|GGG (Triple G) Kazakh Thunder God of War
|179 cm (5′ 11”)
| April 8,
|179 cm (5′ 11”)
He earned a scholarship with the Olympic Solidarity program in 2002. His first professional fight came in 2006.
He has three brothers, two elder named Sergey and Vadim and a twin, Max. Sergey and Vadim had encouraged Golovkin to start boxing when Golovkin was eight years old. As a youth, Golovkin would walk the streets with them, who went around picking fights for him with grown men. When asked, “Are you afraid of him?”, Golovkin would respond “No”, and be told to fight. “My brothers, they were doing that from when I was in kindergarten,” Golovkin said. “Every day, different guys.” When Golovkin was nine years old, Golovkin’s two older brothers joined the Soviet Army. In 1990, the government had informed Golovkin’s family that Vadim was dead. In 1994, the government told Golovkin’s family that Sergey was dead.
Golovkin began boxing competitively in 1993, age 11, winning the local Karaganda Regional tournament in the cadet division. It took several years before he was allowed to compete against seniors, and seven years before he was accepted to the Kazakh national boxing team, and began competing internationally. In the meantime he graduated from the Karagandy State University Athletics and Sports Department, receiving a degree and a PE teacher qualification. He became a scholarship holder with the Olympic Solidarity program in November 2002.
At the 2003 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Bangkok, he won the gold medal beating future two-time champion Matvey Korobov (RUS) 19:10, Andy Lee (29:9), Lucian Bute (stoppage), Yordanis Despaigne in the semi-finals (29:26) and Oleg Mashkin in the finals. Upon his victory at the 2003 Championships, a boxing commentator calling the bout for NTV Plus Sports, said: “Golovkin. Remember that name! We sure will hear it again.”
At the 2004 Summer Olympics he defeated Ahmed Ali Khan Pakistan 31 – 10, Ramadan Yasser 31 – 20 and Andre Dirrell 23 – 18, losing to the Russian Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov 18 -28 to take the silver medal. He qualified for the Athens Games by winning the gold medal at the 2004 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in Puerto Princesa, Philippines. In the final he defeated home fighter Christopher Camat.
At the World Championships in 2005 he sensationally lost to Mohamed Hikal. He finished his amateur career with an outstanding record of 345–5, with all his defeats being very close on points (like 8 – +8 versus Damian Austin, or 14 – 15 versus Andre Dirrell), no stoppages, and the majority of all losses eventually avenged within a year.
After ending his amateur career in 2005, Golovkin signed with the Universum Box-Promotion (UBP) and made his professional debut in May 2006. By the end of 2008, Golovkin’s record stood at 14–0 (11 KO) and while he had few wins over boxers regarded as legitimate contenders, he was regarded as one of the best prospects in the world. Golovkin was given 4 more relatively easy bouts in 2009. In 2010, Universum started to run into financial issues after having been dropped by German television channel ZDF. This caused a number of issues for Golovkin who was effectively unable to fight in Germany, and contract disputes between the two parties got complicated.
In 2006 Golovkin moved from his native Kazakhstan to Stuttgart, Germany, and then in late 2014 to Santa Monica, California, where he currently lives with his family. He trains in Big Bear, California. He and his wife Alina have a son, Vadim, who is in primary school, and a daughter, who was born days before his fight with Canelo Álvarez. Golovkin speaks four languages: Kazakh, Russian, German, and English. His fraternal twin brother, Maxim, an amateur boxer, joined Gennady’s camp and team in 2012. Golovkin said that he wanted his son to attend school in California, because his training camp, team and promotions are based in California, he has many friends there, and he considers it a beautiful place. Golovkin’s favorite food is beef. Golovkin enjoys playing games with his son and spending time with his family.
Golovkin terminated his contract with Universum in January 2010 and stated the following in an interview: “The reason for this decision is that I’ve always been placed behind Felix Sturm and Sebastian Zbik by Universum. Our demands to fight against Felix Sturm or Sebastian Zbik have been always rejected on absurd grounds. Universum had no real plan or concept for me, they did not even try to bring my career forward. They would rather try to prevent me from winning a title as long as Sturm and Zbik are champions. Further more, bouts against well-known and interesting opponents were held out in prospect, but nothing happened. This situation was not acceptable. It was time to move forward.”
