Friday, July 26, 2013

Chisora-Scott:How long until the Rematch?

The second step in the comeback of  Heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora came on July 20th when the former world title challenger entered the ring to face undefeated American Heavyweight contender Malik Scott in London, England.  Chisora who scored a ninth round stoppage of Hector Avila in April of this year was fighting for only the second time since suffering a fifth round knockout loss at the hands of two-division world champion David Haye in July of last year.
Although some may have questioned why Chisora who had lost three of his last four bouts would take on a crafty boxer such as Scott, it is worth noting that despite suffering four losses in his career Chisora was competitive in all of those fights and had only been stopped once. An argument of some could be that despite an undefeated record of 35-0-1, with 12 Knockouts coming into the fight with Chisora that questions of how good Malik Scott was may have been warranted. 
In his last bout prior to facing Chisora in February of this year, Scott was the victim of what some feel, this observer included was a bad decision in his draw with undefeated Ukrainian contender Vyacheslav Glazkov. In my view Scott out boxed Glazkov over the course of ten rounds, winning seven out of ten rounds on my unofficial scorecard. 
There were two questions that I had in my mind leading up to this fight.  Could Malik Scott use his lateral movement and quick hands to evade Chisora’s aggressive pressure style and box his way to victory or, would Chisora be able to effectively cut off the ring and nullify Scott’s movement before Scott could potentially build a lead on the scorecards? 
When the fight got underway it wasn’t surprising to see Scott establishing his jab as a focal point of his offense.  What was a bit surprising however was how effective Chisora was able to use his pressure style to get on the inside of Scott early in the fight.  In all honesty although I do not like to give solid predictions leading up to a fight, the way that I envisioned that Chisora could win this fight would be to gradually wear Scott down and possibly look for a late round stoppage. 
It was clear that Chisora’s pressure was bothersome for Scott. Chisora’s head movement in particular made it difficult for Scott to attempt to control the distance of the fight. Although Scott was able to get his punches off quickly, I wondered how the judges scoring would end up if the fight went to the scorecards. Round by round the fight was close as both Chisora and Scott were able to have their moments but as I have often said over the years in fights where there are many close rounds that could go either way, it will often boil down to what a judge prefers in their criteria of how they score.  It was clear that Scott threw more in volume. It was Chisora however who was the effective aggressor and who landed the harder punches when he did let his hands go. 
Despite the subject of scoring at the end of this fight being insignificant it was worth questioning as the rounds went on how the judges were scoring if the fight were to get that far.  Scott seemed to get the better of the action in rounds two, three, and five by being the more active of the two but he didn’t seem to be able to control the tempo of the fight as the rounds progressed.  Although I had Scott slightly ahead after five rounds by a margin of three rounds to two, I wondered whether Scott would be able to conserve his stamina. Chisora was not only the aggressor in this fight but he was the fighter who was dictating the pace and made his opponent fight at a pace where it was more to Chisora’s advantage. Simply put Chisora made Scott work. 
One thing that was also noticeable was that Scott was backing straight up into the ropes throughout the fight and was not able to execute movement from side to side consistently. This could likely be attributed to Chisora’s head movement and pressure as he came forward. Scott however was effective in spots where he was able to land and slip out of Chisora’s punching range. 
As the fight entered round six there was a sense that the fight was starting to heat up. At this stage in the fight Chisora appeared to be landing more punches particularly on the inside to the body and the head. To his credit, Scott was effective in tying Chisora up on the inside throughout and this seemed to give him the slight edge in the fight up to round six in what was a very competitive fight.   The fight would be brought to a sudden conclusion in the final seconds of round six when Chisora landed and overhand right that knocked Scott to the canvas.  Scott did not appear to be badly hurt however the fight was stopped as Referee Phil Edwards stopped the fight although Scott had clearly gotten up at the count of nine.
An appropriate quote that this observer has been known for saying frequently over the years when controversy emerges in the sport of Boxing “Like Peanut Butter and Jelly, Boxing and Controversy just go together…”  seems to fall in line with the controversial way in which this fight ended.  Although it may appear to some that this fight had ended under strange circumstances, it is not the first time that this observer has seen a bout ended in this manner. 
One such bout that immediately came to mind as I watched this fight conclude  was a Lightweight bout that took place on July 31.1991 between then undefeated rising prospect Rafael Ruelas and Mauro Gutierrez a journeyman who had fought sixty-four professional fights prior to taking on the 27-0 Ruelas.  The fight was ended when Gutierrez dropped Ruelas with a flush left hook to the jaw midway through the second round. Ruelas, on one knee took the count administered by Referee Chuck Hassett and arose from the knockdown at the count of ten as Hassett shouted “You’re out!” waving his arms signaling the end of the bout.  It was clear that although hit with a solid left hook that Ruelas did not appear badly hurt. Ruelas subsequently protested the stoppage. Ruelas misjudged the count by one second before getting up from the knockdown.
Almost twenty-two years to the day since the somewhat controversial end to that fight, the Dereck Chisora-Malik Scott fight ends under similar circumstances.  Unlike that fight twenty-two years ago however, replays of the count administered to Malik Scott by Referee Phil Edwards clearly showed that Scott had gotten up from the knockdown at the count of nine just as Edwards waved his arms signaling the end of the bout. 
Although it is clear that a full count of ten at least visually did not reach it’s full conclusion, perhaps Edwards thought that Scott would not arise from the knockdown when the count reached nine and simply made a judgment/discretionary call to stop the fight.  The anger of Scott’s corner following the stoppage is certainly understandable. It is equally understandable and somewhat expected under such circumstances to see Scott’s camp file a protest with the regulatory body which oversaw the bout, in this case the British Boxing Board of Control. (BBBofC)
It was no surprise to this observer in the days following the fight to see Scott’s camp file a protest with the BBBofC. In all honesty if I were involved with a fighter who had lost a fight under these particular circumstances, my reaction would probably be similar to the reaction of Scott’s camp.  After all, their fighter did indeed get up from the knockdown before the count was concluded and did appear to have all of his faculties.
What are the results likely to be of the protest?  From a speculative point of view such things that might come up in any potential hearing concerning this fight will probably revolve around the count of Referee Phil Edwards.  In the aftermath of this fight some have stated to this observer that they did not understand why Scott did not get up from the knockdown earlier in the count.
Only Malik Scott can answer that question however elements of crowd noise and trying to make sure the he (Scott) was okay before getting up from the knockdown could have played a factor.  This is one reason why referees in addition to verbally administering a count will also visually indicate a count with their fingers while verbally counting.  Did Malik Scott simply misjudge the count? Perhaps but even so he clearly was able to beat the count.  Although at minimum a video review of the closing moments of this fight by the BBBofC could take place, it is unlikely in the eyes of this observer under these circumstances that the official result of a sixth round knockout win for Dereck Chisora would be changed to a no contest/no decision. 

