Recently, middleweight ruler Gennady Golovkin announced how he was “leaving boxing for an indefinite period.” That was earlier this year, around six months after his most recent fight, or maybe his last fight; this the trilogy battle with Canelo Alvarez. GGG held Canelo close on the cards, yet the 40-year-old looked slower than ever, and “Triple G’s” punch output left a lot to be desired in the September fight.
Was it time for GGG to call it a career, a great career? At 42-2-1(37), these numbers compiled over a 16-year period, this after a grueling number of amateur fights – to the tune of an astonishing 342-8 – maybe enough was enough. This is, of course, for Golovkin and nobody else to decide. And fighters have a heck of a tough time deciding when to call it a career, when to get out, or when to stick around and roll the dice once or thrice more.
GGG got busy vacating his middleweight belts not too long after the Canelo loss (which came up at 168 pounds of course), and this was perhaps a clear sign of his plans: to retire. Or maybe Golovkin, who turned 41 in April, is merely having a break, recharging his batteries and he will come back. Could Golovkin return and defeat a top contender? More than likely. But what is GGG’s motivation? Do only the big fights get his juices going? Maybe, but can Golovkin win the big fights against the elite fighters at this stage of his career?
Golovkin, who held one belt or another between the years 2010 to 2023, is a lock for The Hall of Fame and if he never fights again, Gennady goes out pretty much on top (albeit off a loss, but one that came above his natural weight class of middleweight), on his own terms, with him knowing that he never pushed his luck by having that one fight too many. And of course, GGG was never close to being stopped in a fight.
If, on the other hand, Golovkin does come back for a big fight, if he does roll it one more time (or more), he will be risking quite a lot. One man who knows GGG well is his trainer Johnathon Banks. And Banks, a former world class fighter himself, told ProBox TV News that, in his opinion, Golovkin has “still got at least two more fights in him.”
Banks also stated that he believes GGG is “still the best at 160 pounds.”
“This comes from a place as someone who knows how he works, not as a fan,” Banks said of Golovkin. “I believe he has a couple more left in him. But, that is only if he really wants to keep doing it, and he really wants it. He’s had a great career, so if he did decide to stop, then I take my hat off to him. What a great fighter. I still think he is the best at 160 pounds, his last fight he moved up and fought one of the best. He did that his whole career, he fought everyone, and he was exciting in doing it. Like I said, he’s still got at least two more fights in him and that’s at the very top fighting the best.”
Fans would like to see Golovkin fight again, and it sounds as though Banks would also like to see GGG fight again. But as everyone agrees, the decision is Golovkin’s alone. It’s a tough decision, too. Can GGG come back and beat a top guy at middleweight (just who is the top guy at 160 right now could also be looked at as a good question)? Or could GGG try his hand at 168 again and be successful this time?
Or will Golovkin prove to be one of the smart ones who went out on their own terms, never to return to sully their legacy? Golovkin was very special, in his prime years in particular. It’s just a shame that the Kazakhstan warrior’s biggest fights were afforded him after his absolute peak years had passed him by; GGG being 35 years of age when he had that first fight with Canelo.
As it is, Gennady Golovkin ranks as one of the middleweight greats.