After retaining his belts against Jacobs, Golovkin stated that he wanted to unify the middleweight division and hold all the belts available. The only major belt not belonging to him was the WBO title held by British boxer Billy Joe Saunders. After defeating Jacobs, Golovkin said, “My goal is all the belts in the middleweight division. Of course, Billy Joe is the last one. It is my dream.” There was rumours of the fight taking place in Golovkin’s home country Kazakhstan in June during the EXPO 2017. The last time Golovkin fought in his home country was in 2010. On 20 March, Golovkin said that he would fight Saunders in his native Kazakhstan or the O2 Arena in London.
Golovkin was scheduled to make his HBO debut against Dmitry Pirog (20-0, 15 KOs) in August 2012. Pirog had vacated his WBO middleweight title to face Golovkin. This was because Pirog had been mandated to fight interim champion Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam. Weeks before the fight, it was announced that Pirog had suffered a back injury—a ruptured disc—that would prevent him from fighting on the scheduled date, but Golovkin would still face another opponent on HBO. Several comeback attempts by Pirog were thwarted by ongoing back problems, effectively forcing his premature retirement.
On 20 July 2012, it was announced that Golovkin would defend his titles against European champion and The Ring’s #10-rated middleweight Grzegorz Proksa (28–1, 21 KOs) on 1 September at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York. The fight was televised on HBO in the United States and Sky Sports in the UK. Golovkin put on an impressive performance in his American debut by battering Proksa to a fifth-round technical knockout (TKO), which was Proksa’s first loss by knockout. Proksa praised Golovkin’s power, “The guy hits like a hammer. I tried everything, but it did not work. You have to give him credit, because he had a good handle on the situation and it was an honor to meet him in the ring.” CompuBox Stats showed that Golovkin landed 101 of 301 punches thrown (34%) and Proksa landed 38 of his 217 thrown (18%). In October, when the WBA (Super) middleweight champion Daniel Geale signed to fight Anthony Mundine in a rematch, the WBA stripped Geale of the title and named Golovkin the sole WBA champion at middleweight.
On 30 November 2012, it was announced that Golovkin would next fight The Ring’s #9-rated light middleweight Gabriel Rosado (21–5, 13 KO) on the HBO Salido-Garcia card in the co-main event. On 19 January 2012, it was said that Golovkin would agree a catchweight of 158 pounds, two pounds below the middleweight limit. Rosado later rejected the proposal, stating he would fight at the full 160 pound limit.
It was first reported on 31 January 2013, that a deal was close for Golovkin to defend his world titles against former WBA interim super welterweight champion Nobuhiro Ishida (24–8–2, 9 KO) in Monte Carlo on 30 March. Ishida had lost his last two fights, but had never been stopped in his 13-year career. Golovkin became the first to knock out Ishida, in what was said to be a ‘stay busy fight’, finishing him in the third round with a vicious overhand right. The referee did not begin a count and immediately waved an end to the bout.
Golovkin fought British former two-time world title challenger Matthew Macklin (29-4, 20 KOs) at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut on 29 June 2013. The fight was officially announced in April. Macklin previously lost back to back world title fights against Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Golovkin stated that he wanted to fight a further two times in 2013. This was rare to hear from a world champion as majority fight only 2 or 3 times a year. There was a total of 2,211 fans in attendance. Macklin was billed as Golovkin’s toughest opponent to date. In round 1, Golovkin landed clean with his right hand and sent Macklin against the ropes, although it could have been ruled a knockdown because it appeared that only the roped kept Macklin on his feet, referee Eddie Cotton, ruled out the knockdown. Golovkin dominates the first two rounds. In the third round, Golvokin landed a right uppercut followed by a left hook to the body. Macklin, in pain, was counted out and the fight was stopped at 1 minute 22 seconds of the round. Macklin called Golovkin the best opponent he has fought in the post-fight interview. Golovkin retained his WBA and IBO world titles. CompuBox Stats showed that Golovkin landed 58 of 116 punches thrown (50%) and Macklin landed 29 of 118 (25%).He earned $350,000 compared to the $300,000 earned by Macklin. The fight averaged 1.1 million viewers.
