There is no stopping Gennady Golovkin. Think about it. Is there a fighter in the sport of boxing today with a brighter future than him?
The undefeated middleweight from Kazakhstan is smack dab in the middle of his rise to the apex of his chosen craft. While Sergio Martinez is considered by most serious observers of the sweet science to be the true and lineal middleweight champion, Golovkin is probably considered everything else: best, most exciting and scariest.
Golovkin might not agree with that last part. The affable champion, who has as bright a smile as any Hollywood heartthrob in the world, says he’s not scary at all.
“This is not true,” Golovkin told Bleacher Report. “I am a nice guy. I am a good boy.”
It’s hard to argue with a man who is frequently covered in his opponents’ blood as he sends them to the blue canvas with concussive force. Rather, it’s probably safer not to argue with such a man, no matter how safe one might feel talking to him on the phone from many miles away.
Still, Golovkin is all those things, and he’s gained so much momentum in his career already that it’s difficult to imagine him becoming anything but one of the very best champions in the history of whatever division he chooses to fight in. Right now, that’s middleweight.
Is that a bit presumptuous? Probably. But Golovkin appears to be that good.
So good, in fact, that Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, said it was hard for him to get top-flight middleweight contenders inside the ring against Golovkin.
“That’s the hard part,” said Loeffler. “The easy part is that Gennady will fight anybody. The hard part is finding opponents that will get into the ring with him. I’ve said this a number of times in press conferences, but we put Gennady in with the best fighters at that particular time that were willing to get in the ring with him.”
Loeffler named two such instances to support his claim. He said two former WBA middleweight champions, Felix Sturm and Daniel Geale, did everything in their power to not face Golovkin when he was their mandatory challenger. Loefller said Geale actually went so far as to let the WBA strip him of his title to avoid facing Golovkin.
“It was a very frustrating time for Gennady,” said Loeffler.
For his part, Golovkin wouldn’t say Sturm, Geale or any other middleweight offered a fight against him was afraid. Why won’t they fight him, then?
“I don’t know,” said Golovkin. “Really, who knows?”
Times have changed, though. Golovkin is currently both the WBA and IBO middleweight champion. More importantly, he’s ranked the No. 1 contender to Sergio Martinez’s lineal middleweight throne by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and he is fast becoming one of HBO’s premier-level stars.
With Loeffler and television giant HBO behind him, Golovkin’s pool of potential opponents continues to grow.
“Gabriel Rosado was a very tough fighter that fought Gennady in January at Madison Square Garden in New York,” said Loeffler. “Matthew Macklin was considered one of the top middleweights in the world just having fought Sergio Martinez the year before and being in a very competitive fight with him. And Gennady was really able to shine against Macklin, who was one of the top middleweights.
"Ever since the Macklin fight, Gennady has taken off quite a bit...he had the highest rated Two Days special on HBO in their history of boxers, and now he’s coming back to Madison Square Garden...it’s really taken a life of its own.”
Golovkin’s continued ascension is good news for fight fans. Loeffler and Bernie Bahrmasel, one of boxing’s top public relations reps, told Bleacher Report Golovkin surprised the suits over at HBO with his willingness to fight anybody.
Last year, before Golovkin’s Round 5 destruction of Grzegorz Proska, Bahrmasel said Golovkin was given a list of 30 potential opponents. The men ranged from 154 to 168 pounds and were the kind of names you’d expect a television giant would be willing to put on the air.
Golovkin said he’d fight every single one of them. No restrictions. Anywhere. Anytime.
“He’s fearless,” said Bahrmasel. “HBO said they had never seen something like that before.”
“Even if there is a compelling fight at a higher division or a lower division, that is something Gennady has said he’d take as well.”
Golovkin faces hard-punching contender Curtis Stevens Saturday, November 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The bout will be televised live on HBO beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET.
The result should be explosive. Stevens is a big puncher who has scored knockout wins in three of his last four fights.
“Stevens is definitely considered a big puncher as well,” said Loeffler. “It’s going to be an exciting fight.”
Loeffler said Golovkin expects to stay busy. His bout with Stevens will be his fourth of 2013.
“If he performs the way he can perform, we’re really looking for four fights next year in 2014. He’s really becoming the breakout star...”
It’s hard not to believe him. Golovkin seems a man meant for big things. His technical ability is tremendous. He was a 2004 Olympic silver medalist, and he possesses the kind of power most fighters can only dream about.
If the middleweight division is a question, Golovkin seems the answer. And that’s good news, because Golovkin will fight anybody. Anywhere. Anytime. And he’ll probably win, too.
Kelsey McCarson is a boxing writer for Bleacher Report and TheSweetScience.com. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.