Is Golovkin the real deal?

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

World mid­dleweight cham­pion and un­de­feated knock­out artist Gen­nady Golovkin is one of the hottest names in the sport to­day, but ques­tions re­main about how long the age­ing champ can re­main at the helm.

At the mo­ment, the 34-year-old Kaza­khstan-born boxer, who now lives in the US, proudly holds the ti­tles of all supreme sanc­tion­ing box­ing bod­ies – the In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion, World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, World Box­ing Coun­cil (WBC) and In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion.

Golovkin, who is un­beaten in 35 pro­fes­sional fights, has beaten 32 of his foes in­side the dis­tance.

Last Satur­day, he knocked out Do­minic Wade in the se­cond round in de­fence of his crowns at The Fo­rum, In­gle­wood, in the US.

His win has fu­elled calls from fight fans for a show­down with Mex­i­can Saúl Ál­varez, holder of the Ring and WBC cham­pi­onships.

But the ques­tion be­ing asked by fistic con­nois­seurs is whether Golovkin can re­tain his in­vin­ci­bil­ity and re­store the dig­nity of the di­vi­sion once cham­pi­oned by greats such as Marvin “Marvel­lous” Ha­gler and Su­gar Ray Leonard.

The two brought the world to a stand­still in their fa­mous WBC cham­pi­onship fight, which Leonard won by split de­ci­sion at the Cae­sars Palace Out­door Arena in 1987. Ar­dent box­ing fol­low­ers are still rav­ing about that match-up to­day.

The cal­i­bre of the op­po­si­tion Golovkin has en­coun­tered has led to ques­tions be­ing asked about whether the Kazakh is be­ing pushed against no­bod­ies.

Apart from be­ing linked to the name of fel­low un­de­feated but cur­rently re­tired boxer Floyd May­weather, a new chal­lenger has come forth in the form of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

In a tweet he posted this week, the son of Mex­i­can leg­end and six-di­vi­sion world cham­pion, Julio Cesar Chavez, chal­lenged Golovkin to a fight in Septem­ber.

Chavez Jr tweeted: “Ey GGG You are great as a per­son and fighter. do not wait for cow­ards amigo Septem­ber #Mex­i­canStyle #mex­i­can­day.”

As the WBC in­terim mid­dleweight cham­pion, Golovkin is the cur­rent manda­tory chal­lenger for the world cham­pion Ál­varez, who de­fends his ti­tle against Amir Khan on May 7 at the T-Mo­bile Arena in Las Ve­gas.

Should Ál­varez emerge victorious, he is re­quired to face Golovkin, and fail­ing to do so may re­sult in Golovkin be­ing stripped of his ti­tle.

PHOTO: AP PHOTO / MARK J TER­RILL

NEW KID Gen­nady Golovkin bows to the crowd af­ter de­feat­ing Do­minic Wade in a ti­tle fight at In­gle­wood last Satur­day

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