On 18 August 2013, Sports Illustrated announced that Golvokin would next defend with world titles against The Ring’s #9-rated middleweight Curtis Stevens (25–3, 18 KO) at the Madison Square Garden Theater in Manhattan, New York on 2 November. At the time, Stevens was ranked #5 WBC and #6 IBF. Main Events, who promote Stevens, initially turned down a $300,000 offer. It was likely K2 promotions offered an increase to get Stevens in the ring with Golovkin.
Golovkin’s camp requested that he be awarded the WBA (Super) middleweight title in December 2013, but this was refused by the WBA, as Golovkin was already granted special permission for a fight prior to his mandatory commitment.
Golovkin’s next title defense took place in Monte Carlo against former title challenger Osumanu Adama (22–3, 16 KO) on 1 February 2014. HBO released a statement on 22 January confirming they could not televise the bout in the US. The reason stated was because of the size of the venue Salle des Etoiles and production issues. Coming into the fight, Adama was ranked #12 by the WBA. Golovkin won via seventh-round stoppage. At the end of the 1st round, Golovkin dropped Adama with a solid jab and right hand. Golovkin went on to drop Adama again in the 6th by landing two sharp left hooks to his head, and then again in the 7th with a hard jab. Golovkin then nailed Adama with a left hook to the jaw, sending Adama staggering and forcing the referee to stop the bout. When the reporter asked Golovkin, after the fight, who he would to fight next, he replied, “I want to fight Sergio Martinez to prove who’s the best middleweight.” At the time of stoppage, one judge had it 60–52 and the other two at 59–53 in favor of Golovkin.
On 3 June 2014, after ten successful title defenses, the World Boxing Association officially elevated Golovkin from Regular middleweight champion to Super champion. Golovkin was also granted a special permission to defend his title against Daniel Geale. Golovkin had been previously ordered to face #2 Jarrod Fletcher.
K2 Promotions announced Golovkin would fight against The Ring’s #2-rated middleweight Daniel Geale (30-2, 16 KOs) at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York on 26 July 2014, live on HBO. In front of 8,572 at The Theater, Golovkin successfully defended his title, defeating Geale via a third round stoppage. Golovkin dropped Geale in the second round. A right hand in the third sent Geale down again from which he never recovered completely. A staggering Geale prompted a swift stoppage from referee Michael Ortega. Geale’s defeat started from a stiff Golovkin Jab, according to GGG’s trainer Abel Sanchez, “Gennady hit him with a jab in the second round and that was a telling point.” The accuracy of punches by both fighters were at the 29% mark by Compubox, but the effectiveness of those that connected resulted in a noteworthy win for Golovkin in his record. Golovkin earned $750,000 compared to Geale who received $600,000. The fight averaged 984,000 viewers and peaked 1.048 million viewers on HBO. This was a big dip compared to what Golovkin achieved against Stevens, the last time he appeared on HBO.
On 12 August 2014, it was rumored that Golovkin would next fight former multiple time world title challenger and then Interim WBC champion Marco Antonio Rubio (59-6-1, 51 KO). On 20 August, the fight between Golovkin and Rubio was made official. K2 Promotions announced the fight would place on 18 October 2014, on HBO at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. It would mark the first time Golovkin would fight in the West Coast. Golovkin spoke to ESPN about the announcement, “I’m very excited to fight in California. I always enjoy attending fights at the StubHub Center and look forward to a Mexican-style fight against Marco Antonio Rubio.” Rubio failed to make weight, weighing in at 161.8 pounds, thus losing the Interim WBC title on the scales. Rubio was given the 2 hour timescales to lose the extra weight, but decided against this. The fight still went ahead.
