Gennady Golovkin already a mainstream star? 'Triple G' should thank Jim Lampley
Some partially credit former HBO analyst Larry Merchant for Manny Pacquiao's breakout success.
Pacquiao burst into the mainstream with his stunning victory over popular fight legend Oscar De La Hoya in December 2008 in a bout few believed was realistic.
Given the size difference, De La Hoya vs Pacquiao was an unlikely match-up until Merchant, in an interview with ESPN, suggested such a scrap would be fascinating.
Merchant's vision became a reality and the rest is history.
Enter HBO commentator Jim Lampley.
For the fourth consecutive Saturday, a boxer finished as one of the top trendiest searches in Google U.S. Wladimir Klitschko, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez and now, most recently, Gennady Golovkin.
On May 16, Golovkin's name finished as the third trendiest query in Google U.S., only surpassed by 'Bessie Smith' and 'Atlanta Hawks.'
Dubbed 'Triple G,' Golvkin recorded his 20th straight knockout, stopping Willie Monroe in six rounds.
The ranking was impressive given Golovkin vs Monroe, unlike Mayweather vs Pacquiao and Canelo vs Kirkland, wasn't viewed as a highly-anticipated match-up among fight fans. In fact, very few were familiar with Monroe prior the fight's announcement in February.
How did Gennady Golovkin catch fire so fast?
Undoubtedly, his unofficial status as boxing's most destructive fighter certainly plays a role... But could there have been something else?
During the Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao broadcast, probably the most live-viewed boxing event in history, commentator Jim Lampley suggested that casual fans google "Triple G" to learn more about boxing's newest phenom.
"The traffic we received seconds after Lampley's suggestion was absolutely unbelievable," stated FightSaga.com editor n' chief, Lee Cleveland.
"I've never seen anything like it in my years in internet media. I thought for sure the site would crash."
"And after the initial spike, which was mind-blowing and lasted nearly 30 minutes, we, in the following week, experienced a considerable elevation in page views for recent Gennady Golovkin articles we published."
"I'm quite certain most other top-tier boxing sites received an influx of Triple G traffic as well."
"Also, I'm convinced Lampley's subtle advertisement helped generate added interest in Golovkin vs Monroe but it may be too soon to consider 'Triple G' mainstream yet."
Given Lee's decry, perhaps Golovkin's high ranking in Google Trends should have come as no surprise.
So how popular is Gennady Golovkin?
Among the masses, is he already as popular as Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez?
Even if he's not there quite yet, he's certainly surging and may soon generate the same levels of interest Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have enjoyed.
Years from now, will we point to Lampley's utterance and suggest it was the turning point in Golovkin's public persona?