Is Golovkin Hall Of Fame Worthy?
By Mohamed Horomtallah: As the twilight of Golovkin’s career is upon us, the general consensus seems to be the fact that the Kazakh is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Making the hall of fame is the reward for a career full of significant accomplishments inside the ring and, sometimes, outside of it.
When considering Golovkin’s for the highest honor in boxing, one must dissect his accomplishments. A look at his resume reveals that out of the 45 professional bouts he’s had in his career, so far, he’d only faced 4 relevant names: Kell Brook, Daniel Jacobs, Canelo, and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Yes, four names, throughout an entire career.
As soon as he upped his level of opposition, Golovkin has looked average at best. He never made a statement in those fights. He didn’t knock down or even hurt Canelo in the first fight, and he suffered a serious beating in the rematch, clearly refusing the “Mexican style” he was begging for all these years.
Kell Brook outboxed him until the two weight classes difference caught up with him while Jacobs and Derevyanchenko beat him, according to this author as well as many, many others.
One must then ask the question: how come a fighter with a resume like this, a fighter that never had a signature win, can even be considered for the hall of fame?
Meet Abel Sanchez! The Mexican trainer figured out immediately how to market Golovkin with a clear end goal in sight. That goal had nothing to do with legacy. It was exclusively about how to get to the life-changing money that comes with big fights.
Sanchez took advantage of HBO and the mainstream media betting on east European fighters taking over boxing, and he made sure Golovkin was part of the three musketeers: Kovalev, Lomachenko, and Golovkin.
He knew that HBO and the mainstream media will be behind his fighter because they were thirsty for a change at the top of the boxing food chain.
Sanchez then came up with a brilliant, maybe even genius, marketing strategy: have Golovkin, a good fighter with a granite chin, start knocking out lesser competition while “the machine” hyped him up. It worked like a charm.
Pretty soon, Jim Lampley and co. started labeling Golovkin as an all-time great, claiming he was even better than the late Hagler.
But Sanchez was not done yet painting his hype job masterpiece! In order to win the Mexican fan base, he instructed Golovkin to start repeating, after every fight, the catchphrases he concocted for him: “big drama show,” “Mexican style,” etc. He even went as far as to have Golovkin pose for pictures with the Mexican national soccer team Jersey and say “gracias” here and there.
Sanchez put the final touches by claiming that Golovkin would beat anyone from 154 to 175 pounds. Mission accomplished! The fans ate it up, and “the machine” was at Golovkin’s service, hyping him up even more and, most importantly, protecting him at all costs!
That came in handy when Ward, at 168, and Lara, at 154, called him out, and he declined facing both despite the huge impact and the legacy points that would’ve came with wins against two of the best pound-for-pound fighters at the time.
Not only that, but it was in direct contradiction with the ”we can beat anyone from 154 to 175” claim made by Sanchez, whose only excuse was that black fighters don’t sell when in fact, what he really meant was “we didn’t work this hard to hype this guy up only to have him outclassed by Ward or embarrassed by Lara when we are so close to our ultimate goal: a Canelo payday!”
HBO and the mainstream media came to the rescue like a high school principal stepping in to protect a bullied student. They ignored Lara’s challenge, and they forced Ward to move up to 175 to face their musketeer at that weight: Kovalev.
Golovkin never won titles in different weight classes, never had a memorable fight, strictly operating behind the safety of his jab when the opposition got tougher, and, most importantly, he never separated himself from good fighters, nor did he have a single signature win! All he managed to accomplish in his biggest tests was to look like a decent fighter with a good chin. In other words: ordinary.
During his ring walk for the second Canelo fight, Jim Lampley said that if Golovkin didn’t win this fight, his entire career would be a failure. Lampley’s patience was being tested, and he wanted a return on the investment HBO and the mainstream media made on the Kazakh. They overlooked one minor detail: you can never have a return on a hype job!
At the end of the day, Golovkin is a product that was designed by Sanchez, manufactured by HBO and the mainstream media but never came across as advertised. Mayweather, who probably has the highest boxing IQ ever, said it best: Golovkin is straight up and down, with no special effects!
We all know what happened after that second Canelo fight. Golovkin signed a lucrative deal with DAZN in pursuit of a third Canelo’s payday, fighting nobodies and avoiding anybody with a pulse, with the exception of Derevyanchenko, a fight he lost in the eyes of many.
He revealed his true face with the DAZN deal, showing no gratitude nor loyalty by ditching Sanchez instead of giving him his well-earned 10% and abandoning his trademark “big drama show” and “Mexican style”. After all, those were just means to an end and he no longer needed them.
Golovkin was all smiles after his second loss to Canelo, praising him and just being happy to be there. Why wouldn’t he? Didn’t he just con the entire boxing world, making huge paydays and getting praise for absolutely no accomplishments? Golovkin has conned boxing.
I sometimes fantasize about having HBO, the mainstream media, and Golovkin’s fans in the witness stand just to ask them the following: is this the fighter you told us was an all-time great? Is this the fighter that’s better than Hagler? IS THIS YOUR KING?
When it’s all said and done, Golovkin will go down in history as a heavily hyped good fighter with a solid chin and a punch but who never accomplished anything noteworthy in the sport of boxing.
Is he worthy of the hall of fame? The answer is no. Absolutely not.
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