On 21 February 2015, Golovkin defended his middleweight titles against British boxer Martin Murray (28-1-1, 12 KOs) in Monte Carlo. The fight was officially announced in October 2014. Murray started the fight off well defensively, but by the fourth round Golovkin began to heat up and started finding Murray consistently. Murray was knocked down twice in the fourth round, even sustaining an additional punch to the head while down on a knee. Golovkin found it much easier to land his punches on Murray in the middle-rounds. Although Murray’s chin withstood a lot of Golovkin punches in those middle-rounds, he eventually went down again in round 10 after sustaining a lot of punishment. Murray came out for round 11 and therefore had lasted longer in the ring with Golovkin than any other of his opponents so far, although Murray came out with a bloodied countenance and Golovkin continued to connect with shots, the referee stopped the bout as he felt Murray was not fighting back effectively and had taken too many punches. CompuBox statistics showed Golovkin landing 292 of 816 punches (36%), and Murray connected on 131 of 469 (28%). The fight aired on HBO in the USA during the afternoon and averaged 862,000 viewers. At the time of stoppage, the three judges had their respective scorecards reading 100–87, 99–88, and 99–88 in favor of Golovkin. The fight was televised live on HBO in the US in the afternoon and averaged 862,000 viewers, peaking at 938,000 viewers. Although it was a decline in viewership for Golovkin on HBO, it was expected as it was shown during the day and not peak time.
Boxing Insider reported that a deal had been agreed for Golovkin to defend his titles against American Willie Monroe Jr. (19-1, 6 KOs) at The Forum, Inglewood, California on 16 May 2015. In front of 12,372, Golovkin defeated Monroe via sixth-riound TKO, to extend his KO streak to 20. In the first minute of the first round, Monroe started fast with superior movement and jabs, but after that the pace slowed with GGG cutting off the ring and outworking him. In round six, GGG came forward and quickly caught an off guard Monroe with power shots along the ropes, and Monroe went down to his knees, just beating the ten count of referee Jack Reiss. Referee Reiss was willing to give Monroe another chance, but Monroe did not respond. Reiss immediately stopped the contest. Monroe was dropped a total three times. At the time of the stoppage, the scorecards read 50–43, 50–43, and 49–44 for Golovkin. Golovkin landed 133 of 297 punches thrown (45%), Monroe landed 87 punches of 305 thrown (29%). In the post-fight, Golovkin said, “Willie is a good fighter, a tough fighter. I feel great. My performance was special for you guys. This was a very good drama show. This was for you.” He then spoke about future fights, “I stay here. I am the real champion. I want unification. Let’s go, let’s do it guys. Who is No. 1 right now? Bring it on. I will show you.” In regards to unification and big fights, the names of Miguel Cotto, Saúl Álvarez and Andre Ward were mentioned. Golovkin received a purse of $1.5 million and Monroe earned $100,000 for the fight. The fight drew an average viewership of 1.338 million and peaked at 1.474 million viewers.
It was announced in July 2015 that Golovkin would be defending his three world titles against IBF world champion David Lemieux (34–2, 31 KOs) in a unification fight at the Madison Square Garden in New York City on 17 October 2015, live on HBO Pay-Per-View. Both boxers took to Twitter to announce the news. Lemieux won the then vacant IBF title by outpointing Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in June 2015.
On 10 February 2016, it was announced that Golovkin would defend his IBF and WBA middleweight titles on HBO against IBF mandatory challenger Dominic Wade (18–0, 12 KOs) on 23 April at The Forum in Inglewood, California. This bout wasn’t expected to be very competitive for Golovkin, who also stated that he wouldn’t underestimate Wade and added, “I’m happy to fight again at the Forum in front of my fans and friends in Los Angeles, Dominic Wade is a very hungry and skilled middleweight who is undefeated and will be another big test for me.” Wade was very thankful for getting the opportunity to fight Golovkin, “I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to fight ‘GGG’ for the IBF Middleweight Championship on April 23! I’ve worked hard my entire career to get to this point. I’m poised and ready to take on the challenge.” The card was co-featured by Roman Gonzalez who successfully defended his WBC flyweight title with a unanimous points decision over McWilliams Arroyo. In front of a sellout crowd of 16,353, Golovkin successfully defended his middleweight titles with an early stoppage of Wade, his 22nd successive knockout. Wade was knocked down three times before the fight was stopped with 23 seconds remaining in round 2. According to CompuBox stats, Golovkin landed 54 of 133 punches (41%), with most being power punches. Wade managed to land 22 of his 75 thrown (29%). After the fight, when asked about Canelo Álvarez, Golovkin said, “I feel great. I’m here now, and I’m here to stay. I’m not going anywhere. Give me my belt, give me my belt! Let’s fight,” Golovkin reportedly earned a career high $2m for this fight compared to the $500,000 that Wade earned. The fight drew an average of 1,325,000 viewers and peaked at 3,888,000 on HBO.
