Gennady Golovkin is doing it the right way; Emerging stars and promoters, take notesWritten by Leroy Cleveland
In boxing, today's emerging stars often over-value themselves in the market and then blame and/or subsequently sue their promoters for alleged shady dealings when theY don't receive the purse sums they think they deserve.
Of course, there are also fighters who have no known promotional disputes yet still wonder why their purses aren't bigger.
Answer: While they may have impressive credentials, no one outside the boxing fraternity knows who they are because they aren't active enough.
Unless a fighter was a popular Olympic champion with a pre-established brand (like a Sugar Ray Leonard), he'll likely have to fight more than 'once in a blue moon' to take his popularity to a new level and become a mainstream commodity.
Fighting twice per year works for a select few, like Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquaio and Miguel Cotto, because they are established, mainstream superstars who have long since paid their dues.
They are international celebrities and whenever they grace the ring, it's a big event.
It's sad but true. Many casual fight fans wouldn't know some of boxing's most respected fighters if they collided with them while crossing the street. Like Floyd and Manny, they fight twice per year but, unlike boxing's biggest stars, few outside of boxing's hardcore grouping know or even care about the sport's emerging stars, regardless of their titles.
In contrast, Gennady Golovkin and his handlers deserve a lot credit and their hard work on a consistent basis is paying huge dividends.
Gennady fights like a hungry upstart really wants to be star.
Since September 2012, two and one half years ago, Golovkin has fought nine times and is scheduled to step in the ring again in May. If he fights again in September, he will have fought eleven times in three years, despite the fact he took a leave of absence after his father passed away last year.
How is fighting 3 - 4 times per year working out for Golovkin & Co?
Not only is he registering big numbers on HBO, more than 2,500 tickets have already been sold for his showdown with Willie Monroe Jr. at The Forum in inglewood.
"Its very similar to GGGs last fight at the StubHub! Center in October which sold out three weeks before the fight," said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions.
"We had a tremendous response from the media at the press conference (Tuesday) and the fans are thrilled that he is fighting once again in his new hometown of Los Angeles."
Not only is Golovkin devastating in the ring, he's no stranger to being in the news because he fights so frequently. As a result, casual fans are endearing themselves to him.
When a fighter is climbing the 'ladder of success' and wants to make the transformation from boxing champion to "mainstream star," it's important to stay busy.
Julio Cesar Chavez Sr, on his path to sports immortality, didn't always fight big names but, early in his career, fought often, regardless of whether the bout was broadcast by a major network. And those stay-busy bouts not only kept him sharp, he was frequently in the news so more casual fans gravitated towards him.
Some promoters will insist their fighters are relegated to fight only twice annually because there aren't enough network days to go around but Golovkin & Co, like Chavez before him, refuse to make network dates a prerequisite for fighting.
For instance, Gennady's Monte Carlo bouts against Osumanu Adama and Nobuhiro Ishida in 2014 and 2013, respectively, were not aired by any major American network.
It seems as if some fighters and promoters try to get away with doing the once-every-six-months minimum, and it doesn't appear to be working. Perhaps they should take a page from boxing's next big star, Gennady Golovkin?
He's not trying to do the minimum and, based on the momentum he's generating via ticket sales and television audiences, he's succeeding.