SAN DIEGO, March 29, 2013 – Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin of Kazakhstan is the kind of boxer fans love. The WBA middleweight champion is a hard-hitting knockout machine who brings the action. He’s fan friendly, smart and engaging. He knows it’s not enough to win. He recognizes that his role is equal parts entertainer as it is athlete.
Golovkin wants to be an elite star of the sport and he’s got what it takes. Forget Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. He wants the kind of following previously reserved for the great heavyweights. It was no coincidence during a recent lunch for boxing writers Golovkin was wearing a hoodie with Mike Tyson’s picture on it.
Golovkin has moved to Big Bear, California from Germany to train with Abel Sanchez. He’s worked hard to learn English, and in six months he’s become good enough to conduct his own interviews without an interpreter. He has an easy genuine smile and he appears to have no baggage. His work ethic is without question.
But all of this rests on the foundation of Golovkin’s tremendous punching power, the same kind of power that made Tyson a star. The man hits hard. Really hard. It’s created a dilemma. Golovkin’s knockout skills are so intimidating that he has trouble drawing worthy opponents.
This explains why Golovkin (25-0, 22 KOs), 30, will put his title up against 37-year-old Japanese former world champion Nobuhiro Ishida (24-8-2, 9 KOs), headlining a pay-per-view event from Monte Carlo called the “Monaco Million Dollar Super Four” tournament this Saturday, March 30, starting at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.
Sure, Monte Carlo is delightful this time of year, but in boxing it’s not New York City, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles. But if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. Ishida was willing to take Golovkin on, and with no other worthy opponents in the pipeline Golovkin would rather get in the ring, stay active, and keep his name in front of the public. He wants to fight five times this year. It’s an admirable attitude and it is something more fighters should embrace.
While no one expects Ishida to win, he’s a professional who gives a good effort and he has never been knocked out. That’s more than enough motivation for Golovkin to put on a show.
Ishida’s most notable win was a 2011 victory over James Kirkland. Ishida says, “My mentality is like a samurai. If I lose, I die. If I lose, I might retire. So this is war.”
Golovkin began 2013 winning his debut at Madison Square Garden, defeating Gabriel Rosado. Golovkin’s team couldn’t get a guaranteed date for a televised bout on HBO until June, so Golovkin accepted the bout on Saturday in Monte Carlo. Assuming he wins in impressive fashion, next up could be an opponent like Ireland’s Michael Macklin or Germany’s Felix Sturm.
Golovkin fans will be looking down the road for a bout against a bigger name. Prospects of fighting the winner of the Canelo Alvarez – Austin Trout contest at 154 pounds is unlikely due to the war between Showtime/Golden Boy Promotions and HBO/Top Rank. More likely: either Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. or Sergio Martinez after their anticipated rematch, but it might not happen until early 2014. That’s a dream fight for many fans between two hard hitting warriors.
Until then, Golovkin will take on all challengers, fight anyone HBO puts in front of him, continue to polish his English, meet and greet the fans, and keep scoring knockouts.
Any chance to see Golovkin is not to be missed. Of Saturday’s bout, Golovkin says, “It will be a good fight. I’ll make sure it’s a good fight. I like a big show. For me it’s good. A knockdown, doesn’t matter. I want to show drama. I want spectacle. “
Aside from the Golovkin vs. Ishida bout, the rest of the pay-per-view should provide good boxing entertainment for the $24.95 price tag. The organizers are staging 10-round semifinals called the “Super Four.” Those fights include unbeaten super middleweight contenders Edwin Rodriguez (22-0, 15 KOs) of the U.S. and Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (19-0, 13 KOs) of Argentina; and former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Zsolt Erdei (33-0, 18 KOs) of Hungary against Denis Grachev (12-1-1, 8 KOs), a Russian now living in San Diego at light heavyweight.
The winners fight each other on July 13 in Monte Carlo at a catchweight maximum of 171.5 pounds. They split the million dollar pursue 60/40.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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