WBA and IBO Middleweight Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (26-0, 23KO’s) of Kazakhstan has been some sort of mythical legend with stories and rumors that have circulated for years about the heavy handed, exciting, middleweight monster. The legend has grown with rumors of gym sparring footage capturing some of today’s biggest names in the sport being pounded by Golovkin.
Golovkin was once considered amongst boxing media as the most feared in the middleweight division; a title becoming harder and harder to hold as Golovkin is being called out more and more. Is it because fighters see vulnerabilities in the “middleweight monster”, or is it because HBO’s new darling superstar, offers big paydays from the network.
Matthew Macklin doesn’t believe in the hype and signed on the dotted line to take this fight. Andre Ward and Bernard Hopkins have also both come out saying they want to face him. Brian Vera is one that’s probably been the most vocal in wanting to share the ring against Golovkin.
We can be certain of one thing; Golovkin is good. He’s looked the part against C-class opposition. His toughest test to date has been career 154lb Gabriel Rosado who moved up one weight class to face Golovkin for a shot at a world title, glory, and an HBO televised date this past January 19th. But when ‘GGG’ defends his WBA middleweight title against UK’s Matthew Macklin, we will get our first real opportunity to find out exactly how good he is. After June 29th, we will know where Gennady Golovkin stands as Macklin can either upset or become a barometer.
Macklin, 29-4 (20), is an opponent the fans are willing to accept being as though before this fight was made. There weren’t many jumping at shot to step in the ring with Golovkin. The 30 year old Macklin has performed under the big lights in world class company in recent years, losing a highly controversial decision to Felix Sturm in June 2011, where many had him winning. The fight is more than likely the reason he got his next fight with current and true middleweight king, Sergio Martinez. Another fight that was tight at times and saw Macklin scoring a knockdown but ultimately being withdrawn by his corner and head trainer Buddy McGirt after eleven tough rounds with Sergio Martinez last March.
Macklin is certainly a step up from Gabriel Rosado and Nobuhiro Ishida, Golovkin’s last two opponents. Simply because he’s a natural middleweight with some pop, and another things for certain, Macklin will come not only to fight, but will try and win. After Macklin lost to Martinez he bounced back with a first round stoppage of Joachim Alcine; Maybe not anything to write home about but definitely not expected to go in the manner in which it did so quickly.
Should Golovkin overcome Macklin, he will again turn his attention to the division’s bigger names. What has changed now is Golovkin might of went from the hunter to being the hunted as Ward, Vera, and Hopkins have expressed interest and more than likely will be paying close attention to the fight.