GGG: Making history every day

Simón Piña 16/09/2017

The WBA Middleweight champion, Gennaddy Golovkin has been a star in this division for the last years. He has an undefeated record of 37 victories, 33 of them by KO.

He reigns in the division with the WBA acknowledgement since August 14, 2010, when he KO’d Milton Nuñez from Barranquilla, Colombia in the first round, in a fight that took place in Panama for the Interim Middleweight championship. A short time later he was acknowledged as the Absolute World Title holder. Since then, he has defended the crown 18 times and only WBA ex champion Daniel Jacobs has been able to endure the whole fight.

Golovkin was born with his twin brother Maxim on April 8, 1982 in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Son of a Russian coal mine worker and from Korean mother who worked in a chemical laboratory. He is one of four siblings. He recounts that it was his older brothers, Sergey and Vadim who led him into boxing. They enjoyed watching him fight with every challenger they could find on the streets. When they saw any boy they asked their brother: “Would you fear a fight with him? When Gennaddy answered that he was not afraid and that he was willing, the improvised Boxing Promoters of sorts made the pact for the fight.

His brothers were called for active duty by the Russian army and as fate goes, both died in combat. Vadim in 1990 and Sergey in 1994. A Great sorrow for Gennaddy and his family. He started fighting in 2002 as a beneficiary of a scholarship program called Olympic Solidarity. At the end of 2003 he attended the Amateur Boxing world tournament in Bangkok, Thailand. There he won gold, beating several outstanding rivals. In the first place, the Russian Matvey Korovob, who would win gold in two later editions, (2005 and 2007). The last one in Chicago, defeating Venezuelan Alfonzo Blanco, on the final. He defeated Korovob by decision 19-10.

On his second chance, he beat the Irish Andy Lee, who in pro boxing would become Middleweight champion, by defeating precisely Matvey Korovob. Golovkin defeated Lee by 29-9. The third time was against Rumanian Lucién Buté, future Superwelter world champion in professional boxing. He KO’d him in 4 rounds. The semifinal was against Cuban Yordanys Despaigne, whom GGG defeated by points in a close call of 29-26. The final was against Ucranian Oleg Mashkim whom he beat by RSC in the second round.

In 2004 he attended the Athens Olympic Games, where he won the Silver medal when he surprisingly lost the final to Gayderbek Gaydarbekov by a 18-28 decision. Golovkin won the three previous fights and seemed poised to win the Gold, but it wasn’t to be. In the first fight he beat Pakistani Alí Ahmen Khan 31-10; then the Egypcian Ramadam Yasser 31-20. In the semifinal the won 23-18 against American André Dirrell, who is today the world challeger to the Supermiddleweight title. Later there came the final surprise.

After completing a great amateur career, Golovkin moved from Kazakhstan to Germany where he was signed by the boxing promotion firm Universum. With them he won his first 19 fights, 16 by KO, but after four years he decided to end the contract because he considered he was not being promoted as he wished. He was overlooked in favor of others such as Felix Sturm, so with them he could hardly make world champion. He then signed with K2 Promotions and moved to the Big Bear Camp in California under the orders of Mexican trainer Abel Sánchez. He immediately could see that GGG was a unique talent, so he dedicated himself to polish him Russian style with some Latin tweeks, Mexican in particular.

The Sánchez-Golovkin team has been invincible, since that year 2010 Golovkin has done nothing if not improve. He won almost all the Middleweight awards and now he readies for a millionaire fight against Mexican media darling, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez next September 16, 2017 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Golovkin is considered by boxing critics as the Best Middleweight Champion since the 80’s, when “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler reigned. So this fight with the redhead from Guadalajara stands as an icon of the boxing shows of these times.