At the end of the day it is simply a judgment/discretionary call by the referee in question.  Unless something illegal had taken place such as an illegal punch that a referee did not see which may be cited as having caused a knockdown or something along the lines of a failed post-fight drug test, it is unlikely that a commission would overrule a referee for simply stopping a fight.  It simply boils down to a referee’s discretion whether a count was fully administered or not. 
If history has provided any basis for circumstances such as this, the best possible solution for all concerned would be for a rematch to be ordered by either the BBBofC or the World Boxing Organization (WBO) who sanctioned the bout for it’s International title in it’s Heavyweight ratings.  The bout was after all very competitive and was considered by almost all observers, this one included as a close contest at the time of the stoppage. So why not put a fair and just end to what some see as a controversy by mandating a rematch? 

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A look At The WBC World Middleweight Championship Situation

The World Boxing Council (WBC) recently announced the top four contenders that will take part in a tournament of sorts to determine the next mandatory challenger for current WBC Middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez.  By “Of Sorts” allow me to provide an explanation.  It was announced by the WBC that it has mandated current WBC number one rated Middleweight and longtime top Middleweight contender Marco Antonio Rubio to face former WBC Middleweight world champion and current WBC number two rated contender Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. in a rematch to determine interim status or “Interim champion.”

For the casual Boxing fan who may be a little confused, the term “Interim champion” basically means that whomever is the number one contender for a world championship is designated as having interim status. This means that if a world champion is unable to or refuses to meet the mandatory challenger, that challenger will often be named champion rather than being placed in an elimination bout between the top two contenders to determine a new champion for a vacant title.

