Gennady Golovkin remains your favorite fighter!
Not only does Gennady Golovkin possess charisma and the sort of literally devilish good looks that make him the spitting image of the grown up version of a disturbing child named "Damien" or "Gabriel," but he's a heck of a good boxer, too. He hits real hard, and often, making him ideal for a sport where punching the other person repeatedly is the main goal.
Golovkin's dismantling of David Lemieux on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden wasn't unexpected, but was quite impressive nonetheless. Lemieux (34-3, 31 KO) was promoted as the biggest threat to Golovkin, but we detailed all week long why that may not have really been the case. Even Golovkin's trainer Abel Sanchez was adamant about his feelings that Curtis Stevens was in fact a bigger puncher, but that Lemieux did still represent a threat because of his power and because he'd received a boost in confidence and ability by winning a belt, like in Road to the Show mode on MLB The Show where you can learn a handshake that raises your K/9 rating.
GGG was certainly respectful of Lemieux's power and was quite well prepared to deal with the Canadian should Lemieux give him the old bum's rush to start the fight. Immediately -- immediately -- Golovkin set out to jab Lemieux's face to smithereens, and was quite successful in doing so. Lemieux did land some flush shots in the fight, few and far between, but GGG's apparently cast iron chin showed up there, too, as he walked right through the shots as if nothing had happened.
Golovkin is an interesting case right now as a potential superstar. He's dominant, but unlike Floyd Mayweather or Wladimir Klitschko, he is also stereotypically "fun" to watch fight. Mayweather and Klitschko found ways around their boring ass styles to remain marketable -- Floyd by excessively portraying a villain and then wondering why people didn't like him, Wladimir by fighting largely in Germany where fight fans seem accepting of anything so long as the favorite fighter gets his hand raised at the end. Golovkin won't have to do that, so he is more along the lines of Manny Pacquiao or Mike Tyson than he is Mayweather, Klitschko, or, say, Lennox Lewis. That probably means that Golovkin is far more likely to burn out than fade away, but the ride is going to be a wild one on the way.
Roman Gonzalez is your other favorite fighter!
Gennady Golovkin has emerged as a hopeful new superstar in the wake of Floyd Mayweather's retirement, or "retirement." But on the pound-for-pound lists, flyweight champion Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez has been the beneficiary, moving up into the top spot for most sane people, although fundamentalist devotees of Andre Ward seem to believe he should be in consideration thanks to his wins from 2009-11. (Thanks to his new HBO deal, his impending return on November 21, and the possibility of a fight with Sergey Kovalev next year, Ward will have his chance to stake a real claim, though.)
Gonzalez (44-0, 38 KO) stayed unbeaten and retained his title with a fantastic performance against Brian Viloria, a former three-division titlist who came to fight, came to win, and can still go. Viloria, like Lemieux in the main event, was just outgunned by a superior fighter. Viloria was spirited and gave his best effort, but it just wasn't enough.
Is there anyone at 112 who can really challenge Gonzalez? The best bet might be Juan Francisco Estrada, a fighter Chocolatito beat at 108 pounds in 2012. Estrada has improved since then, is a fellow top 10-ish P4P guy now, and has done very well since moving up to flyweight, with wins over Viloria, Milan Melindo, Richie Mepranum, Giovani Segura, and Tyson Marquez. Though young at 25, Estrada is a matured fighter compared to where he was three years ago. If Gonzalez is going to graduate to his own HBO main events, that would be a great place to start.
PBC for you and me!
This is a weekend roundup, but since PBC was active all through the dang week, let's talk about what Al Haymon's loved/hated boxing brand gave us on four separate cards.
- On Tuesday, heavyweight project prospect Gerald Washington escaped with a gift draw against Amir Mansour on FS1. Nothing special here, but the sort of fight that makes sense as a headline bout for FS1, and that's been a consistently decent series for PBC.
- On Wednesday, ESPN had an awful terrible no good very bad main event between former two-division titleholder Devon Alexander and scrappy Aron Martinez. Then Aron Martinez wore Alexander out over 10 rounds and got the decision, a frontrunner for Upset of the Year, a reminder that styles make fights, and a pretty entertaining battle after the quiet opening rounds. Plus, the Lee Selby-Fernando Montiel co-feature turned out to be an interesting 12 rounds, too.
- On Friday, Spike presented arguably the best PBC show to date in terms of action, with Andrzej Fonfara busting up a valiant Nathan Cleverly in the main event, and Kohei Kono retaining his 115-pound title in the co-feature against Koki Kameda, a fight that had a lot of punching and action to go along with an intrusive referee.
- On Saturday, Lamont Peterson scraped past Felix Diaz Jr by majority a decision, a debatable outcome with two cards that seemed to favor Peterson a bit more than reality did.
All in all, it's hard to argue with all of that. Yes, on paper fights like Alexander-Martinez and Peterson-Diaz didn't get anyone jazzed up for exciting boxing, but on paper stops mattering a whole lot once the fights have happened. Both Martinez and Diaz -- along with Fernando Montiel, thought to be too small and old to be facing Selby -- proved they were indeed dangerous matchmaking. And Fonfara-Cleverly was a Fight of the Year contender in what has been a weak year for great fights.
We send our best wishes to welterweight Prichard Colon, who fought on the NBC show on Saturday afternoon, losing to Terrel Williams. Colon, 23, took a hard rabbit shot in the middle of the fight, and held his head for far longer than you normally see in that situation. Boxing being boxing, and having seen a lot of injury milking over the years, it was easy to think Colon was just acting a bit to see if he could get referee Joe Cooper to make an extreme decision.
But when Colon told the ringside physician he felt dizzy, the doctor really had two logical choices: (1) believe that Colon was suffering from a head injury, and stop the fight, or (2) believe that Colon wanted a way out, and give him that way out. As it turns out Colon was suffering from a head injury. After the fight bizarrely ended after round nine when Colon's corner mistakenly thought that was the 10th and final round, causing a DQ, Colon went backstage, vomited, and passed out. He was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to fix a brain bleed. He remains in a coma.
Boxing is a brutal sport, and nobody -- not doctors or referees or commissions or corners or anyone else -- can prevent things like this from happening. They are going to happen. But when a fighter says in the middle of a fight, to a doctor who is checking for injury, "I'm dizzy," it seems incredibly odd to not stop the fight there. The Virginia commission doesn't get a lot of foot traffic with major fights, but this doesn't seem like something a difficult call, does it? Colon would have been injured either way. There's nothing the doctor could have done to prevent him being hurt. He got hurt. But Colon wouldn't have taken a few more rounds of hard shots, wouldn't have crumbled to the canvas twice in the eighth round. Ultimately, the fact that his corner goofed up may have saved Prichard Colon's life.