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Golovkin’s fight against Canelo could be his last

At age 35, Gennady Golovkin knows the end is coming sooner or later.

Boxing Press Conference with Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

It may seem like it’s too soon for Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) to be thinking about calling it quits, but that’s mostly just because American audiences were only introduced to the Kazakh puncher five years ago. And by the time Golovkin made his Stateside debut, he was already 30 years old - which is certainly no spring chicken in this sport.

Golovkin’s K2 promoter, trainer, and HBO all knew the task at hand when they brought Golovkin to America — a devastating puncher whose boxing skill actually matched his ferocity in the ring. It’s indeed a rare combination.

But if order for everyone involved to make the most the talented fighter, including Golovkin himself, it would require that everyone play their positions in getting Golovkin as much exposure as possible while the window of opportunity was still open for him.

Golovkin would go on to become a staple for HBO boxing over the last several years, fighting several times per year in an effort to raise his brand awareness. And as Golovkin now approaches the fifth anniversary of his first fight on U.S. soil, he’s finally getting the big marquee fight that was the goal all along. Golovkin will take on Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 16 in a fight that’s been highly anticipated amongst boxing fans for at least a couple years now.

But at this point in career, after boxing professionally for the last 11 years, Golovkin is aware of the physical toll the sport can take on a man. Yes, he says he still feels much younger than his age might suggest, but he also acknowledges that boxing isn’t a sport you ‘play’, knowing that it can all catch up to you both very quickly and unexpectedly.

Golovkin, who had long campaigned on the notion that his #1 goal was to unify all middleweight world titles, surprisingly passed up the opportunity to take on Billy Joe Saunders this summer in an undisputed title unification match. Golovkin, who was just coming off of a grueling 12-round fight with Danny Jacobs in March, said he wasn’t prepared to jump right back into another training camp to prepare for Saunders, instead needing some time to lick his wounds.

So when Golovkin was asked how much longer he will continue to fight for, it’s not completely surprising that he’s eyeing the finish line, telling ESPN that his fight with Canelo is September could be his last...

"I don't know. Maybe after this fight I'm finished, maybe not. I feel very good.

"OK I'm 35 but I feel like I'm 25. But this is boxing, not soccer, it's not a game, this is a fight and every fight is very difficult."

Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya has future plans that could include Golovkin, though. De La Hoya says he’s dreamed of some of the all-time great trilogies like Ali-Fraizer and believes that Canelo-Golovkin can join its ranks, something Golovkin has expressed interest in.

"I think there could be three fights, I'm ready, I want," said Golovkin when asked if he thought there could be a trilogy. I believe it is possible. I think it's the best fight for boxing."

The fact that Golovkin is so receptive to the idea would suggest that he’s not really looking to pack it in just yet, but even still, age 35 it’s not like Golovkin’s is a fighter who’s on the rise. There’s only one way to go from here. The only question is how steep the descent will be.

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