While Rubio and Chavez will fight for interim status, current WBC number three rated contender Domenico Spada will face undefeated number four rated WBC contender Gilberto Ramirez with the winner to face the winner of the Rubio-Chavez rematch to determine a mandatory challenger for Sergio Martinez. 

The WBC has stated that it will not begin this process until the fighters involved complete bouts that they are already signed to. The sanctioning organization however has also stated that it will name another contender should one of the fighters lose in those bouts that are already signed. 

Chavez is tentatively scheduled to face WBC number five and World Boxing Organization (WBO) number one rated contender Brian Vera in a bout contracted to take place above the 160lb. Middleweight limit.  Vera, the current North American Boxing Organization (NABO) Middleweight champion will come into the fight should it happen having won four of his last five bouts, winning two by knockout. Although the Chavez-Vera bout is tentatively scheduled for sometime in September, there is always the possibility that Chavez could opt to compete in the WBC box off first before facing Vera. 

In February of last year Chavez, then the WBC world champion in the Middleweight division successfully defended his title with a convincing unanimous decision over Marco Antonio Rubio.  Although some may be tempted to question why a rematch between the two would be warranted it is worth noting that Rubio had won ten straight fights prior to his encounter with Chavez and despite the loss did give a good account of himself.  The difference in that bout was that although Rubio established and maintained a high work rate throughout the fight, he was unable to really hurt Chavez who consistently backed him up and landed the harder punches.   It will be interesting if a rematch between the two does take place whether Rubio, who has won four fights since his loss to Chavez, will be able to make any adjustments from the first fight. 

It will also be interesting no matter who Chavez elects to fight next to see he how fights.  In his last fight Chavez was thoroughly out boxed by Sergio Martinez over the course of twelve rounds. Although Chavez was able to make a comeback in the late rounds including nearly pulling out the fight in the memorable twelfth round, Chavez failed to keep Martinez under steady pressure and simply did not let his hands go enough throughout the fight to earn rounds on the official scorecards.  After losing his title in a convincing manner, an obvious question that will face Chavez upon his return to the ring will be whether Chavez can make the necessary adjustments to not only maintain a steady offensive output but also, the adjustments that may make a hoped for rematch with Sergio Martinez more competitive. Chavez however should not overlook anyone he faces while aiming for a potential rematch with Martinez.

What should also not be overlooked by fans and experts alike are the credentials of Domenico Spada and Gilberto Ramirez.  Although neither are probably well-known to American fans due to neither fighting before in the United States, both are solid world-class fighters. 

Spada, a veteran of forty-one professional fights has compiled a record of 37-4, with 19 Knockouts. One thing that some may say about Spada is that he has failed to successfully step up in quality of opposition.  Spada has lost twice to former world title challenger Sebastian Zbik and Darren Barker, both of whom are top contenders and who have faced some of the best fighters in the Middleweight division.  Looking at it from another point of view however Spada has never been stopped in his career and may look at this tournament as what could be his last chance on the top level of the division. 

The undefeated Gilberto Ramirez has compiled a record of 25-0, with 20 Knockouts.  Despite an impressive career knockout percentage of 80% an argument can be made that Ramirez has yet to be tested against world class opposition.  This box off is an opportunity to show that he belongs with the elite of the Middleweight division.

The reason for the WBC box off is due to Martinez being sidelined with injuries.  Martinez, who successfully defended his world title in April of this year with a unanimous decision over top contender Martin Murray, is not expected to return to action until sometime in 2014. For Sergio Martinez who is seemingly nearing the end of his career the current situation regarding the WBC title presents a couple of interesting possibilities. One possibility which should not be overlooked however is the potential of a would be unification bout between Martinez and undefeated WBA/IBO Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin. 

If Martinez is indeed eying retirement, fights with the likes of Golovkin and whomever should emerge as the mandatory challenger out of the WBC box off will only continue to give Martinez the acclaim that he has fought hard to obtain. No matter what the outcome of this puzzle, Sergio Martinez has earned his place as not only the best fighter in the Middleweight division but also one of the best fighters in the entire sport. 

Who will be next for Sergio Martinez?  Only time will tell...

