By Sean Jones: Gennadiy Golovkin is already being written off by boxing fans and by Teddy Atlas ahead of his trilogy fight with Canelo Alvarez this September. Atlas and a large number of fans view the 38-year-old Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) as having seen better days given his recent difficult fights.
Golovkin’s recent performance against Sergiy Derevyanchenko and his second fight with Canelo has swayed the views of people, making them think that he’s a ‘SHOT’ fighter after 14 years as a professional and 350 amateur fights in Kazakhstan.
Golovkin’s punching power will enable him to stay at the top
Even if Golovkin has lost 10 to 20% of his game due to his advancing age and the wear & tear from his amateur and pro career, his power is still top rate. He’s like the middleweight division’s version of George Foreman.
The power that Golovkin has will enable him to stay at the top level, perhaps even longer than Canelo, because he doesn’t depend on his speed and reflexes the way the Mexican star does. Moreover, Golovkin’s body isn’t continuously changed the way Canelo’s is with him bulking up.
The difficulties that Golovkin had against Canelo and Derevyanchenko had nothing to do with his age. Those fighters used pressure and threw body shots. That style would have given Golovkin problems.
Canelo took the same blueprint that Kassim Ouma used against Golovkin in 2010 and improved on it. Unfortunately, Canelo lacked the engine to wear GGG down to earn a conclusive victory in their rematch. Instead, Canelo received a win that fans saw as a gift and a similar situation as his first fight with GGG in Las Vegas.
The way that an ill Golovkin was able to bust-up Derevyanchenko’s fast last October with his heavy shots suggests that he’s NOT a ‘shot fighter,’ and that he’s got a lot left in the tank. If Golovkin had lost to Derevyanchenko or Steve Rolls, then you could start to say that he’s shot fighter, but that’s not what happened.
Can Golovkin compete with Canelo?
“Another third fight that’s happening this year is a third fight between Gennadiy Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez,” said Chris Mannix to DAZN. “It’s officially 1-0-1 for Canelo Alvarez, but there have been a lot of critics out there lately of Gennadiy Golovkin and his chances to win the fight.
“Teddy Atlas, the long time trainer, the broadcaster, said Golovkin is shot, and he’s giving Canelo a huge advantage in that third fight. Is Gennadiy Golovkin a shot fighter?”
“You’ve got to respect what Teddy says because he’s a legend in the sport, but I think he’s wrong here because Sergiy Derevyanchenko was a top contender,” said Sergio Mora.
“Now if Steve Rolls had given him that tough of a fight, that would have been a different story, but Derevyanchenko gave Daniel Jacobs all he could handle. So this is a top contender and a guy that’s no joke.
“So, no, I’m not going off of that performance. Can Golovkin be old? Of course, who’s not old at 38? But can he still compete with Canelo, especially if he knows him so well? The first two fights could have easily gone Golovkin’s way. So nobody has won that give and tank.”
We’ve already seen Golovkin compete with Canelo twice and get the better of him. Golovkin was the better fighter in their first fight in 2017, and in the second, he fought him on even terms.
The Canelo-Golovkin 2 rematch was viewed as a draw by the writers at ringside. Canelo didn’t do enough to win because he faded in the last six rounds, and gave those rounds away
If Golovkin doesn’t stop him, he can at least bust him up or tire him out to the point where the judges will give him the win.
GGG beat an excellent fighter in Derevyanchenko
“Golovkin not only has a puncher’s chance and an experience chance, but he has the pedigree. He’s a Silver medalist, and he brings that all to the table. But no, he’s not a shot fighter. He might get old overnight, and that can happen, especially at 38-years-old.
“We haven’t seen that yet. Did GGG look a little bit bad against Derevyanchenko? Yes, but he mustered up the strength to show greatness, the greatest that he has. Yes, he did. So he hasn’t grown old overnight, and he hasn’t proven that as of yet. That’s why I’m excited about the trilogy.”
“I don’t like the language chosen by Teddy Atlas in that comment because every opinion about Gennady Golovkin is based on two things. One his age at this point, and two, the way he fought in 2019. You have to compare the way he [Golovkin] fought in 2019 to the way Canelo fought in 2019,” said Mannix.
It was as if GGG had an extra gear that made him dominate when he would start throwing his shots. Derevyanchenko was lucky that Golovkin didn’t throw more punches because he probably would have been stopped had he thrown 10% more punches in the fight.
The facial damage that Derevyanchenko took from Golovkin’s heavy shots made it clear that if he’d thrown even a small percentage more punches in the fight, he would have forced a stoppage. As it was, the referee was looking closely at Derevyanchenko’s face because it was severely busted up by GGG.
Golovkin was sick for last fight
“Canelo had a ‘Fighter of the Year’ campaign in 2019. He beat Daniel Jacobs, a top-three middleweight, and he knocked out Sergey Kovalev in his first fight at light heavyweight,” said Mannix.
“Canelo looked great in 2019, whereas Golovkin in the [Steve] Rolls fight, he scored the knockout, but it wasn’t perfect. And Derevyanchenko was life and death, but I do agree with you.
“Derevyanchenko is a high-level fighter, and Derevyanchenko has given Jacobs massive problems and now Golovkin massive problems. Maybe we should wake up and realize that Derevyanchenko is pretty good.
“You also have to look a little bit deeper when talking about this. Gennadiy Golovkin, the week of the Derevyanchenko fight, was legitimately sick.
“I know it’s not an excuse, and I no Golovkin didn’t make an excuse during the fight week, but he was legitimately sick during that week. So a healthy Golovkin, a rested Golovkin going up against an opponent that he knows, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that he’s a favorite.
“Still, I think it’s a lot closer fight than people are thinking,” said Mannix about GGG for his last fight against Derevyanchenko.
Golovkin’s illness explains why he had problems beating Derevyanchenko last October. What we saw in that fight was a tired Golovkin at times, getting hit to the body repeatedly by Derevychenko.
The Ukrainian switched his positioning with his feet to land a lot of hard body shots from different angles, and Golovkin had a lot of problems. Down the stretch, though, Golovkin started damaging Derevyanchenko’s face with his punches, and he was able to pull out the win. Derevyanchenko would wilt each time Golovkin would turn it up.
GGG’s motivation will be high for Canelo trilogy
“Maybe he was sick, and maybe he did that while sick,” said Mora of Golovkin. “That’s even more impressive the fact that he beat a top contender and a beast-like Derevyanchenko while he was sick. So going into the third fight with Canelo after the first two fights were so competitive, I’m excited about it. Everybody should be excited about that trilogy.”
“Two things you have to remember about this fight,” said Mannix on the Canelo vs. Golovkin 3 clash. “One is Golovkin has wanted this fight for a long time, so the motivation is going to be there. And two, Golovkin knows this is probably going to be his last stand. If he loses badly to Canelo, then he is going to be in a lot of trouble for the future of his career,” said Mannix on GGG.
“And one more thing. I think Golovkin is going to going to go for the knockout because Golovkin can’t rely on the judges, and Canelo, he just wants to put an end to this chapter.”
“Yes, no question about that,” said Mannix.
Golovkin can win the fight with Canelo if he makes it a point to throw 20 to 30 more punches per round than he did in the first two fights. So if Golovkin average 50 punches thrown per round in those two fights, he’ll need to throw 70 or 80 per round to beat Canelo.
To throw that many punches, Golovkin stay on top of Canelo, and NOT back away like he’s done in their first two fights. If Golovkin throws one blow after another like a modern-day Aaron Pryor, he can wear down Canelo and stop him.