Gennady Golovkin awfully quiet: A repercussion of firing Sanchez?
Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?
... And where have you gone Gennady Golovkin?
Not long ago considered the most dangerous boxer in the world and one of the most popular fighters on Earth, Golovkin's stock dropped following his controversial lose to Canelo Alvarez in September 2018 and seems to have tanked since his bruising, narrow points win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October.
But let's not forget GGG is still 40-1-1 with 35 KOs. And that sole loss isn't without some controversy. He's still unbeaten in the minds of some.
For many weeks, we heard rumors GGG would be facing lightly-regarded Pol Kamil Szeremeta. 'The fight will be finalized any day now' was the redundant tone of boxing media. Initially, Golovkin vs Szeremeta was going to happen in February or March. And then it was pushed backed to April. And recently, we learned GGG vs Szeremeta would be pushed back indefinitely due to a Golovkin calf injury.
As the months go by, there's less and less talk about a third fight with Canelo Alvarez. And as the months go by, there's more focus on the heavyweights, such as Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz, emerging stars such as Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia, and the long list of possible of opponents for Canelo in May.
That list, of course, seems to have included everyone under the sun from 160-168 sans one very special fighter.... Gennady Golovkin.
Let's face it; Billy Joe Saunders, Ryota Murata, Callum Smith and Jermall Charlo have been in the news more lately than GGG. And it's not as if any of them have fought in the last 9 weeks.
And Vasiliy Lomachenko hasn't fought since August and his superfight with Teofimo Lopez has yet to be confirmed but both he and Lopez have gotten more press than Golovkin of late.
Even 45 year old former champion Sergio Martinez, who hasn't fought since 2014, has been in the news more than Golovkin lately thanks to his comeback announcement.
After Gennady signed a 6 fight deal worth around $100 million with DAZN in March 2018, GGG parted ways with trainer Abel Sanchez. Golovkin had guaranteed money and figured he could cut corners by eliminating the well-paid mentor who had guided him through the pro ranks to world titles and eventually to stardom.
But Sanchez wasn't just a trainer to GGG, he was Golovkin's biggest cheerleader and mouthpiece between fights.
No trainer interviewed more and made the radio show rounds more than Abel Sanchez. He kept Golovkin in the news for years by promoting GGG on the airwaves, unleashing quotes for distribution on websites and even stirring the pot with other teams when he had to.
Perhaps DAZN should have inserted a clause into Golovkin's contract stating he had to keep Sanchez?
It's in DAZN's best interest for Golovkin to be hot and in-demand so Sanchez's absence certainly isn't helping the network.
Moreover, even though Golovkin has a deal with DAZN, it's always wise for a fighter to have as much proverbial juice with the public as possible. A fighter who is in-demand and popular will usually have more negotiation leverage as it relates to his opponents' selection and fight logistics. Hence, Canelo, to a certain degree, can call the shots even though he has an even larger, more lucrative contract with DAZN.
How much leverage does Team Golovkin have these days? Well, no one is buzzing about GGG and when he returns against Szeremeta he'll be paid handsomely for a bout with a little-known opponent that took forever to finalize that fans aren't interested in.
And while GGG deserves this fight given his caliber of opposition the previous 3 years, he's in a no-win situation because everyone expects he'll be dominant and there's no one campaigning on his behalf and creating a buzz in the media for Canelo vs GGG 3, Golovkin vs Charlo, Golovkin vs Demetrius Andrade or Golovkin vs Jaime Munguia.
If DAZN plans to stage Canelo vs Golovkin 3 in September, someone will have to take the reigns and re-invigorate GGG's brand. And if that bout doesn't happen in September, someone will STILL have to take the reigns and create some buzz for a fighter who needs - and deserves - it.