MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Three thoughts from WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin’s third round destruction of Matthew Macklin…
There are body shots, and there was that: If you’re a young fighter who thinks headhunting is how you score knockouts, save the footage of this fight. In the third round, after backing up and battering Macklin up for most of the first two, Golovkin (27-0) delivered one of the most savage body shots in boxing history, a perfectly placed left hook that was both precise and savage, and kept Macklin on the mat long after he was counted out.
Make no mistake: Macklin is a live opponent. He gave Sergio Martinez all he could ask for in a loss last year and was coming off a first-round knockout win over veteran Joachim Alcine. But he had no chance. Golovkin’s pressure was swarming, and Macklin was never given a chance to fight back.
“It was an easy fight for me,” Golovkin said. “He never hurt me. I felt great in the ring. I want to fight again as soon as possible. Any top fighter, any champion, any belt holder, anywhere.”
Said Macklin, “He’s the best I ever fought. He never let me get started.”
Anyone still think it’s hype? There had been this bizarre belief among some on the Internet that, perhaps, Golovkin was more hype than substance. Maybe it was his opponents—no superstars on that resume yet—or perhaps it was the way HBO has anointed him as its next star. Regardless, that debate should be over. The narrative tomorrow will be Golovkin’s power, and it should. “He has clubbing, solid power,” Macklin said. “You can feel the weight of every punch he throws.”
But Golovkin is so much more than just a power puncher. He fought 355 amateur fights, and won 350 of them. He is methodical, technical, accurate with every punch he throws. There is no wasted motion, no wasted energy. He is a complete fighter.
“People talk about punching power,” Andre Ward said. “He is always in position to punch. It’s from that Soviet system. He has a strong base, strong foundation. He puts a lot of pressure on people, and it starts with his feet. He gets into position, then is able to unload the big shot.”
Who’s next? Anyone? Bueller? Think any middleweight is eager to get in with Golovkin? After the fight, Golovkin was asked about Sergio Martinez, the 160-pound division’s money man who is out for the rest of the year with multiple injuries. Golovkin was all for it. Lou DiBella, Martinez’s promoter, was not.
“It’s not that its out of the question,” DiBella said. “But he’s not going to come off a 14-month layoff and fight this animal.”
Fortunately for Golovkin, he is going to start attracting some top opponents, thanks to HBO’s exposure. Exposure means money, and Golovkin’s license fees will continue to rise. Top Rank’s Bob Arum said he is open to a fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and IBF titleholder Daniel Geale—who fights on HBO in August—is another possibility. Even Ward is now warming to it; he told me after the fight that he has no problem fighting Golovkin, but said Golovkin’s team “doesn’t want it right now.”
In short: Golovkin is going to start getting bigger fights. And that’s good news for everybody.
– Chris Mannix