The Bittersweet Rise of Gennady Golovkin

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Just hours prior to writing this article I happened to be listening to the calming rhythm of “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve. This song, in many ways relates to the cruel realities in the lives on many. As it’s intent. It’s engraved as one of the biggest “one hit wonders” of the modern era. This feature is more applicable to both Matthew Macklin and Gennady Golovkin. Golovkin more so. Let me explain.

There were a hungry pack of 160lbers out there in 2010-2011. Sergio Martinez had just butchered his way past former lineal Middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik. Sebastian Sylvester and Felix Sturm were still at the top level — cowering away from risky foes with Golovkin. Many, like Sturm and Sylvester couldn’t suffer a gigantic woe in their careers. Both men were criticized for sticking in their homelands for financial purposes — and the added safety cushion of course.

Golovkin, a young man from Kazakhstan was known to hardcore fans as the future of boxing. He was one of boxing’s best kept secrets. His career was engorged with hype. After scratching up K.O. wins to Milton Nunez, Nelson Tapia, and Kassim Ouma, he was made mandatory to Sturm. In the eyes of most Sturm blatantly ducked and avoided any negotiations of the fight. The route was impossible. Instead of the WBA taking action — they simply gave Golovkin a “Regular” belt an promoted Sturm to a “Super” champion. Enough to ice the heat of team Golovkin and his protesting fans.

After scoring a brutal first-round finish of the usually durable LaJuan Simon in December of 2011 and slathering up the title hopes of Makoto Fuchigama just months later, Golovkin was brought the US. After many opponents refused his pleas Golovkin finally booked WBO champion Dmitry Pirog of Russia. Pirog suffered a back injury in the lead up so Golovkin faced Polish boxer Gzegorz Proksa on short notice. Golovkin game out like a wrecking ball — beating down Proksa with a series of knockdowns and a fifth round TKO.

After this epic win, nobody wanted Golovkin. So many people were impressed with “GGG”. He has since fought (and beaten) fringe contenders Gabriel Rosado and Nobuhiro Ishida. Nobody was accepting the offers — Golovkin had to step down in class!

There is one man who holds no fear to even the best. He’s a man who went toe-to-toe with and nearly upset Argentinian Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez — yes, his name is Matthew “The Knife” Macklin. Macklin is one of the few men who holds no concerns to the warnings of others. Macklin wants an opportunity.

After a devastating twelfth-round stoppage defeat against Martinez, Macklin rebounded in stopping Joachim Alcine in one impressive round on the Martinez-Chavez undercard last September. He’s been out for nine months! Why? The right fights. They haven’t come up. Nobody likes a high-risk low-reward bout. A sweet knockout has a bitter change reaction. A good taste for the fans — a bad one for the potential opponents.

Now, they have found each other. A twelve round throwdown is on the table for June 29th, live on HBO. Don’t miss it.

Corey Quincy

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Corey Quincy

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