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