Golovkin delivers another great Big Drama Show…but what’s next?
WBA and WBC interim middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 33-0 (30), scored a sixth round TKO over Willie “The Mongoose” Monroe Jr., 19-2 (6), on Saturday night at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
Golovkin dropped Monroe twice in the second round and although Monroe survived the round and had fought his way back into the fight by round four, Golovkin floored Monroe again in round six. Referee Jack Reiss waved off the bout after a game but clearly outgunned Monroe indicated that he didn’t want to continue 45 seconds into the sixth frame. The win notched the 20th consecutive KO victory by GGG.
While it wasn’t Golovkin’s most exciting performance, it was a workman-like effort that proved, once again, that he is a strong, explosive middleweight that who take a punch and certainly deliver one. Monroe landed just enough leather and perhaps exposed just enough of a hint of vulnerability in Golovkin’s defence that may entice another big name among the middleweights to risk a shot at the Kazakh slugger. Golovkin and his ever-growing legion of Southern California supporters, both looking forward to a marquee blockbuster bout, certainly hope so.
Also quite evident was the noise of the crowd as Golovkin continued to build a very strong fan base on the West Coast. These supporters will only grow larger with each win as GGG is now based there and can officially call California “home” when he fights in front of his rabid, ever-expanding fan base.
Golovkin is obviously an exciting, marketable fighter who is looking to really make his mark on the game and move into the superstar category in boxing. However, to do that, he needs a superstar dance partner. And as of yet, the risk/return ratio might be a little steep for any of the biggest middleweight names to take that risk. Opponents know the money only goes up with each Golovkin win, so elite opponents are more than happy to let the fight simmer to a boil before they take their shot at the Kazakhstan-born champion.
And three months from now, we will more than likely see Golovkin back in the ring, as he is one of the game’s busiest champions. He knows the best thing to do to land the super-bouts is to stay in the public eye, keep impressing, stay unbeaten and make the fans demand the unification bouts they so desperately crave.
After the fight, as Golovkin basked in the glow of his 15th successful world title outing, the names of Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Puerto Rican icon/consensus middleweight champion Miguel Cotto were immediately brought up in his post-fight interview. While both those fighters are actually natural 154-pounders, they are the big-money tickets around and in the middleweight class.
This seems to be the case in boxing today. As soon as a fighter starts to dominate a division, the immediate idea is the “super-fight.” And if there isn’t a big bout available in said division, fans and promoters start to mine other categories looking for the key co-star.
Every fight fan and promoter are looking for unification bouts and sizzling match-ups but it is somewhat perplexing that fans aren’t content to let a boxer dominate a division and work in the weight class in which they are best suited. Why should there be pressure on Alvarez to move up to 160 pounds? Why should a fighter like Floyd Mayweather Jr. be asked about fighting Golovkin, who is one, if not two, weight classes bigger? Why should Golovkin be asked about moving up to super middleweight to face a much bigger Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.?
There is some great stuff available for Golovkin at 160 pounds. Other than Cotto, who doesn’t want to see Gennady throw down against Daniel Jacobs, Irish banger Andy Lee or Canadian bomber David Lemieux? It’s not like (if they can’t get Cotto or Canelo) Gennady doesn’t have other options for an exciting fight.
When asked by HBO’s Max Kellerman if he saw a fight for him “maybe with another star fighter in the future,” Golovkin replied, “I want unification fights, big, big fights. Come on, guys; let’s see who is the best. I am ready for Canelo and Cotto right now. We are ready for anybody.” The statement drew huge cheers from the Forum crowd.
“This is my home,” he said, “I want to bring big drama show.”
* Exciting WBC flyweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez blasted out No. 2-ranked challenger and former world champion Edgar Sosa in round two on Saturday night on the HBO-televised undercard in Inglewood. Gonzalez is fun stuff and fight fans are going to want to see the talented Nicaraguan as often as possible.
* Erik “El Terrible” Morales’ little brother, Ivan, won an eighth round KO victory over Danny Flores.
* WBA interim junior welterweight champion Jose Benavidez Jr. kept his title with a 12th round stoppage of Jorge “Maromerito” Paez Jr. on Friday night at the US Airways Center in his hometown of Phoenix, Ariz. Benavidez dropped Paez twice in the bout.
* Provide the goods and the fans will show up. Yes, 31,000 fans gathered at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, to watch the May 9 Canelo vs. James Kirkland (an almost can’t-miss war on paper) bout and it brought in a stunning number of viewers on HBO’s “World Championship Boxing,” with an average viewership of 2,146,000 for the live, first-time airing and peaked at 2,296,000 viewers. Great to see those numbers in boxing.
* Former 1980s middleweight Tony “El Torito” Ayala Jr. was found dead last Tuesday in San Antonio, Texas. Ayala was just 52 years old.
* If it makes dollars, it makes cents. Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao, shattered the previous record for total pay-per-view buys and now ranks as the highest-grossing pay-per-view of all time. Initial reports indicate more than 4.4 million US buys and more than $400 million in domestic PPV revenue alone. With additional revenue from the live gate at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, international television distribution, sponsorships, closed circuit and merchandise sales, the event is expected to generate in excess of $500 million in gross worldwide receipts. Not a bad night’s work.
* The beIN Sports network welcomed WBO junior welterweight champion Ramon “Rocky” Martinez and Mexico’s Orlando Salido Saturday night in Miami, Florida. The pair were in-studio guests for a review of their April 11 war. The two have agreed to meet again in September in what should be another serious dust-up.
* Former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield returned to the ring Friday night at the Rail Event Center in Salt Lake City where 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Holyfield sparred in an exhibition bout for charity.
* Former featherweight Frankie Sodano passed on May 11 at age 84. Sodano was a solid professional but his greatest achievements came in the amateur ranks in which he won multiple tournaments and represented the United States at the 1948 London Olympics. R.I.P. Frankie.
* The IBF/USBA 32nd Annual Convention began Sunday at Le Centre Sheraton in Montreal, Canada. Champions at the convention include Lucian Bute, Jean Pascal, David Lemieux and Carl Frampton, among others.
* Tweeted from Al Bernstein this week: “There is boxing everywhere on television – if this all continues sport will benefit in a big way.” Here’s hoping!
* Paulie Malignaggi’s comeback fight on the “Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike” telecast on May 29 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY., has been shelved as the former two-division world champion and popular Showtime network commentator suffered a severe cut above his eye in training camp.
* Writing soundtrack this weekend was “Live at the Regal” by B.B. King. The 89-year old blues legend passed away last Friday at his home in Las Vegas. Rest in peace, B.B.