On 18 May 2016, Álvarez vacated the WBC middleweight title, which resulted in Golovkin being immediately awarded the title by the WBC who officially recognized him as their middleweight champion.
On 8 July 2016, it was announced that Golovkin would defend his world middleweight titles against undefeated British IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (36–0, 25 KOs). The fight took place on September 10, 2016, at the O2 Arena in London, England. Brook was scheduled to fight in a unification bout against Jessie Vargas, whereas there was negotiations for Golovkin to fight Chris Eubank Jr.; however, negotiations fell through and Brook agreed to move up two weight divisions to challenge Golovkin. The fight aired in the United States on HBO and on Sky Box Office pay-per-view in the United Kingdom.
On 17 December, terms were finally agreed and it was officially announced that the fight would take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on 18 March 2017, exclusively on HBO PPV. Golovkin tweeted the announcement whilst Jacobs uploaded a quick video on social media. At the time of the fight, both fighters had a combined 35 consecutive knockouts. It was reported that Golovkin’s IBO world title would not be at stake. The IBO website later confirmed the belt would be at stake. HBO officially announced the fight on 22 December, being billed as “Middleweight Madness”. Loeffler confirmed there was no rematch clause in place.
Saunders tweeted on social media that although he didn’t watch Golovkin’s fight with Jacobs, he was ready to fight him. Saunders claimed to have signed the contract on his end and gave Golovkin a deadline to sign his. On 29 March, promoter Frank Warren also stated that Golovkin would have ten days to sign for the fight. Saunders later claimed to have moved on from Golovkin, until Warren said the deal was still in place. Over the next week, Saunders continued to insult Golovkin through social media. On 7 April, Warren told iFL TV, that Golovkin had a hand injury, which was the reason why the fight hadn’t been made. In the interview, he said, “At the moment, they’re saying that Golovkin’s injured. So we’re waiting to see where this is all going. But as far as I’m concerned, we agreed [to] terms.” It was also noted that he would wait until 6 May, for any updates. On 11 April, it was reported that the fight would not take place and Golovkin would ultimately focus on a September 2017 fight against Canelo Álvarez.
On 9 May, Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions told the LA Times that Álvarez had an immediate rematch clause in place on his contract, whereas Golovkin, if he loses, won’t be guaranteed a rematch. Oscar De La Hoya later also revealed in an interview with ESPN the fight would take place at the full middleweight limit of 160 pounds with no re-hydration clauses, meaning Golovkin and Álvarez would be able to gain unlimited amount of weight following the weigh in. On 5 June, the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas was announced as the venue of the fight, and would mark the first time Golovkin would fight in Nevada. The AT&T Stadium, Madison Square Garden and Dodger Stadium missed out on hosting the fight. Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions said in a statement that Álvarez would fight for the IBF meaning he would participate in the second day weight in, which the IBF require that each boxer weighs no more than 10 pounds over the 160 pound limit. Although he said there was no word on whether Álvarez would fight for the WBC title, Álvarez claimed that he would not be. On 7 July 2017, Golden Boy and K2 Promotions individually announced the tickets had sold out.
