Golovkin to decide next opponent this week
By Jeff Aranow: Gennady Golovkin, his trainer Abel Sanchez and DAZN Group Executive Chairman John Skipper met with the media on Monday in Los Angeles, California in a news conference to discus his recent signing with the platform in six-fight deal, and to talk about what direction he’ll be taking with his career.
Golovkin says he plans on sitting down with his team this week to decide who he’ll fight next in his first fight of his three-year, six-fight deal with DAZN. It’s expected to be a talented fighter, as he only wants to fight the best.
Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) feels he learned a lot from his second fight with Saul Canelo Alvarez that he use when they meet potentially later this year in September for a trilogy fight.
“Of course, I’d like to fight him [Jaime Munguia],” GGG said when asked if he’d like to fight unbeaten Golden Boy fighter Jaime Munguia. “I always like to fight good boxers. It’s not just because he’s a Mexican fighter. It’ll be interesting for all fans. It’ll be a great fight. It’s no secret that I had some other offers from other companies, but right now I have the best partner. I have a great partnership. I hope I can do the six fights [with DAZN]. I feel good right now. I hope I do the six fights. After the six fights, we’ll see what else we can do, but first I have to do the six fights.”
GGG might continue fighting after his six-fight contract with DAZN is up in three years. The current contract is for two fights per year until the six fights are up. Whether DAZN gives Golovkin a new contract at the end of the current one will, of course, depend on how he’s fighting, and whether he’s bringing in a of subcriptions to the streaming giant. It’s easy to predict that if Golovkin wins all six of his fights of his contract with DAZN, his popularity will be high with the boxing public, and he’ll likely be given a new contract.
Golovkin might eventually face Munguia, but that’s not a fight that will happen soon. Golden Boy Promotions are taking things slowly with Munguia, and they’re not going to feed him to GGG now that he’s making money as the WBO junior middleweight champion.
“People understand there’s a lot of politics with the belts,” Golovkin said in ruling out him attempting to unify the division. “The idea is not to have all the belts possible, but to be the best boxer. Sometimes those people that have the belts aren’t the best boxers. We want to have the most important fights in boxing. There are many different important fights. That’s what I want to do right now.”
It wouldn’t make sense for GGG to try and unify the middleweight division at this point in his career. Golovkin is turning 37 on April 8, and it takes too much time and effort to unify. If Golovkin were to beat WBA/WBC middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez this September, he could capture three of his old belts back, and then he could go after WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade for the fourth. Golovkin could unify the middleweight division without even trying all that hard. Before, it took GGG years to win three titles at middleweight. Now it might be easy for GGG to accomplish that, thanks to DAZN. IBF champion Daniel Jacobs is signed with DAZN, and he’s fighting Canelo on May 4. WBO champion Andrade is with DAZN as well, and he would be an easy fight for Golovkin to make, either in June or after he faces Canelo in September in a fight that might have the IBF, WBA and WBC titles on the line. It’s more Golovkin’s best interest not to get hung up on winning belts, but rather focus more on getting the biggest fights available. Andrade is not a big fight. Golovkin would do better to move up to super middleweight to fight Callum Smith or Dmitry Bivol than he would in wasting time and effort in fighting Andrade.
“Youthful and exuberant back then. Now more more experience, more stealth, I guess,” trainer Abel Sanchez said in describing the change GGG has gone through since he first started training him seven years ago. “He’s thinking more about the things he’s doing. The good thing about him is he’s very professional. When he comes to training camp, we’re working on technical things, and not so much on trying to lose weight. I can only gauge it to what happens in the fights, and to this date there hasn’t been anybody that’s dominated him in a fight or in the gym. So I must say no,” Sanchez said when asked if he sees any deterioration with GGG. “I would say he’s fighting at the top level, and nobody has had it over on him like some of the other fighters that have fought later in their years. So, I imagine there is [some deterioration], but until somebody proves it in the ring, I would say no,” Sanchez said.
Golovkin’s last fight against Canelo resulted in him losing by a 12 round majority decision, but that was a controversial fight. A lot of boxing fans thought Triple G won. It was still the most difficult fight for Golovkin in eight years since his knockout win over Kassim Ouma in 2011. That was a grueling fight for GGG, because he slugged the entire time, and Ouma was able to take massive punishment and return fire until getting stopped in the 10th round.
“I came to DAZN to have the most important fights,” Golovkin said when asked if he’d be willing to move up to super middleweight to take on the top guys in that weight class. “If those interesting fights are in another category, we’ll take those fights as well. This week we’ll get together with my team and have a look at all the possible options,” Golovkin said when asked who he’ll be fighting next in June.
Golovkin probably won’t make a move up to super middleweight until he’s fought Canelo a third and possibly a fourth time. Once those fights are exhausted, then there’s a chance that GGG could move up to super middleweight to take on someone like Bivol or Callum Smith. Canelo might get there first to fight one or both of those guys. Canelo can make good money fighting either of them. Smith is vulnerable, and that’s the likely direction GGG and Canelo will take if they move up in weight for a single fight at 168. Bivol might be too big, too young and too technical for Canelo or Golovkin to pick him out for a fight at super middleweight.
“We have no problem fighting either of those guys, especially Callum [Smith], who recently won the WBSS tournament,” Sanchez said when asked if Golovkin would be willing to move up to 168 to fight Dmitry Bivol or Callum Smith. “That would be a goo fight.”
As you can see, Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez says he’s interested in seeing him fight Callum Smith. He didn’t seem excited at the prospect of Golovkin fighting Bivol though.
“It’s hard to say what we learned. We learned many things, which we should avoid in out third fight,” Golovkin said when asked what he learned from his recent loss to Saul Canelo Alvarez from last September. “We learned many things in the third fight that will make it very interesting to make it more spectacular than the first two fights,” Golovkin said.
It’s pretty easy to see what Golovkin learned from his loss to Canelo Alvarez from their rematch last September. What Golovkin learned is he can’t back up. Normally, a fighter should be able to back up when being pressed by their opponent, but Canelo is a different story. He’s so popular that you cannot backup against him without losing rounds. It doesn’t matter that Golovkin was shooting jabs into the face of Canelo when he was pressing him. Just the fact that Golovkin was seen backing up against Canelo made him look like he was running from him. Golovkin can’t do that if he wants to beat the Mexican star in the rematch.
“I think he does [have six fights left in him],” Sanchez said when asked a question of whether he believes GGG has six fights left in him at his age. “Again, until somebody dominates him in not only in the gym but also in a fight, then we can say he’s deteriorating. But to this date, nobody has dominated him. For instance, when [Miguel] Cotto fought his last fight [against Sadam Ali], he was thoroughly dominated. Until somebody does that to Gennady, it’s hard for me to say he’s getting old or for anybody to say he’s getting old,” Sanchez said.