Why Gennady Golovkin Is the New Breed of Fighter

Kelsey McCarsonFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2013

Can anyone defeat this man?
Can anyone defeat this man?Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Undefeated middleweight monster Gennady Golovkin is just what boxing needs. The Kazakhstan-born menace known by fight fans as “GGG,” is fast becoming one of the biggest superstars in the sport, and for all the right reasons to boot.

Golovkin is tomorrow’s star, today. He represents a new breed of tough-as-nails fighting seemingly born and bred to annihilate foes inside the ring with brutal, machine-like precision while simultaneously wearing the affable grin of a young boy.

This isn’t just good TV. It’s great.

Golovkin absolutely demolished former title challenger Matthew Macklin last Saturday night in shocking fashion. It wasn’t just that he beat the rough-and-tumble Macklin, but how. Golovkin systematically destroyed Macklin with remarkable ease. The poor kid never had a chance.

Macklin, nicknamed “The Knife," appeared to come to the ring woefully unprepared to face perhaps the middleweight division’s perfect prizefighting machine. It was truly as if he had brought a knife to a gun fight.

Golovkin looked fantastic, and everyone took note.

The Sweet Science’s Michael Woods noted fight fan reactions he observed through Twitter.

The severity of the shot, the promise of power, has fight fans positively salivating. Golovkin jumped into Must See territory on this night, and I think it might be safe to say that he is considerably tougher than he showed in his last scrap, against Gabriel Rosado, because on that night he was sick. People are taking to Twitter comparing Golovkin's power to Mike Tyson, seeing him taking out Floyd Mayweather, AND Andre Ward...on the same night! OK, maybe not the same a fight featuring this principal, even if the last time they watched boxing was when Tyson was campaigning. We may well have seen the birth of a boxing superstar on this night, in Connecticut.

It’s true. Golovkin went from a slight unknown to almost folk-hero status in less than three rounds on Saturday. Not only do people want to see him fight again (and soon), but they want to see him against the very best the sport has to offer.

After witnessing GGG’s beatdown of Macklin, Bleacher Report’s Lyle Fitzsimmons concluded Golovkin might already be considered the top middleweight in the world, no matter what Martinez’s lineal championship has to say on the matter.

And while the 38-year-old Martinez is the rightful darling of the lineal championship crowd based on a 2010 dethroning of consensus top man Kelly Pavlik and six straight subsequent wins, it’d be hard to argue that Golovkin, now 31, hasn’t at least reached undisputed No. 2 status in the division, if not more.

Heck, even the man he unceremoniously dumped to the canvas in agony was singing his praises after the fight. Take note. Macklin has been in with some of the best middleweights in the world. He went toe-to-toe with Sergio Martinez last March before succumbing to the brilliant southpaw in the 11th Round, and he seemed to outslug then-titleholder Felix Sturm back in 2011, no matter what the official judges had to say. 

No one had done this to him before. No one.

Macklin thanked his fans via Twitter:

Thanks to everyone for all the good luck messages before the fight and well wishes after. Sorry, I didn't do better, but GGG didn’t let me into the fight. GGG is by far the best I've ever been in a ring with. It'll be a while before anyone beats him at 160! Don't see anyone out there beating him at the minute.

But why’s Golovkin so hard to beat? He’s only human, right? (Seriously, I’m asking.)

Golovkin was an accomplished amateur before he turned pro. He was a 2004 Olympic silver medalist with an overall record of 350-5.

Perhaps more importantly, though, Golovkin’s impressive amateur skills have translated nicely to the pro game. Unlike some making the jump, Golovkin has used the defensive-minded amateur approach to augment his superhuman power, not stifle it.

He’s a rare breed.

Golovkin is perfectly balanced at all times. He strides confidently towards his opponent with quick steps meant to put his man in position to get hit. On his way there, Golovkin slips and slides his way out of any sort of offense headed back to him. On Saturday, Macklin threw punches that never seemed to land flush on someone who was literally standing right in front of him.

It’s no accident.

Once he has his opponent where he wants him, Golovkin has the skill to know what punches to throw and when to throw them. His precision and accuracy is unparalleled save but by the very best in the sport, and he has the kind of pop in his fists that even Joe Louis would be proud of.

Simply put, Gennady Golovkin is a new breed of fighter. He’s a slick defender with fancy footwork who uses his impressive skill set to stalk his opponents into the ground. It’s something rarely seen, at least in this day and age in the sport, and it’s a welcome evolution to a sport looking to draw interest from mainstream fans easily drawn in by the siren song of mixed martial arts.

Golovkin isn’t just a hot name for the now. Gennady Golovkin is the future of boxing, and the future is bright. And scary.