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.
Follow Beau Denison on Twitter:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Too Soon And Too Fast For David Price

The outcome of the first fight between then undefeated Heavyweight prospect David Price and longtime Heavyweight contender and former world title challenger Tony Thompson could be best summed up as sudden and yet inconclusive.  There was no disputing that Tony Thompson won the fight by knockout. The way the fight ended however actually provided more questions than it answered.
Questions regarding just how good David Price who entered the fight with a record of 15-0, with 13 Knockouts was. Obvious questions of whether he was ready for a significant step up in quality of opposition at that stage of his career and, some even questioned Price’s ability to take a punch. 
The sudden one punch second round knockout did indeed turn heads and has been a topic of discussion in the Boxing World amongst fans, fighters, and, experts alike.  Although the first two questions were valid in this observer’s eyes regarding just how good was Price and whether or not he was ready to face a fighter in Thompson who had just fought for the Heavyweight championship of the world, I wondered why some were quick to question Price’s ability to take a punch or, more specifically his chin.
The basis of my curiosity lies in how the fight ended. Although it is clear that there was an appropriate stoppage of that fight by Referee Steve Gray and that a legitimate knockout did indeed take place, it is important to remember exactly where the punch that derailed Price actually landed.
The right hand that dropped Price did not land on the chin but rather landed just below the ear of Price. As this observer stated following the first fight in February of this year  a punch absorbed in this area can affect a fighter’s equilibrium and could certainly explain the awkward way Price went down and subsequent getting up from the knockdown on very unsteady legs. 
This fact called for what amounted to an immediate rematch on July 6th once again in Price’s hometown of Liverpool, England. Although it was logical of most experts, this one included to question the possibility of a rematch between Thompson and Price following the first fight, this observer was a bit surprised to see the rematch come only five months later.
After all there was no controversy attached to the first encounter and it could be argued that in some ways circumstances did not warrant an immediate rematch. By the same token it was understandable seeing as more questions than answers emerged following the first fight that everyone involved the fighters, the promoters, the fans and, those of us who cover the sport in varying capacities would want to see those questions answered in a reasonable period of time. 
Even though this was in essence  in some ways a “Do Over” of the first fight there was one question that I had been pondering in the weeks leading up to the rematch. Would David Price be gun shy and reluctant to let his hands go once the fight got underway?  It was also worth questioning whether or not Thompson’s gamesmanship prior to the fight would somehow influence how Price would fight.
When the fight got underway Thompson seemed to start a bit more quickly than in recent fights in what was a typical feeling out first round where neither fighter did much to stand out from the other.  In round two Price nearly brought the fight to a sudden conclusion when he dropped Thompson with a flush right hand in the final seconds of the round. Thompson gamely made it to his feet by the count of nine and the fight moved into round three. 
In round three Price staggered Thompson again with a right hand knocking the forty-one year old into the ropes. Price continued to follow up landing shots to the head and the body throughout the round but one thing that was noticeable as this fight progressed was the absence of a consistent jab from Price. The lack of use of the jab by Price allowed Thompson to get on the inside and have success landing to the body and the head in his own right.
After three rounds the seeds of an entertaining slugfest were firmly planted. It became a question of attrition as to who would walk away victorious,  Although Price got the better of the action in rounds two and three, an argument could be made that after the knockdown of Thompson in round two that Price threw everything he had in those two rounds and neglected to establish a more deliberate pace. One may argue that the quicker pace actually benefited the forty-one year old Thompson who is eleven years Price’s senior. 
Thompson took control of the fight late in the fourth round throwing punches in combinations and landing uppercuts to the head and hooks to the body. Price seemed to back up slightly and may have been a little wary at the end of the round.   It seemed clear in the eyes of this observer that fatigue was becoming an issue for Price as the fight entered the fifth round.  
In round five Thompson stepped it up and continued to be the aggressor as Price seemed to be in retreat.  A barrage of punches sent an exhausted Price back along the ropes and eventually in Thompson’s corner. Price being unable to throw anything back forced Referee Marcus McDonnell to step in and issue a standing eight count.  McDonnell determined that Price was in no condition to continue stopping the fight at 1:55 of round five.
