Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Big Fight We Didn't Want to See: Golovkin Vs. Brook

Photo: Simpsons artwork by Matt Groening *this is parody


By Peter Silkov


Just when you think you have seen it all in boxing,  something else comes along to shake your faith in the sport. It seems that Gennady Golovkin is going to defend his World middleweight titles against Britain’s Kell Brook, (who holds the IBF world welterweight title), at London’s 02 Arena, on September 10.  This is a huge shock when all the recent talk has been of Golovkin defending his titles against Chris Eubank Jr.  Golovkin vs. Eubank Jr. had all the makings of a spicy contest.  True, Eubank is relatively inexperienced at world level and can be raw and sloppy in his fights at times.  Yet despite this, Eubank has undoubted talent that would make a clash with Golovkin intriguing, and most likely exciting.   It seemed that Eubank had the mental attitude as well, as he has spent the last couple of weeks calling Golovkin out, and talking about how he will beat the GGG man.  But, somewhere along the way negotiations between the various persons who are involved in these things fell apart, and overnight it seems Golovkin vs. Eubank Jr. is off, and now we are to be given Golovkin vs. Brook.   Boxing politics has worked its magic again and boxing fans have been left with a clash, which many are still trying to make their minds up about.  So far the reactions range from this being seen as a huge mismatch in some quarters, to others thinking that it could be the fight of the year, or at least the biggest match for years in Britain.  Just a few months ago, Canelo Alvarez was subjected to a huge amount of criticism for taking on Amir Khan, rather than going ahead with a showdown against Golovkin.  Now Golovkin himself is to face a welterweight, does he deserve the criticism, which Alvarez had faced?

This is a many-sided argument.  There are some major differences between Golovkin vs. Brook, and Alvarez vs. Khan.  Firstly, Brook is at least a ‘world champion’ at welterweight, while Khan went into the fight with Alvarez with a very thin recent resume.  His best wins going into the fight with Canelo was over the shop-worn Luis Collazo and the fading Devon Alexander.  Then there is the point that Canelo, despite his protestations to the contrary, is a very big middleweight who usually goes into the ring on fight night at around 180 pounds, while Golovkin scales about 167 on the night of his fights.

It is also a fact that Golovkin has struggled to find middleweights willing to face him in the ring. The other ‘world champions’ at middleweight have all made noises about fighting Golovkin, then gone strangely quiet when the time to sign on the dotted line arrives.  Part of the disgust caused by Canelo fighting Khan was due to the fact that he turned away from a big fight with his main middleweight rival Golovkin, in order to face a welterweight who didn’t even hold a ‘title.’  Then there is the whole 155-pound catch-weight issue with Canelo.  We might want to criticize Golovkin at this present moment for his decision to face Kell Brook, but the truth is did he have any other options? Was there anyone else willing to fight him? 

There is really nothing new about welterweight champions moving up to challenge middleweight champions.  In some instances, the smaller man has even upset the larger one.   Win or lose against Golovkin on September 10, Kell Brook deserves credit for stepping into the ring against a man whom so many other fighters are avoiding like the plague. 

The big problem for Brook is that, aside from his title- winning fight with Shaun Porter, he has faced precious few world class fighters.  This makes his step up to face Golovkin all the more perilous.

Yet, the truth remains that this is a disappointing fight to see Golovkin take. It would be so much better to see him against another top middleweight or light-middleweight or even super-middleweight.  But, what can the GGG man do when his options are so limited and he simply wants to keep busy, and of course Golovkin wants to earn money as well.  Let’s credit Golovkin for agreeing to fight in Kell’s backyard, again it is something that a certain Canelo Alvarez would never think of doing.

So Golovkin vs. Brook is made, and the boxing fan is left to make do with a big fight, which really isn’t such a big fight at all.  The truth is that this should be an easy nights work for Golovkin. 

Its hard not to feel disappointed at boxing as a whole right now, the fans are not getting the fights that they crave, instead we are being given mismatches that are being dressed up as significant showdowns.  But as many like to say, business is business, and boxing has never been quite the business that it is today.  In the end the fans will pay to watch Golovkin vs. Brook either live at the 02 or on SKY Boxing office pay per view.  No matter what the mismatch the fans continue to pay out, dazzled by the bright lights and big build-ups and in the end perhaps, they get the fights that they deserve. Right now it is a bad business for the boxing fan who wants to see the best fighting the best.

Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

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