THE hunt, executed ferociously, effectively, and mercilessly, is one of the most universally appealing aspects of a prizefight. Whether the prey is weak and willing to comply, or strong and willing to fight back, predatory pugilism can seduce even the most apathetic of fans.
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s (35-0, 32 KOs) rise to international superstardom is largely due to the fact that he is, before anything else, a hunter.
At a Los Angeles press event on Tuesday, Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, marveled at how much of a draw his fighter has become.
“What really hit home for me is that his style transcends any demographic, any nationality,” said Loeffler. “When he fought Marco Antonio Rubio at the Stub Hub Center, he broke all of the attendance records of all the great fighters that fought at Stub Hub. We had to add bleachers. We had to add standing room only seats. It was definitely a large hispanic crowd and you saw the Mexican fans chanting for GGG when you have Rubio, who is really well known in Mexico. That showed me that he transcends any country that he goes to. That he becomes a fan favorite.”
Golovkin’s latest target is current IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (36-0, 25 KOs). The Sheffield native shocked the world when he announced that he will be moving up to middleweight to fight, arguably, the most feared boxer in the sport, a challenge that world champions fighting twenty pounds heavier than he does refused to even consider.
The sold-out event will take place in front of 20,000 fans at London’s famed O2 Arena, and the crowd is expected to be largely pro-Brook. Loeffler disagrees. “If it’s not a pro-GGG crowd, it will be 50/50 with Brook.”
Regardless of who has the support of the masses on September the 10th, Golovkin warned that anything less than the absolute best version of Kell Brook will lead to another notch in the Kazakh’s KO column, the rate of which is already the highest in middleweight history.
“I don’ know he’s ready for middleweight division because I want drama show,” cautions Golovkin. “I want knock him down. I don’t know. (If) maybe he’s ready, okay, this is difficult fight for us. If he’s not ready, I think this is short fight.”