Almost 48 hours ago the inevitable happened, as widely predicted Gennady Golovkin stopped Matthew Macklin within the distance. To just state that fact alone though does not do the performance justice. Many questioned whether Golovkin’s ‘power’ and recent run of stoppages was down to mediocre opponent, handpicked to increase his marketability.
Macklin although not of elite level, was and still will be considered a tier above anything put in front of him previous. Although defeated by Sturm and stopped by Martinez prior to this past weekend, it was the manner in which Golovkin decimated Macklin that will ring out in the memory.
Typically a fast starter, I fully expected Macklin’s attempt to set the pace early; dictate the flow of the opening rounds. Problem with this, Golovkin has developed somewhat of a front foot, stalking style; he won the battle of control much earlier than I previously predicted. Almost from the off he had Macklin back peddling, although he returned fire where possible it felt almost as if Macklin himself had bought into the hype sold by the hard core and casual boxing fans of social networking. Golovkin doesn’t just flick out a range finder of a jab, each one almost feels like a left straight. Within the first couple of rounds he’d knocked Macklin off balance and almost over (without help of the ropes) with the jab alone.
As both men stepped out for the third, the inevitable was quickly becoming the here and now. Golovkin was having his way with Macklin’ and it felt almost as if he could choose when, where and how he was going to end the contest. With Macklin stuck against the ropes with his guard up and elbows tucked, Golovkin snuck in a beautifully devastating left hook to the body that knocked any trace of oxygen from his system. Macklin quickly dropped to the canvas clutching his torso, writhing in pain. Golovkin almost guarantees wonderful amounts of brutality.
After the fight, Golovkin bowed in salute and was held aloft by his corner men. It was the sweetest victory of his career so far, but at the same times is only the beginning of some potentially huge contests in the sport. The Kazazkh born fighter was peppered with questions surrounding what in his eyes he imagined would follow, the first answer non-surprisingly was vacation. Afterward, talk of every lb for lb ranked fighter at Middleweight and either side were mentioned as potentials. From Carl Froch and Andre Ward to Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez, they were all in the mix. Me personally, I’d prefer to see unifications at 160 lbs before we’re talking about ‘superfights’ vs ranked fighters outside of the division he has proven so successful in.
I’m a huge advocate of unifications, the less World Title holders a division has the better. That’s why in my eyes, although occasionally wrongfully chosen the ‘Ring’ title holds a fair bit of weight. With Sergio Martinez ruled out until potentially the beginning of 2014, the fight that makes the most sense next for Golovkin would be the winner of Barker vs Geale. Another very winnable fight regardless of outcome for the man with dynamite in both fists, then Martinez to follow when the times right; a much different prospect than anyone mentioned previous.
Apologies for the lack of Macklin’ mentions, I’m a fan of the English Irishman have been for years. I’ve little doubt there’s still plenty of paydays about for him, especially domestically were the middleweight scene is thriving. Martin Murray, Darren Barker, Billy-Joe Saunders etc all contribute to an intriguing future should Matthew decide that’s the route he’d like to take. Was just unfortunate on this occasion he found himself stylistically overmatched. Morale of the story, Golovkin is an animal and this is just the beginning. It used to feel unique to be a Golovkin fan, before he made his was over the States. Now quite the opposite, the ‘elite’ Boxing ‘hardcores’ have made my current Golovkin love in a little unfashionable. Oh well, I could care less about what’s currently trending.