AS Daniel Geale landed a flush right hand on Gennady Golovkin’s face he flashed a slight grin, the Australian was pleased with his work. Unfortunately, the feeling was fleeting, as within the next few seconds he would find himself on the floor, wondering where he was and how he got there, whilst scrambling to find his senses. It’s a familiar position for Golovkin opponents. No matter how experienced they are, they seem unable to comprehend and avert the danger they face.
Since Sugar Ray Robinson hung up his legendary but well-worn gloves there have been three lineal middleweight champions with a reign of historic repute. Brutal boxer-puncher Carlos Monzon retired with the title in his hands having taken it off Nino Benvenuti seven years previously. Marvin Hagler then enthralled the 80’s fight fan with some breathtaking bouts against the likes of Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns. Later down the years, Bernard Hopkins accumulated a succession of alphabet world title defences before cementing his legacy with a stunning stoppage of Felix Trinidad.
Golovkin is not yet the holder of the lineal title at 160 lbs – to do that he must beat Miguel Cotto – but he has exhibited signs that he may have what it takes to join the aforementioned Monzon, Hagler and Hopkins in the land of middleweight icons, and here’s why.