By Jackie Kallen
He may not be a household name over here yet, but Kazakh (Russian) Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin–known as GGG–has won my heart. I am a sucker for the middleweight division, having managed former champ James “Lights Out” Toney. I am always following the division with interest and wondering if Toney could have beat these new guys if it was 1993.
I know one thing for sure. I would not have been so quick to sign a contract between “Lights Out” and GGG. That guy is as strong as hell and can punch like a Mack truck. Toney’s excellent defensive skills would have nullified a lot of GGG’s fire power. But if he ever got lucky and caught Toney, I’d have covered my eyes in fear and turned away.
This is a man who has knocked out 89% of his opponents. That is practically unheard of. In 27 fights, only three men have gone the distance. And those were eight-round fights. No one has ever lasted 10 or 12. I’d like to see that. Can’t picture it.
Boxing is about hitting and not getting hit. GGG is a master. He’ll take you out in the first round, or he’ll destroy you in the 10th round. In any case–prepare to say your prayers and go to sleep.
On top of it, he is fun to watch. There is no doubt that this man loves what he does. He is 31 years old, has never been knocked in a total of 375 pro and amateur fights and holds the #1 position in current KO ratio. That’s an impressive statistic.
One of four sons, two of GGG’s older brother were killed in action before he was 14 years old. That gave him extra drive and motivation. He had an amazing 345-5. He became a local legend. He is now married and has a son of his own, giving him even more determination to stay undefeated.
This weekend on HBO, GGG will face a 28-year old New Yorker named Curtis Stevens. I don’t know the guy, but with a record of 25-3, I give him major props for even getting into the ring with GGG. I’m sure money is a motive, but after losing to Jesse Brinkley and Andre Dirrell and getting stopped by Marcos Primera, he can’t really think he has much of a chance.
Stevens is a club fighter and GGG is a megastar (in my book). My friend Tom Loeffler manages him and has done an amazing job. I truly believe this kid will go down as one of the greatest middleweights before he’s done. He’s right up there now with Sergio Martinez and Peter Quillin.
I’m sure his fans wish he was facing someone a bit tougher than Curtis Stevens, but getting people to sign up and fight him is not an easy task. They automatically become David facing Goliath. I hope he goes on to unify the division and lock up his spot in middleweight history. He deserves it.