A new year, a new multi-fight deal and a year older. Former middleweight king Gennady Golovkin today celebrates his 37th birthday and, as he gets ready for his anticipated ring return, his DAZN debut, boxing history asks the question: how much has GGG got left? Fight fans are wondering this too. When we look back at great middleweights from years gone by, it’s clear Golovkin has pretty stiff odds to overcome if he is to scale the absolute heights all over again.
By the time the majority of great 160 pounders had reached the age of 37, they had began either a slow fade, a rapid fade or they had already retired. Marvin Hagler, he was done well before the age of 37, Sugar Ray Leonard (at his best at welterweight), was badly faded by age 37, Carlos Monzon went out on top and was retired at the age of 34. Going back farther, and legends Stanley Ketchell and Harry Greb were actually deceased long before the age of 37.
The names Sugar Ray Robinson and Bernard Hopkins can be firmly pointed at when one wishes to demonstrate how a middleweight can still be the very best in the world at age 37. Sugar Ray scored arguably the most chillingly impressive KO of his illustrious career at age 37, when he iced the teak-tough Gene Fulmer with one punch to regain the crown. As for B-Hop, well, he was special in that he was only really getting going by the time of his 37th birthday.
So can GGG emulate Robinson and Hopkins and win back the title and put in some great performances over the remaining months or years of his career? As things stand right now, Golovkin’s career-defining fight is the draw with Canelo Alvarez. Triple-G needs to win another big one to go down as a true great, in the opinion of quite a few fans anyway.
Now, as he has three years left before he hits the age of 40, Golovkin has to make each fight count. Let’s see if he can do it.