Although it is rare to see a standing eight count issued in Professional Boxing today this observer’s applauds Marcus McDonnell’s decision to issue a standing eight count and thus allowing himself to give an adequate examination of Price and his condition. Prior to McDonnell stepping in Price was almost defenseless and could not throw anything back. No one wants to see a boxer get hurt and like Steve Gray’s stoppage of the first fight in February, McDonnell’s stoppage of this fight was appropriate. 
Although there is likely to be some criticism of Price’s stamina coming out of this fight it should be noted that this fight was fought at a considerably high pace. Rather than focusing on the issue of stamina and endurance, I believe if there is to be any criticism it should be in how Price fought this fight.
Price does have a good jab but the neglect to use it I believe played a factor not only in the fight becoming a brawl but more specifically in how Price was unable to dictate or control the pace of the fight.  There was seemingly nothing preventing Thompson from coming in on the inside and landing uppercuts to the head, and hooks to the body.  In the opinion of this observer Price needed to box more from the outside and be methodical in his attack on Thompson.  These factors I believe all contributed to Price’s exhaustion and eventual demise in this fight.
Although some may write David Price off after this fight however, this observer will not be one of them.  In reference to my comments both before and following the first fight in February I stated that David Price could be one of the fighters if not the fighter who may take over the Heavyweight division in the post-Klitschko era.  I did however also state that I did question whether it was too much, too soon for David Price to be facing a legitimate top contender. One should remember Price did only have fifteen professional fights prior to these two encounters with Tony Thompson. 
It can truly be a delicate task in determining when a fighter should step up in quality of opposition. One example that I have been thinking of in the days since the rematch was how Mike Tyson was brought up thru the Heavyweight ranks prior to winning the Heavyweight championship in November 1986 by knocking out Trevor Berbick. Tyson who turned pro in March of 1985 compiled a record of 27-0, with 25 Knockouts. An argument could be made however that despite criticism of Tyson’s managers Jim Jacobs and Bill Cayton in regard to how often Tyson was fighting, with twenty-seven fights over an eighteen month period, that it actually benefited Tyson in terms of actual experience. Tyson was able to gradually work his way up the Heavyweight division defeating fighters who ranged from overmatched, prospects, and, contenders. Although Tyson won the Heavyweight championship just a year a year and a half after turning professional, there was no doubt that when the time came to face the champions of the division he was ready.  Despite some criticism of Jacobs and Cayton their strategic management of Tyson was brilliant.
Although it is not my intention whatsoever to compare Price to Tyson, I believe that Price’s experiences against Tony Thompson could be called a misstep. Price tried to reach too far and too fast.  Despite suffering two losses to Tony Thompson, if he is given the proper time Price not only can rebound but could likely become one of the top fighters in the Heavyweight division. 
As for Tony Thompson he has now firmly reestablished himself as part of the Heavyweight championship mix by scoring two knockout victories over David Price.  Although it may not be viable for Thompson to seek a third fight with IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, Thompson could still position himself to face WBC Vitali Klitschko or could be in position to be part of some sort of elimination tournament to determine a new WBC world champion if and when Vitali Klitschko who has been nearing the end of his career decides to retire.
In the near future however the best option for Thompson may just be facing the winner of the recently signed clash between two-division world champion David Haye and undefeated contender Tyson Fury.  If a fight with the winner of that fight is not made then Thompson could opt to possibly fighting the other top contenders of the Heavyweight division. Contenders such as Bryant Jennings,  Bermane Stiverne, Tomasz Adamek, Fres Oquendo, and Chris Arreola all would pose an interesting fight for Thompson at this stage of his career and would keep him in the discussion of potential challengers should he continue to win.
One thing that is clear is that David Price was completely exhausted entering round five.  It is obvious that he needs more seasoning and training in stamina if he is to rise to the top of the Heavyweight division. 
Another comparison and similarity to David Price is current champion Wladimir Klitschko. Earlier in his career, Klitschko had problems with stamina as well did not make use of the jab to keep opponents at bay. The handlers of Price should take notes out of Emanuel Steward’s book. 
David Price is far from done as a fighter and he does have the talent to become a world champion in the future. It’s just time to go back to the drawing board.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.
Follow Beau Denison on Twitter:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Gennady Golovkin's Path Of Destruction Continues

Undefeated unified WBA/IBO Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin’s emergence on Boxing’s center stage could be described in several ways.  By now many fans know that Golovkin a native of Kazakhstan burst on the American scene nearly one year ago scoring brutal knockout wins in title defenses over contenders Grzegorz Proksa and Gabriel Rosado.

