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Golovkin: I can beat Canelo, he’s nothing

Canelo Alvarez Daniel Jacobs Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) says he’ll beat Saul “Canelo” Alvarez if that fight happens in the future. Right now, Triple G says he sees Canelo as “Nothing,” because all does is talk and talk without putting a signed contract in front of him. Golovkin, 34, says he feels like he’s only 25, so if the idea for Canelo and Golden Boy to wait out until he gets old, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

Golovkin points out that he’s sparred with Canelo in the past, and the Mexican knows who he is from those sparring sessions.

Golovkin isn’t saying that he beat up Canelo in the sparring sessions, but he is saying that Canelo knows him now. You can take that as a hint that Golovkin might have been the better fighter in those sparring sessions.

Golovkin has a fight against WBA World middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) on March 18 on HBO pay-per-view. He’s not overlooking Jacobs, even though the boxing world largely sees Golovkin as a heavy favorite to beat the New York fighter. Golovkin says he still respects Jacobs, and he’s not going to look past him. Golovkin says he can’t wait to get Jacobs into the ring so he can prove who the better fighter is.

The way that Golovkin spoke about Jacobs, it sounds like he wants to really knock him out. Golovkin revealed that he a couple of game plans for the Jacobs fight that he’s going to have ready to use on March 18 when the two fighters share the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Golovkin said this to The Breakfast Club 105.1 about wanting to fight Andre Ward in the future after he moves up in weight to 168:

“This is boxing. I hope,” said Golovkin when asked if a fight between him and Andre Ward can take place. “Right now, this is a different situation. He went to 175. I’m at 160. Why not in the future? Everybody wants this fight. He stays at 168. I stay at 160. Just a couple of times, we talking; not very serious. I think in the future [a fight against Ward is possible]. I’m ready for everybody. It doesn’t matter who.”

Ward, 32, is starting to show age despite being two years younger than Golovkin. It’s not likely that Ward will be around for more than year or two. If Ward keeps slowing down, he might retire from boxing. The future is very uncertain for Ward right now. He’s coming off of a controversial win over Sergey Kovalev last November, and a lot of boxing fans of the sport thought Ward was given a gift by the three judges that scored the fight.

Ward has been talking retirement since that time. He might not continue on. If Golovkin does face Ward, it’s probably going to need to be soon for him to catch him before he retires. I get the feeling that Ward wants to retire before he gets beaten by someone. If he sticks for too much longer, the chances are high that either Kovalev or Artur Beterbiev gives him his first defeat. Beterbiev brings his own judges with him in the form of his fists. He’s not going to let the judges control the outcome in a fight against Ward if the two of them face each other.

When asked about his interest in fighting Canelo, Golovkin said, “This is a good fight, an amazing fight. Yeah, I think so,” Golovkin said when questioned whether he can beat Canelo. “Yeah, why not, this is boxing. I know him. I trained with him two years ago. I know who he is. Sparring together, it’s true. Just sparring, not real [fight]. I help him. He helped me.”

I think a lot of the boxing fans believe that Golovkin is the better fighter than Canelo. They think that Golden Boy is trying an old fashioned tactic of waiting Golovkin out until he hopefully ages enough for Canelo to have a better chance of beating him. If they age Golovkin enough, he might still win, but Canelo would do a better job and get out of the fight with the respect of the boxing public. It would be similar to how welterweight Kell Brook escaped a knockout loss to Golovkin last September with his stock intact with the fans due to his trainer Dominic Ingle throwing in the towel in round 5 to save Brook from being stopped on the canvas rather than his feet. Golden Boy can do the same thing by having Canelo fight well for a number of rounds, and then have his trainer be prepared to throw in the towel once things start looking bleak for Canelo.

As long as Canelo finishes the fight on his feet, he can get out of the Golovkin fight without having lost the respect of the boxing fans. It’s a tricky thing though in having a trainer toss in the towel at the right moment, because Golovkin could knock Canelo out with a single head or body shot, and that would prevent him from being saved by his trainer tossing in the towel.

