Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin: Next fight possibilities revealed?
Saturday, September 10, in front of a capacity crowd at the sold-out O2 Arena in London, England, current Middleweight kingpin Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) successfully defended his WBC, IBF, and IBO titles against reigning IBF Welterweight champ Kell Brook (36-0, 25 KOs) in a thrilling five round dogfight!
Although the controversial match-up was widely criticized by many die hard fans, as well as several respected boxing scribes, due to the original 13 pound weight difference between the two men, the 160 pound championship fight delivered in a resounding manner, with fast paced action and hard blows landed by both champions throughout.
(Image courtesy of SKY Sports Boxing)
Unfortunately for the brave fighter from Sheffield, a slugfest with the heavy-handed Middleweight proved to be hazardous to his health. After catching a hard left hook to the eye early in the contest, Brook's orbital bone was fractured, which consequently limited his window of opportunity to capture the Middleweight championship.
Despite putting forth a gallant effort against one of the hardest pound for pound punchers in boxing, Brook's head trainer, Dominic Ingle, made the decision to stop the fight midway through the fifth round after seeing his man take several unanswered shots to the body and head.
But as a result of the limited success achieved by Special K during the stunted five-round contest, several Middleweights are now viewing a match-up with Gennady Golovkin as a "winnable" fight.
So who will Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin fight next?
WBO Champion Billy Joe Saunders
Shortly after viewing the championship bout, current WBO Champion Billy Joe Saunders took to the social media and "called out" the hard punching Kazakh.
"First of all, I want to congratulate Golovkin for the win last night," the undefeated title holder posted on Instagram, early Sunday morning. "But let's get one thing right...Kell Brook is a Welterweight, not a Middleweight. I am a full fledged Middleweight. There are no Welterweights here...Golovkin, no problem at all."
"I would imagine that you'll be around for a couple of days. I've met with my management this morning, and we can definitely get it on in your next available date. I'm fighting on the 29th of October, so Golovkin, I'm ready when you are! The date you come back with me is the date I will accept!"
"I will give the fans what they want to see. I saw faults and flaws in you last night that I know I can pick out. Like I said, biggest respect...you're a very good man...extremely good man, but let's see who the best is for all of the belts!!"
"Regular" WBA Middleweight belt holder Daniel Jacobs
On Friday evening, after stopping former WBC Junior Middleweight champion Sergio Mora in Reading, PA, current "Regular" WBA Middleweight belt holder Daniel Jacobs issued this proclamation to GGG:
"We called out GGG months ago," Jacobs stated to PBC's Lem Satterfield.
"I truly want that fight. I'm sure we can make it happen. It's a fight I believe I can win. We're two of the best Middleweights in the world. Ultimately that's the fight that we both want and that can be built up to be a top-notch, PPV, superstar quality match-up."
"With my skill set, I have great speed, ring generalship and power. Those three ingredients to me are enough to beat anybody!"
The public declarations are a far cry from previous statements and actions made by both fighters, prior to GGG's winning effort over Kell Brook.
Why the sudden change of heart?
Kell's ability to hit Golovkin in spots during Saturday night's big event seems to have suddenly triggered bravery within the upper echelon of the Middleweight division. Is the rest of the 160 pound pack justified in feeling emboldened after Golovkin's ostensibly "shaky" performance against the "blown-up" Welterweight champion?
And are they really targeting GGG for their respective next fights?
Respected fight trainer and former Light Heavyweight contender "Iceman" John Scully strongly urges every fighter to "relax" and think about things rationally before talking yourself into a potentially regrettable situation.
"Understand something, Kell Brook was game...he tried and he had spurts of success...but the fight was only in the 5th ROUND," the knowledgeable fighter turned trainer posted to his Facebook page after the presentation of GGG vs. Brook.
"Seven more rounds is a very long time to be in a ring, especially with a guy like GGG."
"Brook was getting tagged. His eye was messed up. I mean, do people really think GGG was somehow going to slow down or stop what he was doing? You fight a smaller guy who you apparently do not fear, you go right to him; you leave yourself open in ways that you wouldn't if you fought someone you had more innate fear of."
"GGG got caught with a few shots, yes, but he wasn't getting bombarded like some here may have you believe. RELAX."
"He overpowered Kell Brook and that was the end of it. He got caught because he wasn't worried much about Brook's power. He knows what he's doing, OK? He was in control....professional boxers understand...mentally, even when he was getting hit, he was still IN CONTROL."
"Sometimes you take a guy who is eager and aggressive and running off of adrenaline, and you let him feel himself a bit. You draw him in and let him get comfortable, then you attack when you feel him sag a bit, just to mentally 'let him in on it'. It's a mental game as much or more than it is a physical one."
Are potentional next fight opponents like Jacobs and Saunders underestimating Golovkin's skill level in the ring after his apparent "shaky" performance against Kell Brook? Or did they genuinely see several aspects in GGG's fight game they can ultimately exploit in the ring?
Hopefully fight fans will find out later this year or within the first quarter of 2017 if GGG is indeed vulnerable against the other "powers" of the Middleweight division.
Stay tuned for Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin's next fight.