In my column last week, I did not hold back my criticism of unbeaten knockout artist Gennady Golovkin (37-0 with 33 KOs) who the weekend beat Daniel Jacobs (32-2 with 29 KOs) via unanimous decision.
While Golovkin registered a knockdown in the fight, the Kazakh fighter’s weaknesses were clearly exposed. By beating the taller Jacobs, Golovkin added the World Boxing Association middle weight (160 pounds) title to his WBA super world middleweight title and World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation (IBF) world middleweight titles.
I ended my column stating Golovkin should register a more resounding win in his next outing, so his rather not impressive showing in his last two fights will be forgotten by fight fans.
Before winning over Jacobs, Golovkin needed five rounds to stop IBF world welterweight (147 pounds) champion Kell Brook in a fight that saw Golovkin getting tagged by clean shots, like upper cuts (all of the punches!).
I may sound like a broken record saying that I expected the Brook-Golovkin fight ending in a massacre, because, among others, the IBF welterweight champion was jumping 13 pounds to challenge Golovkin for the middleweight crowns.
So what is exciting about Golovkin fighting World Boxing Organization (WBO) middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, who has a record of 24-0 with 12 knockouts? This fight is now being finalized by promoters. And I could not believe it!
I stated in my last column that the fighter who has the best chance of beating Golovkin is counter puncher Erislandy Lara from Cuba. Lara is the anti-thesis of Golovkin, because he lots of movement, and is a very accurate counter puncher. Just look at how Lara gave Canelo Alvarez a nightmare of a fight that the Mexican won by a very close decision.
Although he beat Lara, Alvarez could not land as many clean punches on Lara’s head and instead went for body punches. But Lara landed more head punches on Alvarez. Some fight fans even saw the fight going either way.
What I admired in Alvarez in his fight against Lara is he never lost composure and stuck to his game plan of landing more body punches on Lara. But from what I saw in the Golovkin-Brooks fight, the Kazakh fighter can sometimes lose his composure that allowed Brooks to land a good number of upper cuts.
So what can Golovkin gain from beating Saunders? For sure, he could add another knockout win and show to the world that he still has stopping power. And there’s the WBO crown.
The worse thing that can happen to Golovkin when he fights Saunders is he wins via close decision or loses also by decision. And for sure, the camp of Alvarez, including his manager future Hall-of-Famer Oscar Dela Hoya, would laugh their hearts out.
But what if Golovkin stops Saunders? For sure, the skeptics will say that is expected.
So expect Golovkin to have little to gain and a lot to lose against Saunders.
Dismiss the fact that Saunders holding the WBO belt makes him a marquee fighter, because with so many boxing organizations today, it is very hard to identify who is the real champion in a division. And if there is any consolation for Golovkin, he has many world middleweight championship belts.
Saunders may be ranked No. 4 in The Ring rankings for middleweight, but I wonder if that carries a lot of weight. Not surprisingly, Alvarez is The Ring champion for middleweight with Golovkin ranked the No. 1 contender.
So what can you expect from Saunders-Golovkin? I hate to answer that question.