Due to both his exciting pressure style and the devastating fashion in which Golovkin won those fights an argument could be made that he became an instant star here in the United States.  It would indeed be hard to dispute such an opinion because after all, the one thing in the sport of Boxing that will always garner significant attention of fans and experts alike is the ability to score knockouts.

Golovkin continued to turn heads when he scored a brutal one punch third round knockout over Japanese contender Nobuhiro Ishida in March of this year in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  Ishida who is best known to American fans for his first round upset knockout victory over a then undefeated rising prospect James Kirkland. Ishida was considered by some to be a step up for Golovkin due to his “Game” performances in losses to former Welterweight world champion Paul Williams and former WBO Middleweight world champion Dmitry Pirog. 

Ishida had also never been stopped prior to getting in the ring with Golovkin. Questions arose as to whether or not Ishida could extend the fight into the middle or late rounds against Golovkin who has a near 90% career knockout percentage and who had been stretched as far as ten rounds only once in his career. 

It was clear however once the fight began that Ishida not only had no way to nullify Golovkin’s power as he came forward but also could not avoid Golovkin’s offense.  The fight was immediately stopped after a beautifully timed overhand right landed flush on Ishida’s jaw knocking him out cold in what this observer considers to be the leading candidate for 2013 Knockout of the Year honors.

Off of yet another devastating performance, Golovkin would now make the eighth defense of his Middleweight world title against top contender and former world title challenger Matthew Macklin on June 29th in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Much as the belief of many observers, this one included was before Golovkin’s fight with Nobuhiro Ishida in thinking that Ishida may have been capable of providing a significant test for Gennady Golovkin, Matthew Macklin was viewed as a step up in class of opposition for the champion.  

Macklin entered this bout having lost two of his last three fights however Macklin had endeared himself to fans and experts alike as someone who is very “Game” and who like Golovkin has an exciting come forward style. Macklin’s style gave Sergio Martinez, the man considered to be the number one fighter in the Middleweight division all he could handle for eleven rounds in their fight in March of last year.

Macklin retained his position as a top contender by rebounding from his loss to Martinez in scoring a first round knockout over former WBA Jr. Middleweight world champion Joachim Alcine in September of last year. Prior to Golovkin’s fight with Nobuhiro Ishida, I wondered whether or not Macklin could take this fight into the middle or late rounds and whether he would be able to survive the storm that is Gennady Golovkin.  Although I had no doubt that Macklin would give it everything he had for how ever long the fight would last, questions of whether or not he could withstand Golovkin’s power were legitimate.

When the fight got underway Macklin was able to establish his jab from the outset but what was noticeable was how Gennady Golovkin’s pressure was disrupting Macklin from getting into a rhythm. Golovkin’s ability to systematically cut the ring off and to gradually let his hands go set the tempo for this fight.

The difference in power was apparent as Golovkin rocked Macklin back into the ropes in the final seconds of the first round with a left hook.  The champion continued to pressure Macklin who seemed to be in survival mode in the second round.  Although Macklin continued to throw punches he was not able to land anything to stop Golovkin as he continued to stalk forward.  Macklin however gamely tried to press the action early in the third round but was unable keep the champion off of him. 

Golovkin brought the fight to it’s conclusion landing a brutal left hook to Macklin’s body sending him down for the count at 1:22 of round three.  Golovkin’s domination of a legitimate top ten Middleweight contender in Matthew Macklin continues to indicate that we may be seeing the dawning of a new era in the Middleweight division. 

Off of this latest performance it is difficult to say what may next be in store for Gennady Golovkin.  The current landscape of the Middleweight division suggests that it may take some time for Golovkin to secure a potential big money bout which would hopefully bring further unification to the World Middleweight championship.

Current International Boxing Federation (IBF) Middleweight world champion Daniel Geale is scheduled to make the fifth defense of his title against top contender Darren Barker on August 17th. Depending on what happens in that fight and the possibility of the winner of that fight being mandated to fight another top contender, it seems that a potential unification would be out of the question at least in the near future. 

