Gennady Golovkin: Why GGG needs Szeremeta fight
When it was announced middleweight star Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KO) would be facing Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5 KO) in February, the response from the boxing community was underwhelming if not downright negative.
After all, who is Szeremeta? And he has just five stoppages in 21 wins.
We'd love to see Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez 3 and nobody wants that fight more than GGG but it won't happen until DAZN mandates it. Don't blame Golovkin for Canelo vs GGG 3 not taking place in 2019.
Many will insist Gennady should face Sergey Derevyanchenko again, straight away. After all, their bout last month was a classic and, although GGG narrowly prevailed on the cards, the verdict wasn't unanimous in the eyes of the public.
Of course, others are clamouring for Golovkin to face WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (28-0, 18 KO), Jermall Charlo (29-0, 21 KO) or the world's top super middleweight, Callum Smith.
What some forget is that Golovkin, at 37, has accrued a lot of mileage in five of his last seven fights. Having him face Derevyanchenko, Andrade, Charlo or Smith next would be akin to running him into the dirt.
The only non elite opponents GGG has faced since September 10, 2016 are Vanes Martirosyan and Steve Rolls, fighters Golovkin dispatched easily.
And while Kell Brook was a welterweight moving up, he was rated among the top 10 in the world, pound for pound. In fact, some argue Golovkin's presumed descent started with the Brook fight three years ago. In that bout, GGG earned an impressive KO but not before eating a lot of hard shots from his naturally smaller, quicker opponent.
Golovkin's last 7 fights... Not a cakewalk
Won UD 12 Sergiy Derevyanchenko
Oct 5, 2019
Won KO 4 Steve Rolls
Jun 8, 2019
Lost MD 12 Canelo Alvarez
Sep 15 2018
Won KO 2 Vanes Martirosyan
May 05 2018
Draw SD 12 Canelo Alvarez
Sep 16 2017
Won UD 12 Daniel Jacobs
Mar 18 2017
Won KO 5 Kell Brook
Sep 10 2016
And let's not forget Gennady had around 350 amateur bouts. His body has a lot of miles on it.
Gennady, like that toughened old Chevy that was driven through mud, snow and other tough terrain over the years, already has a lot of wear and tear and is going to break down one day.
He need not hasten the coming of that day by consistently facing worldbeaters in succession. That's rare, even among all-time greats.
Oscar De La Hoya
Remember when De La Hoya, still in his 20s, faced Julio Cesar Chavez (rematch), Ike Quartey, Oba Carr, Felix Trinidad, Derrell Coley and Shane Mosley, in that order from September 1998 to June 2000? Four monstrous opponents in six bouts.
Late great trainer Emmanuel Steward, after Oscar's loss to Mosley, expressed concern over De La Hoya's torrid schedule the previous 21 months, insisting the Golden Boy needed breather.
... And guess what? His next two opponents were the overmatched but always-exciting Arturo Gatti and the lightly-regarded Javier Castillejo. Oscar, unlike his fights with Trinidad, Quartey and Mosley, looked dynamic and commanding against Gatti and Castillejo prior to his subsequent superfight KO over world beater Fernando Vargas.
Back to Golovkin vs Szeremeta
Don't sleep on this fight.
Maybe the outcome isn't in doubt but I, for one, want to see how much Gennady has left in the tank. Will he struggle again? Or will he turn back the clock to 2013?
Fights like these can do a number of things:
- Help a struggling star 'get his groove back' psychologically and while giving him a breather
- Allow that star's handlers to gage his performance against good, but not great, opposition in order to learn what their fighter needs to work on and access his chances against other world beaters.
- Gives the star's fans another chance to see their man ply his trade
- Offers an opportunity for the B-side fighter to show his stuff and greatly enhance his stock with an upset or impressive performance
Golovkin vs Szeremeta, showcase or not, is an interesting affair. Can GGG still completely devour a quality opponent who is unbeaten - Or will there be a few hiccups?
Fights like these are nothing new to boxing - and can be quite intriguing.