Undefeated middleweight monster Gennady Golovkin has been trolling boxing waters for a big fight for what seem like eons now, and it appears he’s finally close to reeling one in.
According to the Daily Mail's Jeff Powell (h/t ESPN.com), negotiations between Golovkin and former 168-pound titleholder Carl Froch are underway for a bout in front of the Englishman’s home crowd at Wembley Stadium in London.
It’s exactly the kind of fight Golovkin needs if he hopes to secure lucrative pay-per-view fights down the line against the likes of Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez and Andre Ward, bouts that could potentially launch fan favorite Golovkin’s career into the stratosphere of superstardom.
Golovkin has won 30 of his 33 professional fights by knockout, including the last 20 in a row. He is a sharp-punching pressure fighter who is adept at tracking down his opponents quickly and putting them down to the canvas.
TheSweetScience.com’s Frank Lotierzo sees the middleweight attacker as a throwback fighter, one too strong and too skilled for any other middleweight fighter in the world to handle right now:
The sport of boxing has opened its arms to Gennady Golovkin because he is a real fighter and delivers action packed bouts every time out. Hopefully his arrival will swing the pendulum back to the era when the best fought the best and high profile bouts ended via stoppage as opposed to boring decisions where everybody argues over who really won for the next month. Gennady is just too strong for any active middleweight to hold off and attempt to box, which all but insures his bouts will always at some point become a fight, and that's what fans want to see.
Cue the apparently brave and strong-willed Froch, one of the more accomplished 168-pounders in the history of the division—a man who is still the clear No. 2 fighter at the weight behind lineal champion Ward.
Froch, age 37, has won five straight bouts (four by knockout) since losing a unanimous decision to Ward three years ago. His resume is one of the best of the entire era.
He’s a crafty fighter who possesses an awkward style honed to deliver knockout punches with thunderous velocity. Moreover, Froch is one of the more popular fighters in the United Kingdom.
He hasn’t entered the ring in more than a year, but he did so then in front of 80,000 rabid fight fans for his Round 8 knockout win over George Groves.
His promoter, Eddie Hearn, told Powell (h/t ESPN.com) they’d expect the same kind of crowd for the proposed Golovkin fight.
And why not?
Golovkin is fast becoming one of the boxing world’s favorite stars. Despite his inability to attract other superstar fighters to accept bouts against him, presumably because he appears virtually unbeatable at middleweight, Golovkin has made his case for becoming boxing’s next big megastar after the era of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao passes.
His action-packed, fan-friendly style makes him attractive to the largest fanbase possible in the sport, and he’s quietly put together one of the better middleweight title runs in history.
Golovkin’s Round 6 knockout win over Willie Monroe Jr. earlier this month was the 14th consecutive defense of his WBA middleweight title. The win knotted him in second place all-time with Carlos Monzon behind Bernard Hopkins' record of 20.
But Golovkin needs big fights against brand-name opponents if he hopes to become a legitimate boxing superstar. Notable middleweight star and lineal champion Miguel Cotto has seemed as reluctant to share a ring with him as his predecessor, Sergio Martinez, was during his long title reign.
That does not appear to be changing anytime soon.
And while a proposed future megafight with Alvarez seems a good bet for down the line, the bout doesn’t quite make sense until the 24-year-old Alvarez grows into the middleweight division.
As suggested by Bleacher Report’s Lyle Fitzsimmons, it’s time for Golovkin, age 33, to get creative when it comes to landing big-money fights. The easiest way for him to do that is by moving up in weight and fighting the biggest and baddest man he can find.
At 168 pounds, short of the defending Ward, the best available option and sternest test for Golovkin is Froch. He may also be Golovkin’s most lucrative choice.
It’s the right move at the right time for boxing’s favorite knockout artist.