Is Gennady Golovkin Getting Old Fast?
(Originally Published: September, 2017 @ Boxing.com)
If you value the acumen of boxing’s media experts, then you, too, are alarmed and concerned over the sudden, aggressive aging of Kazakh KO machine Gennady Golovkin.
At 35 years of age, after a career’s worth of soft touches and comfortable stylistic pairings, “Triple G” is said to be on the verge of old age—and it all happened, apparently, over the course of one year!
“[After watching the Canelo fight,] I’ve learned that Gennady Golovkin is deteriorating before our very eyes,” HBO haircut Jim Lampley recently told Boxingscene. “I believe that he’s slipping and I did not really see it that clearly in the Jacobs fight as I saw it this time. Most particularly his unbelievable footwork, his ability to trap opponents and put pressure on them – isn’t there any more…he only landed eight body shots in the fight, apparently concerned about being countered upstairs by Canelo. Now I say that despite the fact that I thought Gennady was the actual winner of the fight.”
And who could doubt Lampley, who has watched A LOT of boxing over the decades? I mean, it’s totally proven that if you watch something intently enough, for long enough, that you become a true expert. My mastery of physics after a lifetime of watching things fall (because of gravity!) proves that point.
Anyway, per expert opinion, it’s now clear that Golovkin has contracted a rare case of Pugilistic Progeria, hyper-aging to the point of full deterioration in less than a year’s time and for no apparent reason whatsoever.
I suppose there’s no way that Golovkin being any less than a raging man-beast of late could have anything to do with WHO he has recently fought. It couldn’t be that he has simply looked more human and less like an ATG caricature god of war because his last two fights have come against opposition with the skill and/or ability to actually challenge him.
Or maybe there’s some denial in play here from a media that has lusted after the macho fairytale Golovkin narrative the way I lust over Shakira videos. It has to be hard to admit that your fap fantasy is, really, just a flawed human being like everyone else. I know it was pretty tough on me when I saw some less-than-flattering Shakira pregnancy photos.
Realistically, as I’ve written several times, there was no way to judge how Golovkin would respond to ANY opponent not stylistically made to order for his KO highlight reel. As good as he has been in dismissing those there to be brutalized, there was never any guarantee that he could do the same against someone who could move a little, box a little, and who was actually there to win.
Daniel Jacobs was big and athletic enough to give Golovkin pause for concern. Alvarez was smart enough and sharp enough to give Golovkin pause for concern. And, predictably, when given pause for concern, Triple G paused. And that’s okay. The man IS human.
So, what we’ve learned about Golovkin from his only two fights outside his well-worn comfort zone is something known about most offensive dynamo-types we have seen in the past. Move a little, get in his head, keep him from comfortably plowing forward—and, suddenly, the beast is less beast-like.
Yes, this even applies to Quadpruple G (add the extra “G” for “Glorious”).
Golovkin is the rightful no. 1 ranked middleweight in the world and someone whose overall level places him above the likes of Martin Murray and Davie Lemieux, but right around the Jacobs-Canelo high water mark. And on any given night, he has the firepower to beat anyone from 154 to 168. That’s not at all shabby. It’s no macho fairytale where he’s the smiling prince slaying angry dragons and chasing down evil, cowardly black knights, but it should be good enough.
Golovkin is most likely not suffering from sudden onset Pugilistic Progeria (especially, since I just made that disease up). It’s much more probable that he is simply an example of what happens when a talented offensive fighter, grown half-complacent on easy feasts, is extended beyond his comfort zone to face opponents not perfectly suited to make him look good.
If history plays out true to form, with his mystique dampened and stylistic flaws exposed, ring life will continue to grow more complicated for Golovkin. And, yeah, as this happens, the “experts” will feel validated in their “he’s getting old” analysis.
But, no, Golovkin ain’t getting old; He’s just finally stepping up.