan bases that tune into to their fights no matter who they fight.
Canelo and Mayweather didn’t have to KO every opponent for them to continue to build their fan bases. They just needed to win, and they certainly have done a good job of accomplishing that.
Golovkin still plans on fighting on April 23 against an opponent still to be determined. The name of Golovkin’s next opponent is expected to be revealed within a couple of weeks. Negotiations with WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders failed to produce a fight after he reportedly priced himself out for the fight. Tureano Johnson, Golovkin’s IBF mandatory challenger, suffered a shoulder injury that will require surgery. Golovkin needs a good contender to keep building his fan base. He can’t go much if he’s stuck fighting guys like Martin Murray and Willie Monroe Jr. Golovkin needs to fight some talented guys that can give him some rounds so that he can show off his talent.
Loeffler is hoping to setup a fight between Golovkin and Canelo later this year. However, it remains to be seen whether that fight is doable.