SAN DIEGO, October 18, 2013 – You wouldn’t know it from watching boxer Gennady Golovkin in the ring. His fights rarely last more than a few rounds until he knocks out his opponent. Only two of his last 14 bouts have lasted more five rounds; ten of them were finished in three rounds or less. That’s nine minutes, if you’re counting.
But outside the ring, Gennady Golovkin is a patient man.
The 31-year-old middleweight from Kazakhstan via Germany now living and training in Big Bear, California says he has all the time in the world to get to where he wants to be at the top of the boxing world, to the point where his name becomes as well known as Mayweather or Pacquiao.
Knowledgeable fight fans aren’t so patient. They want to see the boxer nicknamed “Triple G” take on the big names of boxing, anywhere from 154 pounds to 168 pounds. Miguel Cotto. Sergio Martinez. Canelo Alvarez. Floyd Mayweather. They believe he can do the same kind of knockout damage to them as he has to opponents like Grzegroz Proksa, Nobuhiro Ishida, and Matthew Macklin.
In the meantime, expect another early round departure when Golovkin fights Brooklyn native Curtis Stevens on November 2 at Madison Square Garden. It will be televised by HBO.
Golovkin is a study in contradictions. He’s a predator in the ring with the highest knockout percentage of any active boxer. He is so much of a threat in the ring that many potential opponents avoid him. But he possesses a gentle demeanor with impeccable manners outside the ring. He looks you directly in the eye when he shakes hands with you. He is rarely without a smile on his face.
And why not? Golovkin is doing exactly what he loves to do. He loves to work, to box, to fight and to knock people out. Even after a hard day of sparring, Golovkin was his polite, congenial self during a recent interview with Ringside Seat.
When the fight with Curtis Stevens was first announced, Stevens engaged in some trash talking stunts which included posting a mock-up coffin marked “GGG” on the top, for Golovkin’s nickname “Triple G.” Golovkin brushed it off like dirt on his shoulders when asked about it. “He’s got a big mouth, every day. He’s just talking too much, ugh. This is sport, this is not show biz. I don’t respect that. This is not real.”
Golovkin plans to shut up Stevens in the ring, predicting a knockout. It is a boxing cliché about “doing your talking in the ring.” Golovkin speaks several languages and is adding English quickly, something he’s working as hard at as he works in the gym. But boxing is the language he speaks fluently as a native.
To those who want to see him fight the big names now, Golovkin assures fans that he will, in time.
“Right now, I feel great. I need just time. Not a big step but step by step,” said Golovkin. “It’s very important that I always have a good fight” every outing, said Golovkin. “Next year will be a good time for me,” he added.
Does that mean a fight in 2014 with someone like Miguel Cotto? Golovkin respects Cotto, which is an important aspect of the sport to him. Of Cotto’s recent fight with Delvin Rodriguez, Golovkin said, “He has come back, he’s a great fighter.” Facing Cotto: “I think it is a great fight for the fans, for us. In the future, yes.”
In the meantime, Golovkin is not overlooking his opponent on November 2 at Madison Square Garden, one of his favorite venues where his Kazakh fans come out in big numbers. “I work every day. I fight, fight, fight, every day.” He continues to spar in training with much bigger boxers, cruiserweights and light heavyweights, because “I’m beating them up” and he runs through several at a time. With a laugh, he did admit his sparring days are tough ones. He doesn’t like it any other way.
The World Boxing Association has ruled that Golovkin (27-0, 24 KOs) must face interim-champion Martin Murray (25-1-1, 11 KOs) assuming both win their upcoming fights. It’s all but a lock. Murray will travel to Sydney, Australia for a bout with Garth Wood (12-3-1), 8 KOs on December 11. Murray’s sole loss was a decision against Sergio Martinez earlier this year. Many observers (including me) believed Murray won the fight. It’s an outstanding potential matchup to look forward to in early 2014.
Then perhaps it’s a bout with Cotto, and from there? Golovkin’s patience may pay off exactly as planned.
In the meantime, Golovkin will go about his business, which includes improving his English, meeting media and fans, and mowing down one opponent after another. When he isn’t wearing a cardigan sweater looking like your neighbor down the street, he might show up wearing a hoodie depicting one of boxing’s great champions like Tyson or Ali. “I’m thinking of them. They are the great ones.” Will he be one of them? “In the future.“
Don’t wait. Watch Gennady Golovkin now and you can be part of the Triple G “I knew him when” club.
See the killer in the cardigan, Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin vs. Curtis Stevens in “Monsters Collide” on HBO from Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, November 2, at 10 p.m. ET.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +