Gennady Golovkin: What sets him apart is....Written by Leroy Cleveland
Middleweight title-holder Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (34-0, 31 KO) is undoubtedly one of the most avoided fighters in the last 30 years.
(Gennady Golovkin vs David Lemieux image courtesy of HBO)
He annihilates quality contenders and shows few, if any, vulnerabilities in the process. Moreover, he boasts a 91 percent knockouts-to-fights-ratio and has recorded 21 straight stoppages.
Last night, the unified middleweight champion delivered another virtuoso performance, dominating David Lemieux.
Lemieux, who entered the bout as a bonafied title-holder and one of boxing's top knockout artists, was outclassed from start to finish despite showing true grit and an undeniable will to win.
Gennady Golovkin is, without a doubt, the most fearsome, most destructive fighter since Mike Tyson in the latter's 20s but what sets the former apart from other champions is not his punching power.
Many fighters possess the gift the power. And although the fighter dubbed 'GGG' is quick, his hand-speed isn't spellbinding a la Sugar Ray Leonard or Floyd Mayweather.
What separates Golovkin from his peers most is his incredible timing and sense of range, and ability to fight at angles. Yes, the old boxing adage 'hit and don't be hit' certainly applies here.
While he's aggressive, he rarely trades blow for blow because he doesn't have to.
It's Gennady's understanding of timing and range, and ability to fight proficiently at angles where his opponent cannot land effectively that make him the most complete fighter today.
Last night, GGG made Lemieux, a legitimate world champion, look amateurish at times by forcing the Canadian to swing and miss wildly round after round. Perhaps Golovkin vs Lemieux should have taken place in the summer because David air-conditioned the arena more than a few times.
Gennady's ring presence was so prominent he seemed to know what Lemieux would do before Lemieux did.
It was as if some of their exchanges were choreographed.
Gennady Golovkin is THAT good.
Fans and media often love to talk about punching prowess, hand-speed and a fighter's ability to absorb punishment while overlooking ring presence. A fighter's power and speed are essentially useless against a world class tactician if he doesn't have the skills to deploy his weaponry. And courage and durability are mute for the same reason.
Even at the world class level, a fighter who masters timing, distance and angles has definitive advantages over opponents who may punch much harder and/ or possess far greater handspeed.
Gennady Golovkin is a 'master of timing, distance and angles' and his punching power and athleticism simply serve as 'icing on the cake.'
... It's that combination of skills, athleticism and natural strength that would make him a legitimate threat to any middleweight, super middleweight or light heavyweight in the entire history of the sport.