There are also other elements which may prevent Golovkin from securing big money fights with the other world champions of the division.  Current WBC champion Sergio Martinez is sidelined with a hand injury.  The World Boxing Council (WBC) announced last week that they will stage a four boxer elimination tournament to determine interim status in it’s Middleweight ratings. 

Obviously once Martinez is medically cleared to compete one would assume that he would be mandated by the WBC to defend his title against whomever emerges from this would be elimination tournament as the mandatory challenger.  This could pose a roadblock for a potential clash between the two world champions. 

There is a possibility that Golovkin could potentially secure a fight with undefeated WBO Middleweight world champion Peter Quillin, if a fight between the winner of Daniel Geale and Darren Barker is not made.  What may be an obstacle in that fight being made however are elements of the “Business” of Boxing with respected promoters having agreements with rival television networks.

  It would however benefit both world champions if circumstances allow a fight to be made. Not only would potential further unification of the Middleweight championship be at stake but a fight between two undefeated world champions, both in their primes, both with exciting styles, would likely present significant financial incentives for both fighters if a fight between the two could be made.

With the Middleweight championship picture pretty much set at least in the near future what about the respected top contenders of the division who would likely welcome the opportunity to fight Golovkin for his unified world title?  As of this writing the WBC has not formally announced which four top contenders will take part in their elimination tournament to determine a mandatory challenger for Sergio Martinez. 

From a speculation standpoint one could assume that a fighter such as former WBC world champion Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. would be likely to take part in such a tournament concept. Chavez not only is a former WBC champion in the Middleweight division but if he were to emerge with interim status out of an elimination tournament it would almost guarantee a rematch with Martinez, the man who beat Chavez for the WBC title in September of last year.

Although Chavez does not currently hold a world title there is no disputing Chavez’ economic value to potential opponents in or around the Middleweight division.  If Chavez were not involved in the WBC box off, it would present a potential big money opportunity for Golovkin to seek a fight with Chavez which would likely be a solid pay-per-view draw.

In the eyes of this observer however it would benefit Golovkin in the long term to continue to defend his title against all comers. Fighters such as Martin Murray, former longtime champion Felix Sturm, and Andy Lee are all potential options for Golovkin. 

All three are still very much in the mix and would each pose an interesting challenge for Golovkin. One would assume however that we will get a clearer picture as to what Gennady Golovkin’s potential options are once the Daniel Geale-Darren Barker fight takes place and furthermore once the WBC announces just who will participate in their box off.

The situation that Gennady Golovkin finds himself in sort of reminds the observer of the position the legendary former Middleweight champion of the world Marvelous Marvin Hagler once found himself in. An obvious similarity between the two champions is they both started their respected reigns at the top of the Middleweight division with devastating knockout streaks. 

After winning the Middleweight championship by knocking out Alan Minter in 1980, Hagler went on a tear through the Middleweight division scoring seven consecutive knockouts between 1981 and 1983. Only Roberto Duran was able to go the distance with Hagler in November 1983.  Hagler’s reign as Middleweight champion of the world became one of the more significant title reigns in the history of the Middleweight division compiling twelve successful title defenses  over the course of seven years between 1980-1987.

Currently Gennedy Golovkin has scored knockouts in his last fourteen fights with eight successful title defenses since beginning his reign in 2010. Perhaps one other similarity may exist between Hagler and Golovkin.  One could make a valid argument that Hagler literally had to destroy all comers in the Middleweight division before he was able to secure super fights with fellow superstars of his era, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns, and Sugar Ray Leonard.

With the other champions of the current Middleweight division seemingly with other options one could say that Gennady Golovkin may be in the process of doing what Hagler was able to accomplish over three decades ago.  Will Gennady Golovkin’s reign atop the Middleweight division one day be compared to the reigns of Hagler, Carlos Monzon, and Bernard Hopkins?

Only time will tell but if Golovkin continues to run through the Middleweight division like a title wave it will become increasingly harder for fans and experts alike to not anoint Golovkin as the kingpin of the Middleweight division.  With the Middleweight division clearly heading toward a transitional period with Sergio Martinez possibly nearing the end of his career this observer believes that “The Gennady Golovkin Era” may indeed be quite near.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: