When the fight between knockout artist and The Ring magazine middleweight (160 pounds) champion Gennady Golovkin and International Boxing Federation welterweight title holder Kell Brook was announced a few months back, I literally mocked the bout because I saw a huge mismatch.
But I still credited Brook for demonstrating raw courage by taking on a very dangerous opponent in Golovkin whose record now stands at 36-0 with 33 knockouts. Brook’s record is now 36-1 with 25 KOs after losing via fifth-round stoppage to Golovkin on September 10 in London. Brook’s corner threw in the towel after their fighter took successive hard shorts from the Kazakh fighter.
After the bout, Floyd Mayweather Jr. said Brook still earned his respect and saw the fight as “very, very close,” according to the story “Floyd Mayweather respects Kell Brook for taking on GGG” published in skysports.com.
I saw replays of the fight and I must say Brook also earns my respect because I was expecting a one-sided beating that would last three rounds at the most. Instead, Brook had his moments and even rocked Golovkin with his uppercuts, among others.
While it was evident Golovkin was doing some damage from the early rounds, with Brook sustaining a broken eye socket and his right vision suffering from the second round, there was no sign the British fighter was going to surrender easily. And Mayweather, according to the skysports.com article, even believed Brook was a little bit ahead when the fight was stopped.
The fight even exposed a chink in the armor of Golovkin, who has a string of stoppages over legitimate middleweight contenders; he can be rocked by a less powerful fighter and his defense is porous. And come to think of it, Brook climbed from welterweight to middleweight, or a jump of 13 pounds that I considered suicidal beforehand.
I also found it unbelievable that Golovkin could not put down Brooks for good, considering the fighter from Kazakhstan is just coming off stoppage and knockout wins over legitimate middleweights.
If there is anybody who may be laughing or snickering at how Brook-Golovkin unfolded, it would be Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1 with 34 KOs) who stopped in the ninth round over the weekend fringe contender Liam Smith (23-1-1 with 13 KOs). Imagine if it was Alvarez, the World Boxing Organization world middleweight champion, who was landing punches on Golovkin and not Brook during the September 10 fight?
Besides his taking some of Brook’s best shots (and of all punches, uppercuts!), Golovkin showed he sometimes loses composure when he gets tagged more then once.
Golovkin’s win over Brook over the weekend only shows he still has much to prove to become one of the legends in the middleweight division, which has a very colorful history.
I mean, Marvin Hagler destroyed Thomas Hearns in three rounds on April 15, 1985 despite getting a nasty cut in the first round of their epic bout. Hearns would later beat in another memorable bout John “The Beast” Mugabi via an 11th-round knockout. When Mugabi stepped into the ring with Hagler on March 10, 1986, his record was 26-0 with 26 KOs.
Bernard Hopkin’s stopping Felix Trinidad on September 29, 2001 in the 12th and last round was also one for the books, because Trinidad entered the bout with a record of 40-0 with 33 KOs and defended his world welterweight title 16 times before annexing titles at super welterweight (154 pounds) and middleweight.
So it’s obvious Golovkin’s invincibility has been tarnished by Brooks. Mayweather’s comments after the fight giving credit to Brooks also does not help boost Golovkin’s stock.
It’s usually hard to give credit to a boxer who loses by stoppage. But in this case, Brooks deserves some credit for showing Golovkin is not really invincible.