Selwyn A. (Tampa, Fl): I’m a fan of Golovkin but I felt the decision to give him the victory Saturday was the wrong one. How did you see the fight play out and what do you think lies ahead for GGG?
Vivek W. (BOX247): In short, I agree 100% with your assessment. To elaborate a bit, I think Derevyanchenko did everything he needed to do (short of getting a knockdown) to earn the nod. He took the fight to Golovkin, and he controlled the action by keeping him on his backfoot for most of the night. I just thought he did a very solid job in the sense that even when Golovkin responded, Derevyanchenko was able to steal the momentum right back more often than not. It’s hard to see a decision going against a guy able to dictate the pace and absorb punishment without losing a step in his stride.
All that being said, I think the bigger conversation comes down to what lies ahead for Golovkin. I’ve been criticized for years for saying that I didn’t think he was as solid as many have stated, but time and time again we continue to see why. One thing fans have to realize about my perspective is the fact that I’ve been a reporter in the sport for 16 years and a fan for over 30. I’ve seen a lot of punchers come and go. Over the years it made me form a perspective that requires more than just great power to co-sign a talent. As a result, my opinion (until proven otherwise) on everyone from Thurman, to Danny Garcia, to Golovkin and beyond has all been the same.
Basically, I need to see how many other bullets they have in the chamber before I can sign off on them being more than just a puncher. Tyson was a phenomenal puncher. What happened when the man across from him had the chin to outlast him and the conditioning to outwork and gas him? Thurman, Garcia, and Golovkin each have proven a certain level of greatness, but for each of them, it comes with a ceiling that will prevent them from having an answer for those with more skills to go with their toughness. What makes Golovkin a solid is his chin and his power.
Beyond those two attributes, I struggle to see what makes him this “amazing” fighter some feel he is. I hear many starting to point at his age as if that’s a legitimate excuse. Pardon me, but we’ve seen too many men look sharp past 37 for me to subscribe. Golovkin never took too much punishment so how is that possible? Mayweather did it past 40, Hopkins, too! Hell, Pacquiao is 40 and just defeated one of the better strong young lions. The same issues we see fighters expose in Golovkin’s game today were shown in small glimpses against Rosado, Brook, Rolls, and beyond. They just didn’t have to chin to withstand. So it’s nothing personal. I just think he’s a very limited fighter. Period.
Eddie A. (Chicago, IL): Can Errol Spence Jr. really stay at welterweight for another 2 to 3 years? His habits outside the ring seem to be greater than I thought.
Vivek W. (BOX247): Can he? I think the appropriate question is will he? There’s not a whole lot left to do at ’47 and to be truthful, I don’t think it would be wise to even if he could. I would agree, some of his outside-the-ring tendencies are a bit worrisome. I always knew he walked around heavy but to hear that he balloons up to as much as 175 or greater? That’s a lot of weight to boil down every fight and even worse, the more time it takes to boil down, the less time he has to put into game-planning and polishing his strategy.
We were very critical of Kovalev a few years back when we found out the bottle was his best friend. Shortly after, as solid as he was, we saw him fade a bit. Spence has some amazing attributes and is an incredible fighter, but I do think the Porter fight was a reminder that he’s human like the rest of us. Mayweather stayed in the strip clubs and in the streets, but spending a million dollars in a shopping spree only hurts the pocket, not the person! What Spence is doing can and will eventually hurt him. I’m a bit careful at telling a person how to live their life, but if there was ever a talent I’d caution, it would be him. The sky is the limit right now. Poor habits can change that in one night, in one fight!
Hector U. (Pasadena, CA): What are your thoughts on Canelo giving Golovkin a third fight? I feel he should, but Canelo doesn’t seem to leaning in that direction.
Vivek W. (BOX247): To me this isn’t even a conversation worth elaborating on too much, as it’s simple. When Canelo and Golovkin initially negotiated, Golovkin and his team approached the discussions like diva’s, trying to gain every element of leverage they could, despite the fact that Canelo was arguably the bigger draw. After the first fight, there were many saying they thought Golovkin won, despite the decision which went to Canelo. Well….that’s interesting….because Danny Jacobs and many others thought he beat Golovkin, yet he never got a rematch. Derevyanchenko thought he should have gotten the nod, yet Golovkin doesn’t seem inclined to give him a rematch.
There’s a trend, in case you haven’t noticed! Golovkin actually got a rematch and lost very decisively in that rematch. Now he wants a third bout? I would agree if they never fought the second time. But they have! And he lost unequivocally. What is there to fight a third time for? I just think the verdict is in and with two chances at bat, he failed to show us he’s the better man decisively. Personally, I have zero interest in a third match. All the shenanigans and bashing Team Golovkin did when Canelo failed the drug test is haunting him now, because Canelo is done! And I can’t say I blame him. If we never see that fight again I wouldn’t be bothered. For most fans, that ship has simply sailed!
(Vivek “Vito” Wallace can be reached at 954.770.9807, occasionally on Twitter (@vitostake), on facebook, or at firstname.lastname@example.org)