Speaking to Max Kellerman after the fight, Golovkin said, “It was a big drama show. [The scoring] is not my fault. I put pressure on him every round. Look, I still have all the belts. I am still the champion.” Álvarez felt as though he won the fight, “In the first rounds, I came out to see what he had. Then I was building from there. I think I won eight rounds. I felt that I won the fight. “I think I was superior in the ring. I won at least seven or eight rounds. I was able to counterpunch and made Gennady wobble at least three times. If we fight again, it’s up to the people. I feel frustrated over my draw.” Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez believed judge Byrd had her scorecard filled out before the first bell rang. Álvarez ruled out another fight in 2017, claiming he would return on Cinco de Mayo weekend in May 2018. At the post-fight press conference, Álvarez said through a translator, “Look, right now I wanna rest. Whatever the fans want, whatever the people want and ask for, we’ll do. You know that’s my style. But right now, who knows if it’s in May or September? But one thing’s for sure – this is my era, the era of Canelo.” Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler stated that they would like an immediate rematch, but Golovkin, who prefers fighting at least three times in a calendar year, reiterated his desire to also fight in December. WBO middleweight champion Saunders said he was ready for Golovkin and looking to fight in December too.
Immediately after the controversial ending, talks began for a rematch between Álvarez and Golovkin. Álvarez stated he would next fight in May 2018, whereas Golovkin was open to fighting in December 2017. ESPN reported that Álvarez, who only had the rematch clause in his contract, must activate it within three weeks of their fight. On 19 September, Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told ESPN that everyone on their side was interested in the rematch and they would hold discussions with Tom Loeffler in the next coming days. Ringtv reported that the negotiations would begin on 22 September. On 24 September, Gomez said the rematch would likely take place in the first week of May 2018, or if a deal could be worked, we could see the fight take place as early as March. Despite ongoing negotiations for the rematch, at the 55th annual convention in Baku, Azerbaijan on 2 October, the WBC officially ordered a rematch. Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told ESPN, “Regardless of if they did or didn’t order the rematch, we are going to try to make it happen. We’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen.” On 7 November, Eric Gomez indicated the negotiations were going well and Álvarez would make a decision in regards to the rematch in the coming weeks. It was believed that Golden Boy would wait until after David Lemieux and Billy Joe Saunders fought for the latter’s WBO title on 16 December 2017, before making a decision. On 15 November, Eddie Hearn, promoter of Daniel Jacobs stated that he approached Tom Loeffler regarding a possible rematch between Golovkin and Jacobs if the Álvarez-Golovkin rematch failed to take place. On 20 December, Eric Gomez announced that the negotiations were close to being finalized after Álvarez gave Golden Boy the go-ahead to write up the contracts. On 29 January 2018, HBO finally announced the rematch would take place on 5 May on the Cinco de Mayo weekend. On 22 February, the T-Mobile Arena was again selected as the fight’s venue. According to WBC, unlike the first bout, Álvarez would fight for their title.
On 5 March 2018, Álvarez tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol ahead of the fight. Adding to the controversy, Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez claimed that Álvarez had his hands wrapped in an illegal manner for the first fight. On 23 March, the Nevada State Athletic Commission temporarily suspended Álvarez due to his two positive tests for the banned substance clenbuterol. Álvarez was required to appear at a commission hearing, either in person or via telephone, on the issue on 10 April. The commission would decide at the hearing whether the fight would be permitted to go ahead as scheduled. Tom Loeffler stated that Golovkin intended to fight on 5 May, regardless of his opponent being Álvarez or anyone else. On 26 March, former two-time light middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs), who started campaigning at middleweight in 2017, put himself into the equation and offered to fight Golovkin on 5 May. On 29 March, IBF mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko’s manager Keith Connolly told Boxing Scene that Derevyanchenko would be ready to replace Álvarez and fight Golovkin in his place if the fight was to get postponed on 10 April. On 28 March, MGM Resorts International, who owns the T-Mobile Arena, started to offer full refunds to anyone who had already purchased tickets for the bout. They wrote, “In the event a fan requested a refund, they could get one at the original point of sale and in full.” The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported the news. Álvarez’s hearing was rescheduled for 18 April, as Bob Bennett filed a complaint against Álvarez. On 3 April, Álvarez officially withdrew from the rematch. Golden Boy mentioned during a press conference it was hinted that Álvarez would likely not be cleared at the hearing and they would not have enough time to promote the fight. At the hearing, Álvarez was given a six-month suspension, backdated to his first drug test fail on 17 February, meaning the ban would end on 17 August 2018. His promoter De La Hoya then announced that Álvarez would return to the ring on the Mexican Independence Day weekend.
