Gennady Golovkin says he believes that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is not, in fact, done with boxing — and the dominant, eighth-round TKO of Canadian David Lemieux scored Saturday night by the fighter they call “Triple G” could help set up a 2016 megafight that would bring Mayweather out of his self-described “retirement.”
“I hope. This is boxing – a very short sport life,” Golovkin said prior to his fight with now-former International Boxing Federation middleweight champion Lemieux at Madison Square Garden in New York City. “Why not? This is a big chance for us. Floyd, he’s not finished. He’s a good businessman. He’s a very smart guy. He has [a] plan [for his] future.”
But the 33-year-old native of Kazakhstan who now fights out of Los Angeles has one other piece of business to attend to before a possible showdown with Mayweather next year.
Following his destruction of Lemieux Saturday night — a fight that marked Golovkin’s entry into the pay-per-view tier of boxing — the undefeated knockout specialist declared that he next wants to fight the winner of the November 21 Madison Square Garden showdown between Puerto Rican champion Miguel Cotto and Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
“He’ll be at the fight and he’ll be looking to fight the winner,” Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler told ABC News. “Whoever wins that fight will clearly be at the top of the sport as Gennady is himself.”
In June, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, who handles both Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, said that Pacquiao did not even know who Golovkin was. But by September, Roach was declaring the Kazakh to be the perfect opponent for Cotto.
“He’s the best fighter out there right now. He knocks everyone out,” Roach said at the time. “He’s not fighting any big names like that, but there are no big names in the division right now. But whoever they put in front of him, he’s knocking them out. He’s looking pretty good to me. I like watching him.”
Golovkin has now won all 34 of his fights since turning pro in 2006 after taking home a silver medal as a middleweight in the 2004 Athens Olympics. He has won 31 of those 34, including his last 21 in a row, by knockout — a KO percentage of 91 percent, the highest for any champion in the history of the middleweight division.
At the same time, Golovkin is known for his iron chin, never suffering a single knockdown as either a professional or even an amateur — 375 fights in total.
So total was Golovkin’s domination of the highly touted Lemieux, also a knockout specialist with 31 KOs in 37 fights, that Guardian newspaper correspondent Bryan Armen Graham, covering the fight for that paper, wrote that “Golovkin won every minute of every round.”
Most boxing experts expected Lemieux to present a serious threat to Golovkin. But the threat never materialized and referee Steve Willis finally stepped between the two fighters midway through the eighth round, waving off the fight.
While a fight against Manny Pacquiao in what the Philippines icon has declared would be his final fight seems like a logical, big-money alternative to a Mayweather fight in 2016 for Golovkin, prior the the Lemieux fight, “Triple G” dismissed the possibility, declaring Pacquiao “too small.”
On the other hand, Golovkin — who weighed in at 159 1/2 pounds for Saturday’s fight— has already expressed willingness to drop down to the 154-pound junior middleweight division for a fight against Mayweather.
Mayweather’s heaviest fighting weight was 150 1/2 pounds, for his 2013 fight against Alvarez, a fight that Floyd Mayweather Jr. won by majority decision. But Gennady Golovkin has never stepped into the ring as a professional weighing less that 158 1/2 pounds, meaning that to shave off another 4 1/2 pounds at least would not only risk sapping his stamina, but also weakening his fearsome punching power.
[Featured Image: Al Bello / Getty Images]