Nearly two week ago in New York City at Madison Square Garden, the stars came out to see Gennady Golovkin, aka “GGG”, as he prepared for battle and against a game David Lemieux. The result was a thrilling affair for the nearly 21,000 fans who filled the arena and gave the middleweight boss a rock star reception. It was the kind reserved only for those who excite in a way that is rare. Given to a man who they know will satisfy a need for blood-lust, while showcasing an array of skills. Carrying himself like the fistic version of a 007 Bond villain, there is an aura of invincible hero that surrounds the Golovkin mystique; for if Floyd conjures the unbeatable precision of Alexander The Great– then more than likely, the all-time great knows he’s looking at a Kazakhstan ring version of Achilles.
Golovkin and Mayweather seem to be two different types of unbeatable.
Not particularly fast, “GGG” (34-0, 31KOs), 33, is a master of timing and distance control. He commands the space and never leaves himself out of position to strike or close space. He shrinks the ring and does not waste punches at all. Golovkin changes the level of force to his blows – with the same speed – and has the most punishing jab in all of boxing. He is the game’s ultimate hunter, a stalker, and is a patiently precise boxer with a never-ending killer instinct and one-punch knockout power in both hands. Against Mayweather, Golovkin would most likely test the limits of Mayweather’s endurance and athleticism, coming forward behind a constant jab and unconcerned with Floyd’s offense.
Mayweather is the undisputed master of tactical strategy and non-violent warfare. Not so much concerned with winning as he is with not losing, “Money” fights for it first– then, for his standing in the sport. Probably the most well conditioned athlete on the planet, it is hard to fathom a man who knows nothing but preparing for a fight- all of a sudden just stop doing that. He won’t. Then two things will happen. He already witnessed a more versatile Golovkin that buried Lemieux, but he’ll also see Canelo Alvarez murder Miguel Cotto on Nov. 21 and become a mega-star. That same mega-star will then duel with Golovkin and get launched like a space rocket for the world to see. All that will do, is make the demand for a GGG vs. TBE fight just about as big the Manny Pacquiao fight.
In a game where stars are measured by numbers, Mayweather (49-0, 26KOs), 38, did terrible PPV business in his finale against the pedestrian and largely unpopular Andre Berto, something which should come as no surprise. To be even remotely relevant in a PPV sense, if Mayweather were to return to the ring (he will), he’d have to do so against a monster with star drawing power. If the scenario layed out actually plays out, then no one would fit that description better than Golovkin. In mostly all of Mayweather’s successful events– not that he isn’t popular, the catalyst behind it all has been the drawing power of his opponent (De La Hoya 2007, Hatton 2007, Canelo 2013, Pacquiao 2015), along with the public’s belief (or hope) that such a challenge may have what it takes to silence the loud Mayweather. In that regard, Golovkin would seem a bull with a bullhorn and a bullseye on Mayweather.
ESPN’s loquaciously uber-urban mouthpiece Stephen A. Smith (a diehard Mayweather fan and supporter) actually told viewers that Golovkin would “walk through” Mayweather and stop him. HBO commentator Max Kellerman, never shy about rendering an opinion on the sports’ hottest topics, has stated that “Triple G would dominate and destroy” Mayweather. His own father and trainer, Floyd Sr., at mention of Golovkin challenging his son in a fight for ultimate pound-for-pound supremacy at 154, mentioned that GGG is “too big for Lil Floyd”.
But is he?
Evidence would suggest no; in fact, it stands to reason the super welterweight division would actually help Mayweather. When considering the massive amount of IV units he needed for his 147 lb showdown with Pacquiao, this is totally indicative of a man who has outgrown 147. Assuming TMT was honest in its contention that Mayweather was so ‘dehydrated making weight for Pacquiao’ (even though he was photographed at 150.5 lbs 30 days prior to the bout), it stands to reason should Floyd return to the ring, he’d do so at super welterweight. Golovkin told this writer that he would ‘do what he had to do’ to make 154 comfortably to face Mayweather. The only question then becomes whatever questions come from Floyd– in potentially difficult negotiations, along with the one’s he’ll ask himself in the mirror.
It is quite possible that Mayweather would enter such a bout as an underdog, with a never-before sense of doom prior to entering the ring. In Golovkin, Floyd would be facing a younger, more powerful fighter; who is not only matches his spectacular conditioning, but has even more ring experience (over 400 amateur fights). Could Floyd find a way to spin. clinch and clutch his way to an epic win while truly defining himself as ‘TBE’? Would GGG become the ring immortal who broke the “MayVinci Code” and then Mayweather himself?
Just a few questions that may come to mind in the compelling drama of such a fight. A fight that would carry with it a Super Bowl-like feel and needed momentum for a sport climbing back into mainstream importance. Clearly this is getting ahead of things, but Floyd Mayweather vs. Gennady Golovkin at the new MGM Grand Garden International in Las Vegas would be a beautiful thing for boxing, and its a fight we need to see in 2016.
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