Boxing stars, like political figures, tend to be divisive figures with the public. On one side, the partisans proclaim their man already a peer to the likes of Sugar Ray Robinson and Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Meanwhile, the opposition party nitpicks a truly talented fighter to the point of absurdity.
We saw this dynamic throughout the Floyd Mayweather era. And we’ve seen this week, in the wake of Gennady Golovkin’s Round 5 stoppage of previously unbeaten welterweight champion Kell Brook.
All over the internet this week, I have seen fans proclaiming that Brook’s work last Saturday night in London “exposed” Golovkin. It is a statement that only a hater could make.
It is true that Brook did get the better of Golovkin in many of the exchanges in the first four rounds. Again and again, Brook got off first in the exchanges. He made him swing and miss repeatedly.
But I am unclear on how that has left Golovkin “exposed.” I guess what we learned is that if a fighter has the speed and boxing skill of Kell Brook, along with legitimate middleweight punching power, he might have a very good chance of giving GGG a tough fight for 12 rounds.
Good luck finding that guy, though.
Oh, and he should probably have a skull molded from concrete, rather than flesh and bone. It is frankly pretty much impossible for Golovkin to be “exposed” because his power is a permanent bathrobe that he can toss over his otherwise naked frame in an emergency.
On the other side of the aisle, I have seen Triple G fanboys sputtering that Golovkin “let” Brook hit him. Nobody lets themselves get hit. Brook was landing on him because he was throwing the quicker, crisper punches.
So it does make you wonder how Golovkin might fair against a decent-sized middleweight with true middleweight power, such as Daniel Jacobs. Golovkin did not look very good in close range against Brook, so it is intriguing to wonder how he might do against Canelo Alvarez, who is a very good counter-puncher in the pocket.
I never though Golovkin was very likely to beat Andre Ward at 168 pounds. His work against Brook made me even more sure of that opinion.
But Ward is a light heavyweight now and Golovkin does not really have the frame to comepte at 175 pounds, anymore than Mayweather had the frame to be a true middleweight. At the same time, fans are right to want to see Golovkin in a true test. And he might need to go fight bigger men at 168 pounds, in order to find it.