When asked if he feels he needs the Canelo fight, Golovkin said, “Yeah, I think I need. It’s a big name, [and] a lot of money. It’s so everyone knows whose No.1 in middleweight division. This is a big serious fight. I want this fight. Right now, I feel like 25. This is boxing. Maybe next; maybe tomorrow,” said Golovkin about whether he’ll lose to Canelo.

There’s no question that Golovkin needs the Canelo fight for a big payday, and to help increase his popularity. That’s why it’s so frustrating, because Canelo and Golden Boy aren’t in any hurry to make that happen. They’ve got the ability to bring in a lot of PPV buys fighting guys like Amir Khan, Liam Smith, Kanat Islam and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Canelo’s fans base will literally purchase any fight involving their hero. It doesn’t matter that he’s not facing quality fighters. The fans are still willing to pay to see him fight.

In being questioned about whether he’s ever scared inside the ring, Golovkin said, “Never! Not scared. For me, it’s very interesting.”

There’s no one for Golovkin to be scared of right now in the 160lb division, because he’s the 900 pound gorilla. The rest of the guys are little more than lambs being led to the slaughter. Daniel Jacobs is seen as someone that could maybe give Golovkin a fight, but most fans see this as an even worse mismatch than is last fight against Kell Brook. Jacobs is easier to hit than Brook, and he can’t take a good punch. The shots that Brook was hit by Golovkin would be a real problem for Jacobs to take. I don’t know if Jacobs could take more than two or three solid blows from Golovkin before he’s on his back. That’s why the Plan-A for Jacobs could involve him using movement to keep from getting hit. Maybe they can tire Golovkin out by running if they do enough of it.

Plan-B for Jacobs might see him holding excessively and wrestling. Jacobs already said that he’s a big admirer of Andre Ward. In fact, Jacobs admires Ward so much that he’s moved his entire training team to his home city of Oakland, California in order to train with his trainer Virgil Hunter. Jacobs will still have his longtime trainer Andre Rozier as his main guy, but he wants to be able to get help from Hunter as well. You can bet that Hunter is going to be showing Jacobs how to hold and wrestle in order to try and tire Golovkin.

In whether Canelo is holding up the fight with him, Golovkin said, “I don’t know Canelo, his promoters Golden Boy. I think this is a big question for the promoters. I know Canelo. He’s a good guy. He’s a fighter. He’s a true fighter. I think it’s a little difficult with promoters. I think last question is for him. I sparred with him a couple of times. He knows who I am,” said Golovkin.

It’s pretty obvious that Golden Boy Promotions is holding up the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight, because the fight should have taken place in 2016 when the Mexican star was briefly the WBC middleweight champion. Golovkin was Canelo’s #1 WBC mandatory challenger, and Canelo vacated his title in order not to fight him. That was really bad the way Canelo did that, because the boxing fans saw it as a cowardly move. Golden Boy presented it as a business move on their part, but the fans still saw it as a ducking move.

In speaking about MMA fighter Ronda Rousey’s recent loss to Amanda Nunez at UFC 207, Golovkin said, “I think she’s not ready for big champions fight. She needs time. She’s Judo. She’s not boxing.”

Rousey needs a former boxer to train her extensively in how to fight on her feet, because she’s not skilled enough to compete at the highest levels of the UFC with her rudimentary boxing skills. She needs someone like Abel Sanchez, the trainer for Golovkin, to teach her how to fight on her feet. Her recent 1st round knockout loss to Amanda Nunes might be a wakeup call for her to finally start learning how to fight standing up.

Asked whether he likes to hurt people, Golovkin said, “Inside the ring, yes. I feel a little bit different outside the ring than inside the ring.”

Golovkin does seem to enjoy going after his opponents to beat them up. If they can’t handle, then they get taken out Golovkin’s knockout streak is at 23 and it stretches all the way back to 2008. Jacobs figures to be No.24 on March 18 unless he uses some strategy to negate Golovkin’s power.

