Boxing’s new meme is ‘dare to be great’. Bernard Hopkins, one of the game’s most eloquent and occasionally bizarre figures, popularised the term during the run up to Amir Khan’s fight against ‘Canelo’ Alverez. Canelo, of course, is a middleweight, and Khan is a welter, two weight classes lower. It seemed an absurd fight to make, with a forgone conclusion, which proved spot on – Khan, would outbox the bigger man until he ate a huge shot, and he’d be done.
But it was made because two fights, which make much more sense, couldn’t be made – Canelo fighting fellow middleweight Gennadey ‘GGG’ Golovkin and Khan fighting fellow Brit welterweight Kell Brook. Why they couldn’t be made, well, that depends on whom you talk to.
Off the back of Khan vs Canelo, we now have the equivalent fight. Golovkin taking on Brook at the 02 arena. It makes just as much sense as Amir Khan’s futile challenge.
Brook has loudly stated since the fight was announced that he is a ‘beast’ at 160 (the middleweight limit), and that he actually wants to feel the power of Golovkin. Golovkin, for those who don’t know, is a knockout artist who has brutalised the rest of the division, and had the biggest names running scared.
It’s audacious and brave of Brook, just like it was of Khan. And I can only see one outcome.
I could almost make a case for Khan gaining a victory – he has blistering speed and he has been in with some huge names, even if it’s often in losing efforts. With Brook, I find it even harder to see how he can win. He is undefeated, but aside from his razor thin world title win over Shawn Porter, his resume is rather lacking. Brook is athletic, seems to possess a reasonable chin (Carson Jones can hit) and is technically superb. But so is Golovkin, and the Kazakh monster is bigger and has the greatest KO streak in middleweight history.
Golovkin also seems to possess an iron chin, brushing off shots from opponents who he has little respect for. Yet he can box when needed. When in a unification against heavy-handed David Lemuix, Golovkin worked behind a beautiful jab, breaking his opponent down with movement and pure boxing.
Can Brook out box Golovkin? Possibly. Can Brook take Golovkin’s power for 12 rounds? I doubt it. I think Brook will make Golovkin work and give him some problems in the early going. But as the fight progresses, I just don’t see how ‘GGG’ wont back Brook into the ropes or corner and unleash shots to the body and head, walking into whatever Brook tries to counter with.
Hopefully, following the conclusion of this fight, we can get the match ups which make the most sense. A middleweight showdown and a welterweight showndown. Khan vs Brook is still huge domestically. Canelo vs Golovkin is huge internationally.
It’s going to be a wild few months, that’s for sure.