On fight night, in front of 7,837 fans, Golovkin knocked Martirosyan out in round 2. Golovkin applied pressure immediately backing Martirosyan against the ropes and landing his jab. Martirosyan had short success at the end of round 1 when he landed a combination of punches. Again at the start of round 2, Golovkin started quick. He landed a right uppercut followed by a body shot. He then connected with nine power shots which were unanswered and eventually Martirosyan fell face first to the canvas. Referee Jack Reiss made a full 10-count. The time of stoppage was 1 minute 53 seconds. Speaking off Golovkin’s power in the post-fight, Martirosyan said it felt like he was ‘being hit by a train.’ Golovkin said, “It feels great to get a knockout. Vanes is a very good fighter. He caught me a few times in the first round. In the second round, I came out all business after I felt him out in the first round.” For the fight, Golovkin landed 36 of 84 punches thrown (43%) and Martirosyan landed 18 of his 73 thrown (25%). Golovkin’s purse for the fight was $1 million and Martirosyan earned a smaller amount of $225,000. The fight averaged 1,249,000 viewers and peaked at 1,361,000 viewers, making most-watched boxing match on cable television in 2018.
In January 2019, Oscar De La Hoya instructed Golden Boy president Eric Gomez to start negotiating a deal for a third fight between Golovkin and Álvarez. Golden Boy had already booked in 4 May, Cinco De Mayo weekend at the T-Mobile Arena. A few days later, Gomez posted on social media, after preliminary talks with Golovkin’s team, he felt as though Golovkin did not want a third fight. On 17 January, it was announced that Álvarez would take part in a middleweight unification bout against Daniel Jacobs on May 4, 2019.
On 21 March, Golovkin advised that he wanted to fight the best of the middleweight division, regardless of belts. He wanted to close out the remainder of his career, not chasing titles, but to only fight the best and be the best middleweight. On 16 April, Golovkin announced he would fight 35 year old Canadian boxer Steve Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs) on 8 June 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York at a catchweight of 164 pounds. Other names in the running to fight Golovkin were Brandon Adams (21-2, 13 KOs), Kamil Szeremeta (19-0, 4 KO) and former world champion Hassan N’Dam. It was then reported that Adams would challenge Jermall Charlo (28-0, 21 KOs) instead. Speaking to Fight Hub TV, Loeffler explained Rolls was chosen as Golovkin’s opponent to increase subscriptions in Canada. On 24 April, Golovkin released a statement announcing he had split with longtime trainer Abel Sanchez, after nine long years. Sanchez called Golovkin ‘Greedy and ungrateful’, also advising ESPN, Golovkin had offered him a pay cut, which he refused. In May, during a press conference, Golovkin revealed Johnathon Banks as his new trainer. Banks was best known for having trained former world heavyweight champion Wladmimir Klitschko. Golovkin weighed 163 pounds, and Rolls came in at 163¾ pounds. Golovkin’s official purse was listed as $2 million, however it was reported he would earn closer to $15 million. Rolls was paid $300,000.
