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Gennady Golovkin: Is 'GGG' a top 5 pound-for-pound fighter?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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WBA middleweight champion Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin (30-0, 27 KOs) orchestrated an impressive third round knockout of former world champion Daniel Geale (30-3, 16 KOs) Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The fighter dubbed 'GGG' felled his foe in the second stanza with a combination before ending matters in Round 3 compliments of a wicked right hand.

(Courtesy of HBO)

What makes Golovkin's victory so impressive is Geale had never been stopped before. As a matter of fact, he entered the bout with just two losses, both of which were narrow, split decision tilts (to Anthony Mundine and Darren Barker) that could have arguably gone either way.

Heading into the Barker fight last August, Geale was considered the No. 2 middleweight by RING Magazine and rated higher than Golovkin, Peter Quillin and Felix Sturm.

In addition to his fine record, Geale is not a fighter who is easy to look good against and boasts victories over the likes of Anthony Mundine (return bout), Felix Sturm, Sebastian Sylvester and Roman Karmazin.

And while Daniel Geale is not considered a world beater, he is a legitimate top contender who would likely give any middleweight, sans Golovkin of course, problems.

Boasting 30-0 record and 90 percent knockouts-to-fights ratio, is Gennady Golovkin a top 5 pound-for-pound fighter?

Pound for Pound ratings are determined by:
  • Wins against quality opposition (Most important)
  • Frequency of fighting (Is he fighting at least once every 7 or 8 months?)
  • Strength of wins (How dominant is he?)
  • Recent performances (Accomplishments over the past couple of years are weighted higher than wins many years ago)

Some will argue GGG is not worthy of Top 5 status because his list of foes isn't as impressive as Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez's.

Golovkin's resume also pails in comparison to Andre Ward who has defeated the likes of Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler and then-lineal light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson.

As a matter of fact, Tim Bradley foes Lamont Peterson, Ruslan Provodnikov, Miguel Vazquez, Devon Alexander and Juan Manuel Marquez are more respected (in their respective divisions) than anyone GGG has beaten.

So, is Golovkin a top 5 fighter?

Advocates will assert the middleweight division, talent-wise, lacks the depth of several of boxing's other weight classes. Couple that with the fact GGG is undefeated and one of the most avoided fighters in boxing the last 10 years and it's no surprise he has yet to face a top 30 or 40 pound-for-pound opponent.

Proponents will insist Golovkin is a victim of circumstance and should not be excluded from consideration as one of boxing's 'creme de la creme' fighters as a result.

Strength of performances
But more importantly, those who assert Gennady is a top 5 pound-for-pound fighter will point to his 30-0 record, staggering knockouts-to-fights ratio and "how" he is dispatching quality oppenents.

He is manhandling former champions and quality, top-flight opponents the same way a Top 5 pound-for-pound fighter would... or better.

On paper, Golovkin may not merit a top 5 ranking but one must certainly, at the very least, losely consider him in the same league as Mayweather, Pacquiao, Ward, Bradley and Wladimir Klitschko.

GGG Facts
  • Real name: Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин
  • Nickname(s): Good Boy, GGG (Triple G), God of War
  • Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
  • Nationality: Kazakh
  • Born: April 8, 1982 (age 32)
  • Origin: Karaganda, Karagandy Province, Kazakh SSR
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • Amateur record: 345-5
  • Knockout streak: Has recorded 17 straight knockouts and hasn't gone the distance since 2008 (UD 8 Amar Amari)
  • KO ratio: 90%
Most impressive wins
  • TKO 3 Daniel Geale , 2014
  • TKO 8 Curtis Stevens, 2013
  • KO 3 Matthew Macklin, 2013
  • TKO 5 Gregorz Proksa, 2012


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