By Ken Hissner: Former world middleweight champion and Olympian Silver Medalist Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin gave up another world title s since giving up the IBF title while deciding what his future holds.
After Golovkin’s loss in September to Super Middleweight champion Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 57-2-2, in a delayed rematch of four years that neither impressed, GGG is possibly at the end of his career at age 40.
WBA Middleweight champion Golovkin and his team sent a communication to the organization to announce his decision to relinquish the WBA’s “Super” championship leaving the “Regular” champion Erislandy Lara as the WBA’s only 160 lb. world champion.
Golovkin and his team explained that GGG is still not clear about his next step in boxing, and they prefer to give up the title since the organization had ordered a purse bid for the mandatory fight against Lara. He assured that they prefer the division to continue with movement and not to make Team Lara wait.
Golovkin, the former Olympic Silver Medalist, became a minor champion in July of 2009, winning the vacant WBO Inter-Continental middleweight title knocking out Brazil’s John “Renatinho” Anderson de Souza, 19-3-1, in two rounds in Nuerburg, Germany.
Two fights later, in October of 2010, GGG won the WBA Interim-middleweight title knocking out Colombia’s Milton “El Misal” Nune, 21-1-1, in the first round in Panama City, Panama.
In GGG’s next fight, he won the WBA Middleweight title knocking out Colombian Nelson “Blade” Tapia, 14-2-1, in three rounds in Astana, KAZ, where GGG was from. It improved his record to 20-0 with 18 knockouts.
GGG added the vacant IBO World title knocking out Philadelphia’s LaJuan Simon, 23-3-2, in the first round in Germany.
In January of 2012, I was at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York when my to-this-day favorite active fighter GGG stopped another Philadelphian, Gabe “King” Rosado, whom I interviewed prior to the fight asking why he didn’t go for the super welterweight title where he was No. 1 instead of the knockout artist GGG. He said he would be famous if he won. I thought to myself, “no way you would beat GGG!” Except for half a round, he was beat up being stopped in seven rounds. I also called Philadelphia’s Dhafir Smith, who was a sparring partner for GGG, and he said, “Ken, he hit’s like a heavyweight!” Another Philly boxer Farah Ennis was also a sparring partner and I asked how he was doing, and he said, “he’s kicking the shit out of me!”
In October of 2014, GGG added the WBC Interim title knocking out Marco Antonio Rubio, 59-6-1, in two rounds in Carson, Nevada. In October 2015, GGG added the IBF title, stopping Canada’s David Lemieux, 34-2, in eight rounds in Madison Square Garden.
In March of 2017, GGG had his twenty-three knockout streak stopped when he won a close decision over Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 32-1, in Madison Square Garden.
In September, in one of the most disputed decisions I have ever witnessed, GGG was held to a majority draw due to one of the arguably worst judges in boxing, in this writer’s opinion, Adalaide Byrd, giving the decision to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 49-1-1, 118-110, even though GGG chased Alvarez for the last seven rounds. A just decision, and you might be asking Canelo who?
For some reason, GGG, in the rematch a year later, decided to box instead of going after the knockout and lost a majority decision that it would take four years to get his deserved rematch. That brings us up to date, except GGG won the WBA and IBF titles when Alvarez moved up to super middleweight.
In October 2019, GGG won the IBF and IBO World titles defeating Sergiy Derevyanchenko, 13-1, in Madison Square Garden, and it was evident he wasn’t the same fighter before the Alvarez rematch. In April 2022, GGG went to Japan and stopped WBA world champion Ryota Murata 16-2.
Then after four years, came the rematch, with Alvarez losing a close decision in Las Vegas, Nevada, thanks to Alvarez’s promoters kept GGG from getting hoping he would be too old to defeat the younger Alvarez, and both looked old in that one.
Now 42-2-1 with 37 knockouts, the 40-year-old GGG’s career has been in limbo for the past six months.