There are many certainties in boxing- Miguel Cotto will always sell out Madison Square Garden, Roman Gonzalez will always remain underrated and underappreciated, Floyd Mayweather will always fight in Vegas and Bernard Hopkins will defy the odds. Oh, and Gennady Golovkin aka GGG will always win by knockout. Line ‘em up, and he’ll knock ‘em out.
We learned two things on Saturday night- Sunday afternoon for me since I’m in Tokyo:
- Gennady Golovkin is a bona-fide boxing superstar who has been adopted by Mexican fans because he fights “Mexican Style”.
- GGG-isms have common amongst hardcore boxing fans. Phrases like “big drama show” and “good boy” flooded the twittersphere in the wake of his most recent fight. A two-round demolition of the always-game and 60+ fight veteran Marco Antonio Rubio, but we’ll get to that.
THE AXEMAN COMETH
As usual I start with the undercard, or in this case, the “co-feature”. Multi-weight world champion and 2012 fighter of the year Nonito Donaire, now a featherweight, faced off against the young, strong undefeated Nicholas Walters of Jamaica. Walters was coming off of a powerful victory over Vic Darchinyan, and was looking to add another scalp to his collection with this against Donaire. Walters, aka The Axeman, is one of the biggest featherweights ever. His athleticism, natural power and 73 inch reach make him a danger to every fighter in the division. He had the size and reach advantage over Donaire, but could he handle the Filipino Flash’s power? The simple answer: yes. In the second round of the fight Donaire landed a trademark left hook that made Walters do a chicken dance, but not fall. That’s the difference between featherweight and bantamweight. Donaire has knocked out so many in the lower classes with that punch but a dude the size of Walters would need three or four of those hooks to completely wipe him out. Those hooks didn’t come. And falling to the canvas for the first time in his glittering career courtesy of a perfect right uppercut, Nonito had no answers. Walters dominated him with his jab and body punching to set up a perfect right cross to the temple to knock the Flash out. The Axeman has arrived and is now ready for any featherweight around… Walters vs. Lomachenko anyone?
In the main event, GGG knocked Rubio out in two. There isn’t much more to say. Rubio didn’t belong in the ring with him and Golovkin will continue to walk through these guys until the real middleweight/super middleweight players step up. Even then, I reckon Canelo Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, Carl Froch and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. would all get “good-boyed” by the Kazakh monster. The only fighter who I think could beat Golovkin is Andre Ward, but he’s busy fighting in the courtroom. So, why is this fight important? The answer is simple: it has transformed Golovkin into a major draw in boxing. His charming personality, goofy smile and willingness to fight anyone make him unique in a sport where the number one fighter is praised for fighting Marcos Maidana and Robert Guerrero. He is a breath of fresh air in a sport that has been held in a headlock by two fighters. Also, his punches send shockwaves through opponents. Literally (watch the Rubio knockout)… Team GGG are already working on his next fight and regardless who the opponent is, it will be a “Big Drama Show” and end with a devastating knockout.
COLD WAR THAWS
With Hopkins jumping ship to HBO and fighting Krusher Kovalev on November 8 following Canelo Alvarez signing a multi-fight deal with the network, Oscar De La Hoya has almost single-handedly ended the boxing Cold War. Although he hasn’t worked with Bob Arum on a major fight yet, the fact that he has left the boxing cartel run by Al Haymon and Showtime mean we can finally get some great fights in the coming year or two. Still, Al Haymon has so many fighters by the balls and he seems to only let his guys fight lower level opponents or other Haymon fighters… let’s hope he changes his mind because the fights that would be made if everyone is was on the same page would be spectacular. Don’t hold your breath though.
A quick note on the network battles- Showtime destroyed HBO in 2013, but HBO have slayed them this year by taking back their second biggest star in Alvarez. How many more will jump ship?