On 5 October 2019, Golovkin defeated Ukrainian Sergiy Derevyanchenko by unanimous decision for the vacant IBF and IBO middleweight titles at Madison Square Garden, New York. After a tentative start to the opening round, which saw both fighters sizing each other up with probing jabs, Golovkin fired off a six punch combination ending with a right hook to Derevyanchenko’s head, dropping the Ukrainian with 1 minute left in the first round. Derevyanchenko rose to his feet within seconds, showing no signs of being hurt. The knockdown appeared to spur Derevyanchenko into action as he began to answer Golovkin’s punches with his own shots for the remainder of the round. In round two, Derevyanchenko began putting three and four punch combinations together behind a single and double jab, while Golovkin stuck to single punches, landing the occasional eye-catching hook. Towards the end of the round, Golovkin opened a cut above Derevyanchenko’s right eye. The action replay appeared to show the cut was caused by a left hook, however, the New York State Athletic Commission deemed it to be the result of an accidental clash of heads, meaning if the fight was stopped due to the cut before the fourth round then the fight would be ruled a no contest, after the fourth, the result would be determined by the scorecards with a technical decision rather than a technical knockout win for Golovkin if the cut was deemed to be the result of a punch. After Golovkin started the opening seconds of the third round as the aggressor, Derevyanchenko quickly fired back to the body, appearing to hurt Golovkin as he backed up and kept his elbows tucked in close to his body to protect his mid-section. Derevyanchenko took advantage of Golovkin’s defensive posture, landing several clean punches to the former champion’s head. Towards the end of the round Golovkin had some success with a couple of sharp hooks to the head and a right uppercut. Golovkin was the aggressor for the majority of the fourth round, having partial success, with Derevyanchenko picking his moments to fire back with two and three punch combinations and continuing to work the body. In the last minute of the round, Derevyanchenko appeared to momentarily trouble Golovkin with a straight-left hand to the body. At the beginning of the fifth round, the ringside doctor gave the cut above Derevyanchenko’s right-eye a close examination before the action resumed. Derevyanchenko controlled the pace of the round with a high punch-output, continuing with three and four punch combinations with lateral movement. Golovkin, meanwhile, stuck with single hooks and probing jabs, landing a solid uppercut halfway through the round. In the final 20 seconds, Derevyanchenko landed another body shot which again appeared to hurt Golovkin, who reeled backwards with his elbows down at his side, protecting his body. The sixth was an evenly fought round with both fighters landing several clean punches to the head, although Golovkin appeared to land the more significant blows which caught the attention of the crowd. Rounds seven, eight and nine were much of the same, back and forth engagements with Golovkin seeming to land the more eye catching blows. The tenth saw Derevyanchenko apply the pressure and back Golovkin up for the first half of the round. Golovkin had success in the last minute with left and right hooks landing on Derevyanchenko’s head, only to see the Ukrainian answer with his own solid shots and back Golovkin up once again in the final 30 seconds of the round. The eleventh and twelfth were closely contested, both fighters having success, with Golovkin again appearing to land the more catching punches in the twelfth and final round. After twelve hard fought rounds, Golovkin won by unanimous decision with two judges scoring the bout 115–112 and the third scoring it 114–113, all in favour of Golovkin. According to CompuBox stats, Golovkin landed a total of 243 (33.7%) punches out of 720, with 136 (43.3%) of 314 power punches, while Derevyanchenko landed a total of 230 (31.2%) punches out of 738, with 138 (29.3%) out of 472 power punches—the most an opponent has landed on Golovkin to date. In a post fight interview, promoter Eddie Hearn, who lead the promotion of DAZN in the U.S., stated: “…he won’t say it, but Gennady has been ill, basically all week”, alluding to the reason Golovkin did not appear on top form during the fight.
On 27 February, Tom Loeffler stated Golovkin was close to securing a deal, with some reports suggesting he was going to sign with DAZN. On 8 March, DAZN announced they had signed Golvokin on a 3-year, 6-fight agreement, worth around $100 million, which would see Golovkin fight twice a year on the platform. It was revealed part of the agreement was Golovkin would earn a purse of $30 million for a trilogy fight against Álvarez. Apart from Golovkin’s own fights, the agreement also included for 2-fight cards per year in 2020 and 2021 for GGG Promotions, to showcase talent from Golovkin’s own promotional company. It was rumoured that Golovkin was offered equity in DAZN through his fight purses. Golovkin’s first bout under the new contract was scheduled for June 2019. Golovkin praised DAZN’s global vision and highlighted that as one of the key reasons he signed with them.
Currently, Gennady Golovkin is 40 years, 5 months and 20 days old. Gennady Golovkin will celebrate 41st birthday on a Saturday 8th of April 2023.
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