Appreciate Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin While You Still Can, He Won't Fight Forever

Ahead of his trilogy fight with 'Canelo', The Sportsman raises a glass to 'GGG'
07:00, 14 Sep 2022

You’ll miss him when he’s gone. The highlight-reel knockouts. The granite chin. The fact he has never shirked a single challenge. The fact he has never knowingly taken a backward step. There are not enough fighters like Gennady Golovkin in boxing today. Against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on Saturday, we may be watching the great ‘GGG’ for the last time.

It might seem churlish to write off Golovkin’s chances before a punch has been thrown in anger. That is not the purpose of this article. Rather it is a recommendation to savour one of the last true ring warriors fighting today before it is too late. At 40 years old, Golovkin will not be doing this much longer no matter Saturday’s result. The two-time and reigning middleweight champion of the world has had 44 fights, many of them draining wars of attrition. Even if he goes home with Alvarez’s undisputed super middleweight title this weekend, the clock is ticking.


Truthfully, the chances of Golovkin doing that are rather remote. These fighters have met before in two close, hotly-contested bouts. Their 2017 outing was called a draw while their rematch a year later was scored a majority decision in the favour of ‘Canelo’. Most observers felt Golovkin was extremely unlucky not to be given either decision. If you are looking for the motivation behind ‘GGG’ accepting this third fight, this is it.

But sadly, Golovkin is not as well equipped to beat Alvarez as he was four years ago. Make no mistake, the Kazakhstani knockout artist is still a formidable force. The 40-year-old has won all four of his fights since the last ‘Canelo meeting. He has unified two portions of the middleweight championship in the process. Even in his near-dotage, this is still a world class fighter in action.

But the chief difference between the ‘GGG’ of five years ago and the version fighting today is that now other world class fighters can trouble him. Ryota Murata had him in trouble during their showdown in Japan in April. Sergiy Derevyanchenko took him to the absolute limit in their 12-round war. ‘GGG’ used to walk through a boxer’s best punches before destroying them. He still walks through those shots, exhibiting one of the great chins, but he does so more unsteadily than before.


That makes him a barely-moving target for ‘Canelo’. There is a reason Golovkin was chosen to christen the Mexican’s super middleweight return after a failed campaign at light heavyweight. He’s a big name but he’s also a stationary target. Alvarez’s speedy, snapping volleys will find their target against ‘GGG’. And as the unavoidable encroachment of time continues, the great warrior is less able to fend them off.

Unless Golvokin springs the upset of upsets on Saturday night, this trilogy fight with ‘Canelo’ is not how we should remember him. Remember him as the relentless pressure-machine who gave Alvarez fits in their first two fights. Remember him as the scourge of British boxing, unapologetically taking the scalps of Matthew Macklin, Martin Murray and Kell Brook. Remember him as the middleweight monarch who needed a single round to wipe out Lajuan Simon and just two to scupper Marco Antonio Rubio. Remember him as the iconic fighter that proved too hot to handle for fighters as diverse as Daniel Jacobs, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr and Daniel Geale. In short: remember ‘GGG’ at his glorious, violent, captivating best.

Will Saturday bring another “big drama show” from Golovkin? In truth, probably not. But even if it doesn’t, ‘GGG’ have given boxing fans a lifetime of incredible memories. There aren’t enough fighters like Gennady Golovkin nowadays. You’ll miss him when he’s gone.

boxing odds via betfred*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

Suggested Searches:
The Sportsman
Manchester United
Manchester City
Premier League
Sportsman HQ
72-76 Cross St
Manchester M2 4JG
We will not ask you to provide any personal information when using The Sportsman website. You may see advertisement banners on the site, and if you choose to visit those websites, you will accept the terms and conditions and privacy policy applicable to those websites. The link below directs you to our Group Privacy Policy, and our Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at: [email protected]

All original material is Copyright © 2019 by The Sportsman Communications Ltd.
Other material is copyright their respective owners.