Gennady Golovkin to retire after Canelo fight?Written by Lee Cleveland
The biggest match-up in boxing, Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez vs. Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin, is official for September 16th, 2017.
Golovkin and Canelo are two of the best fighters in the world - and most exciting. Moreover, the odds are nearly even and both fighters are explosive and relentless in the ring.
And while excitment for Canelo vs Golovkin is brewing, the latter dropped a small bomb yesterday during his interview wih ESPN.
"I don't know. Maybe after this fight I'm finished, maybe not. I feel very good," Golovkin stated.
Canelo burst onto the scene just 5 years ago. And no one has been discussing GGG's retirement for good reason. Despite being 35, Golovkin appears to be in his prime, or close.
"OK I'm 35 but I feel like I'm 25. But this is boxing, not soccer, it's not a game, this is a fight and every fight is very difficult."
Is this Gennady's way of engaging in mind games with Team Canelo, wanting them to think he's already got one foot out of boxing? Or maybe that grueling 12-round fight with Danny Jacobs in March convinced him he's not indestructible after all? And let's not forget, last fall Kell Brook unleashed some hard leather on GGG who would eventually score a 6th Round TKO.
Prior to facing Brook and Jacobs, Gennady Golovkin had steamrolled the competition and was virtually untested.
Is GGG slipping? One could argue he's simply facing better, more threatening opposition as Brook and Jacobs aren't exactly chopped liver and even all-time greats don't dazzle against everyone.
... However, and as it relates to age, fighters have been known to 'hit a brick wall' in their mid 30s.
The great Sugar Ray Leonard was only 34 when he was beaten and battered by a 23-year-old Terry Norris while Julio Cesar Chavez was a few weeks shy of 34 when he was sliced and diced by a younger Oscar De La Hoya.
Roberto Duran, at 33, was KO'd in two by a younger Thomas Hearns and a heavily-favored 33-year-old Hearns was floored twice in his decision loss to Iran Barkley in their rematch.
And Superman, himself, Roy Jones Jr, started his monumental decent at 34, getting heavily touched-up in his narrow decision verdict to a slightly older but less shopworn Antonio Tarver. It would seemingly be Roy's last victorious hurrah on boxing's biggest stage as Tarver would KO him in their rematch.
Will Golovkin unexpectedly 'hit a brick wall' like Roy Jones, Jr?
Thanks to enhancements in training and nutrition as well as more few open minds, today's professional athletes, especially boxers, can thrive at ages that were once unimaginable. However, given his 300 plus amateur fights, Golovkin may have a bit more wear and tear on his body than some think. In all, he's probably been boxing nearly 25 years.
Non-heavyweights with long amateur careers, such as Roy Jones, Pernell Whitaker and Sugar Ray Leonard, tend to descend in their mid 30s... And it has as much, if not more, to do with the wear and tear on their bodies than age.
There are exceptions, such as Floyd Mayweather who had a lengthy amateur career and was still the world's best at 38.
Canelo vs GGG News
Date: September 16, 2107
Broadcast: HBO PPV (US)
Champion: Golovkin (Consensus)
Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Will Golovkin retire after the Canelo fight?
Let's follow the money. Win or lose this fall, it's highly unlikely he'll retire unless he loses badly. However, should he defeat Alvarez in September and win their rematch, hanging 'em up would be a real possibility if there were no big-money options left.
"I think there could be three fights [with Canelo], I'm ready, I want," said Golovkin when asked if he thought there could be a trilogy. I believe it is possible. I think it's the best fight for boxing."
For the sake of boxing, let's hope Golovkin gives us a few more years.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.