In speaking about his recent 5th round knockout win over Kell Brook, Golovkin said, “The first round, I feel good. This is not boxing. After the first round, I feel like this is not boxing. This is street fight. He beat me a couple of rounds like next couple of rounds. He’s finished after five rounds. He’s not ready for decision fight. He’s not ready for true fight. He beat me in a couple of rounds. It’s nothing. It’s not a big fight. I respect Kell. He’s a good fighter. We have different boxing career, different power, and different size. Maybe not size. We’re the same size, and different situation. I’m true middleweight. He’s light welterweight [Brook is a large welterweight],” said Golovkin.

Kell Brook used movement to keep from getting taken out early by Golovkin in their fight on September 10 last year. Brook had the crowd on his side, and he fought with a great deal of energy when the British fans were cheering for him. Brook had a good round 2, and he landed some nice shots in round 3 and 4. However, Golovkin changed the fight in the 3rd by increasing the tempo, and landing some monstrous head shots. Golovkin says he lost a couple of rounds. I think he was being modest. Golovkin appeared to lose just the 2nd. You couldn’t give Brook round 3 or 4, because he was hit with some monstrous shots to the head that sapped the energy out of him. For some of the judges to give Brook rounds 3 and 4, it was inexplicable. Golovkin won those rounds or at least he should have.

“I have plan. Not just one plan,” said Golovkin about his fight against Jacobs. “I know he’s a good boxer. He knows boxing. I’m ready for fight. I think it’s a good fight for us. Danny is a very good fighter in middleweight division. He’s a true middleweight, and a very good fighter. For us, it’s very interesting to see who is No.1 in the middleweight division,” said Golovkin.

My guess is Golovkin’s plans against Jacobs will one that he usually uses against big punchers, and that’s to box him in the early stages. Golovkin will pick his spots to load up on shots to the head and body of Jacobs. It might not take more than one or two hard punches from Golovkin to hurt Jacobs to where he can then finish him off. Golovkin hurt the big punching David Lemieux with a body shot in round 8, and the fight was quickly stopped without Golovkin being able to add much of anything else. In rounds one through seven, Golovkin mostly jabbed. Golovkin’s jab is so good that he was able to dominate Lemeiux. Golovkin did the same thing against Curtis Stevens. He boxed him on the outside, and then forced him to quit in the 8th.

“Cannelo is Canelo,” said Golovkin. “I don’t think too much about Canelo. [He does] too much talking, too much trash. It’s not interesting. It’s finished. Maybe he’ll call me tomorrow and say, he’s ready. It’s tomorrow. Today, he’s nothing. He’s nothing. He’s been talking since last year. [Canelo talks] too much about business. I want [the fight]. He’s talking too much after every fight. He says, ‘I’m ready for Triple G. Give me gloves.’ I go tomorrow. [Canelo is doing ] Too much. If you want a fight, just call me. If you want, let’s go. Just do it, you know? Not talking, not trash, not commercial. Today, I have a contract. I have a deal with Daniel [Jacobs]. This is true. This is today. I don’t have a deal with Canelo. Today for me, Canelo is nothing. [Canelo’s promoter] Oscar [De La Hoya] says, ‘I’ll call you tomorrow.’ Too much trash talk. Today is nothing. Last year too much [trash talk from Canelo]. If you want to talk to me, give me contract. I respect Daniel Jacobs. This is a huge fight for us, because everyone understands who’s the No.1 in the middleweight division. I respect Daniel. He’s a good fighter. He’s a big guy. This is boxing. I’m not God. I respect,” said Golovkin.

Canelo could be defending his WBO junior middleweight title next against Kanat Islam. Former WBO champion Demetrius Andrade is ranked #1 by the WBO at junior middleweight. That would be an obvious fight for Canelo to make, but it looks like he could opt for the safe route against Kanat from China.

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