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What next for Gennady Golovkin in his quest for pound for pound glory?

GGG

The WBA/IBO Middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin further boosted the claim that he is the best pound for pound fighter currently active in boxing with a six round stoppage of the determined Willie Monroe Jr in the Forum, Inglewood California on Saturday night.

Golovkin was very effective at cutting off the ring and walking Monroe on to his power punches. Monroe was dropped twice in round two, first from a left hook and then by a powerful right hand. To his credit Monroe was able to compose himself and box intelligently during the fourth and fifth rounds.

According to compubox numbers, at one point, he even landed more punches than Golovkin did. However the mounting pressure from the Kazakhstan fighter left Monroe sunk on all fours in the sixth and unable to continue.

With the win Golovkin records his twentieth straight knockout victory. In the aftermath of the fight he announced he was willing to take on his Middleweight rivals and even expressed a desire to fight Saul ‘Canelo,’ Alvarez and Floyd ‘Money,’ Mayweather at Light-Middle.

It is refreshing to see a fighter of Golovkin’s calibre be so vocal in his ambition to fight the best his division has to offer. It leaves fans pondering what will be Golovkin’s next move?

It appears that Golovkin is tied into at least one more defence of his title at the end of September in Monaco before any potential super bout. Many feel that Golovkin will attempt to unify the middleweight division. That will largely depend of the ambitions of the rival title holders.

WBC middleweight champion and lineal champion; Miguel Cotto will face former middleweight champion Daniel Geale in June. Golovkin has already beaten Geale, via a third round stoppage in July last year. The fight in June will provide an interesting yardstick for any potential unification fight later down the road.

The IBF Middleweight title has recently been vacated by former unified middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, following his personal problems outside of the ring.

The vacant belt will be contested by the IBF’s number one contender; Hassan N’Dam and the IBF number four, heavy handed David Lemieux on the 20th June.

The current WBO Middleweight champion is the tough Irishman Andy Lee, who won the title by stopping Matt Korobov in December 2014. Lee’s first defence against former champ Peter Quillin was a see-saw battle, in which Lee found himself on the canvas twice but he rallied during the second half of the fight to secure a draw.

Lee has a reputation for not shying away from hard fights and he may be the most likely out of the rival middleweights to face Golovkin any time soon.

Golovkin is obviously thinking about his legacy within the sport. Unifying the division is an achievement that he will certainly be aiming for, but the probability of that happening or indeed any future super bout will depend not only on the fighters but their promotional teams.

Golovkin is promoted by the L.A. based; K2 Promotions the promotional company of the Klitschko brothers.  In contrast Cotto is promoted by rap mogul Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, who also promote Super-Middleweight Andre Ward and Andy Lee is promoted by Lou Dibella of Dibella Entertainment.

Should David Lemieux emerge victorious on the 20th June, he is currently promoted by Golden Boy promotions who also promote Light middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo,’ Alvarez. Golden Boy’s president; Oscar De La Hoya has gone on record to say that he’s prepared to wait two years before matching Alvarez with Golovkin. The reality is that at the moment Golovkin is too risky an opponent for any of these fighters.

Cotto who left Top Rank to sign with Roc Nation Sports, indicated that he was at a stage in his career that meant he would be making the best decisions based on his family’s needs. In addition to that, as an emerging promotional company Roc Nation will certainly not want to risk losing Cotto’s WBC title in a unification bout.

Likewise, a proposed super fight against Floyd Mayweather would be impossible; Floyd would be unwilling to risk his legacy on an opponent as dangerous as Golovkin.

At thirty-three Golovkin is in his prime, other promoters may prefer to take a similar approach as Golden Boy promotions and wait for Father Time to catch up with Golovkin.

Monroe’s ability to land more punches on Golovkin may have indicated a small chink in the Kazakhstan boxers armour; his ability to land bombs on opponents provides an insurance policy against defeat, but I’m sure promoters are hoping that over time the non-stop aggression may slow down enough to allow opponents a greater chance of beating him in the future.

For the time being Golovkin may have to content himself with defending his title and smashing middleweight records. He already holds the record for the highest knockout ratio in Middleweight history; he is also currently tied with Carlos Monzon’s record of fourteen consecutive title defences. Bernard Hopkins holds the overall record at middleweight with twenty defences and Golovkin is certainly capable of matching that.

The best thing for him to do is to build his profile internationally by defending his title in other countries while his backroom staff negotiates the fights that will consolidate his reputation as a great fighter.

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