Monday, July 28, 2014

Golovkin Successfully Defends Title And Extends KO Streak To 17

The question leading up to former two-time Middleweight world champion Daniel Geale’s challenge of the undefeated unified WBA/IBO Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin was could Geale find a way to derail the path of destruction that Golovkin has carved out for himself in the Middleweight division.  Prior to this fight, this observer stated that Geale did have the type of style and skill that posed an interesting challenge for a man in Golovkin who has not faced much resistance since becoming champion in 2010. 

Despite Geale’s Boxing skills and ability to be a volume puncher, the former world champion would be unable to nullify the seek and destroy pressure style of the champion when the two fighters met on July 26th at Madison Square Garden. The key to this fight centered on whether or not Geale could establish himself as an elusive target, be able to use his lateral movement, and hand speed to avoid Golovkin’s pressure. As previous Golovkin opponents have found out however, it is a task that is easier said than done.

The challenger was clearly not hesitant to engage with Golovkin early on as Geale attempted to use his lateral movement and combination punching to prevent Golovkin from getting into a rhythm. To his credit, Geale was not intimidated by the champion and did attempt to use his elusiveness. Golovkin however, was able to adjust to Geale's movement and made it difficult for Geale to stay at distance where Golovkin would be less effective.

Although Geale was not intimidated by Golovkin, the clear difference in this fight in addition to Golovkin having the advantage in terms of punching power was the champion’s ability to not only cut the ring off from his opponent, not only apply consistent pressure to push his opponent back, but also his ability to be solid defensively and catch Geale as he came forward with his offense. The champion would score a knockdown with a right hand early in the second round. This would not discourage Geale who after being knocked down responded by letting his hands go and trying to land something significant to offset Golovkin’s pressure.

The fight would be brought to it’s conclusion in round three. In an exchange where both fighters threw right hands, Geale was able to land his right hand solidly on the champion. Despite being hit flush, Golovkin’s right hand still had the power that would not only land flush, but would send Geale to the canvas for the second time. Geale gamely arose from the knockdown, but unable to regain his balance could not continue. This was seventeenth consecutive knockout for Gennady Golovkin in his eleventh defense of his world title.

Although there were periods during this fight where Golovkin appeared as though he was a little frustrated due to Geale’s movement and being able to occasionally make the champion miss, it was a fight that Boxing fans have become accustomed to seeing. The tactical almost systematic approach of Gennady Golovkin gradually breaking down his opponent.

Despite suffering the first knockout loss of his career, Daniel Geale gave it everything he had in this fight and has nothing to be ashamed of. This will likely not drop Geale out of being in the discussion of the world’s top Middleweights. Geale is still a highly skilled boxer who was very “Game” in his challenge of Gennady Golovkin. Geale was simply unable to nullify Golovkin’s pressure and punching power, which simply was the story of this fight.

As for what is next for Gennady Golovkin, there are some interesting possibilities that may be open for him coming out of this fight. In terms of potential mandatory challengers for Golovkin’s unified world championship, there are two upcoming fights on August 9th that are both for interim/regular champion status in the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) ratings.

Current WBA number two rated contender Jarrod Fletcher will face the WBA number four rated contender Daniel Jacobs in Brooklyn, New York, while current WBA number one rated contender Dmitry Chudinov will face the number twelve rated WBA contender Mehdi Bouadla who is one of only three men to go the distance with Gennady Golovkin in Crimea, Russia. Whether or not these two fights will lead to the winners facing off to determine a mandatory challenger for Gennady Golovkin remains to be seen. In terms of the immediate future, I believe that it may be more likely that we will see Golovkin face a fighter who is considered a star of the sport.

Prior to Golovkin’s fight with Daniel Geale I stated that if Golovkin were successful in retaining his title that it would certainly set up what would be one of the most intriguing fights in recent memory. A fight between the so far indestructible force of Gennady Golovkin against Boxing superstar Miguel Cotto. There is no doubt in my mind that if a fight between Golovkin and Cotto were made that it would not only be a significant draw no matter where the fight would take place, but would also be a popular pay-per-view attraction.

In terms of where the fight should take place? In my opinion, the most logical place would be Madison Square Garden. Cotto has after all been a major draw at The Garden for several years and it would seem to make all the sense in the world for a fight between the future Hall of Famer Cotto and one of Boxing’s hottest stars to take place in what is rightfully regarded as “The Mecca Of Boxing.”

After seventeen consecutive knockouts and eleven successful defenses of his Middleweight world championship, I believe that the time has come for Gennady Golovkin to face fighters who are considered top stars. Whether or not Golovkin’s knockout streak will continue remains to be seen. The more compelling question is can fighters who are considered marquee stars of the sport find a way to derail the ongoing path of destruction of Gennady Golovkin?

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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