Monday, 17 November 2014 22:04

Gennady Golovkin: A middleweight Mike Tyson... or better?

Written by
Roy Jones Jr comments after Gennady Golovkin's 4 minute and 19 second destruction of Marco Antonio Rubio on October 18:

"This don't make it attractive for [potential opponents] because this guy [Golovkin] looks like a monster, a killing machine." 

Golovkin is like "a young middleweight Mike Tyson. He's a guy who just destroys who they put in front of him."

"So these guys aren't going to be knocking on his door to get in the ring in front of Gennady Golovkin, believe me."


Gennady Golovkin is boxing's most destructive force of nature pound for pound and, arguably, the sport's most avoided fighter to a certain degree.

Sporting a 31-0 record and mind-blowing 90% knockouts-to-fights ratio, the unified middleweight champion stands on the cusp of greatness. 

But can Golovkin be compared with a prime Mike Tyson?

Avoidance is nothing new in boxing but even Tyson, one of the most destructive and most feared heavyweights in history, had no problem getting other top fighters in his division to face him.

This is not the case with Golovkin.

People forget, everyone wanted a piece of 'Iron Mike' back in the day.

A rusty Larry Holmes, at 38, came out of retirement to face the young champ while a comebacking George Foreman, at 40+, was "literally" begging and pleading to face the fighter dubbed 'Kid Dynamite,' even proposing a 'winner take all' caveat.

Despite his tenacity in the ring, heavyweight contenders simply didn't shy away from a prime Tyson.... Bonecrusher Smith, Pinklon Thomas, Buster Douglas, Carl 'The Truth' Williams, Michael Spinks, Razor Ruddock and the list goes on. (Although Spinks, as RING Magazine champ, seemingly avoided Mike as long as he could).

So why were so many Top 10 heavyweights eager to test the then-presumably invincible Tyson's mettle yet so few fighters 154-175 lbs are willing to rumble with Golovkin?

Popularity/ Risk vs Reward
For starters, a prime (and even pre-prime) Mike Tyson was far more popular than Gennady is today so the risk vs reward factor was reduced for fighting Mike. 

Bonecrusher Smith, for example, earned $1 Million USD for fighting Mike in 1987. Today, that would be $2,095,000. Rubio earned a mere $450,000 (not including his fine for not making weight) for fighting Gennady last month.

Size
Secondly, at 5'10" or 5'11", Tyson was short for a heavyweight and had short, alligator arms. As a result, some believed it would only be a matter of time before a tall, strong, well-schooled heavyweight came along who could use his reach and footwork to outbox Mike from a distance and utilize his sizeand strength to effectively grapple and tie-up Tyson in close.

Vulnerabilities (most important)
Third, and most important, fighters and trainers noticed vulnerabilities in Tyson that are not (yet) evident in Golovkin today. He was pushed to the limit against veteran James 'Quick' Tillis, jolted in the waning moments of his fight with Bonecrusher Smith, rocked by Tony Tucker and wobbled by Frank Bruno.

Moreover, Tyson sometimes got frustrated and sloppy when and an opponent absorbed his best shots and fired back.

Looking back, although Tyson was considered invincible, everyone seemed to have a theory on how to beat him and no one really avoided him. 

With Golovkin, however, there aren't many trainers and fighters offering strategies or suggestions on how to topple 'GGG' and, unlike a prime Mike, we haven't seen him rocked or look the least bit vulnerable.


While there's no compairing Golovkin's popularity and overall stock value to a prime Mike Tyson, is Gennady Golovkin, in the ring, a middleweight version of Mike Tyson (thus far)?
 
Or is he, perhaps, a little better?
 

 

SC RIGHT

 

 

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