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TRIPLE GGGENIUS

October 18, 2015, Queens, NY  Gennady Golovkin who is known affectionately as “Triple G” or “GGG” put on an absolutely brilliant display in his domination of former middleweight champion, David Lemieux. Referee Steve Willis halted the bout in the 8th round giving Golovkin a TKO victory. Golovkin improves his record to 34-0 (31 kos), and Lemieux fell to 34-3.

The fight was well hyped, with some pundits intimating that it could be on par with its 1985 middleweight championship predecessor, Hagler-Hearns. As good as both fighters are by today’s standards, neither one is even in the class of Marvelous Marvin Hagler or Thomas Hearns. But it wasn’t foolhardy to think that you would see slugging from ding to ding.

Boxing Trainer Abel Sanchez

Boxing Trainer Abel Sanchez

It was clear that David Lemieux wanted “that kind of fight” but Triple G wasn’t going to oblige him. Give credit to long-time trainer, Abel Sanchez, who gave Golovkin an actual fight plan, something that Lemieux didn’t seem to possess. From the first round, Golovkin pummeled Lemieux with hard jabs. Lemieux was clueless in his attempts to stifle the jab-fest, and made himself an easy target by not bobbing and weaving as well as countering the jab with–guess what–a jab.

Every now and then, Golovkin would remind Lemieux of his (Golovkin’s) punching prowess in attacking the body. The body punches ultimately lead to Lemieux’s demise. In the fifth round, Lemieux appeared to be having a “moment” but it was short lived as Golovkin landed a devastating liver shot that forced Lemieux to drop to one knee.

The fight was held at Madison Square Garden to a sell-out crowd. The fight was also broadcast by HBO through a pay-per-view platform. Bad move. As exciting as Triple G is, he is not well known outside of boxing circles. PPV should be for fighters who transcend the notice of only boxing fans. We’ll see what the numbers were, but the PPV buys can’t be impressive when you’re going against the juggernaut called “college football” and the Mets vs. Cubs in the National Leagues Championship Series in primetime.

Golovkin is awaiting the winner of a fight worthy of PPV, Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez. It’s the Puerto Rican against the Mexican. In the sport of boxing, it doesn’t get more heated from a nationality perspective. Cotto might be somewhat reluctant to fight Golovkin due to being smaller in stature. Cotto is not a true middleweight. However, arguably the most popular Mexican fighter since Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Canelo Alvarez would jump at the chance to fight Golovkin. Alvarez will probably move up to light heavyweight before his career ends. He’s a growing boy.

Golovkin needs that breakout match. Floyd Mayweather is too small–and at least for now, retired. Andre Ward is way too big and is now a full-fledged light heavyweight. PureSportsNY boxing columnist Greg Jacobs when asked to assess Golovkin’s career thus far said, “I think Triple G is a superior fighter based on the crop of fighters today, and I don’t see any middleweight that can really threaten him.”

With Mayweather in retirement, the HBO-Showtime boxing war will no doubt intensify. Jacobs said, “The fight shouldn’t have been pay-per-view, but HBO needs more star boxers, especially with Pacquiao’s imminent retirement.” Triple G might eventually be that star which wouldn’t just be good for a specific network, but good for the sport as well.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at @cliffordbenton.

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