Gennady Golovkin: Why Triple G is still the world's best, P4PWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Last week in a historic match-up pitting two-time Olympic gold medalists, Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) easily defeated Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-1, 11 KOs) in a bout that failed to live up to expectations.
The ultra-skilled but much smaller Rigondeaux was no match for Lomachenko and was resigned to quit on his stool after six rounds.
Now, many are prematurely calling Vasyl the world's best pound for pound.
Does Lomachenko deserve that prestigious mythical crown?
Well, let’s examine what the pound-for-pound ranking is.
In boxing, the term "pound-for-pound' was historically used to describe a fighter's value in relation to fighters of different weight classes based on:
1) quality of opposition
2) record and consistency, and
3) level of dominance (i.e. Is he crushing all of his opponents or winning split decisions?)
Historically, in order to be considered among the best in the world, a boxer has usually been consistently successful for a number of years and tallied wins against a handful of other elite-level opponents, or has been incredibly dominant over normal contenders.
While Lomachenko is certainly in the top 5, middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin has been more impressive and consistent. Let's not forget, Loma lost his second fight to Orlando Salido who, in all fairness, purposely entered that fight weighing far more than the stipulated weight limit.
Just as Loma was the smaller man against Salido, he dwarfed Rigo who had moved up two divisions to face him. If we credit Loma for defeating the much smaller Rigo, we must check him for losing to the larger Salido.
Question: What will happen when Lomachenko faces a 'Guillermo Rigondeaux' his size?
Sure, he's defeated Nicholas Walters, Gary Russell Jr and Roman Martinez; Top fighters by any summation. Those three, and Rigondeaux to a degree, solidify Loma's Top 10 pound-for-pound ranking.
But middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (37-0-, 33 KO), who is still unbeaten after 38 fights, has defeated a long list of former champions and top contenders including Matthew Macklin, Curtis Stevens, Daniel Geale, Martin Murray, David Lemieux, Kell Brook and Daniel Jacobs.
Moreover, he arguably defeated a fellow pound-for-pound star of comparable size, Canelo Alvarez, in September in a bout that was controversially ruled a draw. And minus Canelo and the very underrated Jacobs, Golovkin impressively stopped the others inside the distance.
Not only is Golovkin unbeaten, he's impressively knocked out almost as many world champions as Lomachenko has fights.
The RING is accurate.
RING Pound-for-Pound ratings
(As of Dec 16, 2017)
1 GENNADY GOLOVKIN
2 TERENCE CRAWFORD
3 VASYL LOMACHENKO
4 SERGEY KOVALEV
5 CANELO ALVAREZ
6 MIKEY GARCIA
7 NAOYA INOUE
8 ERROL SPENCE JR.
9 GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX
10 SRISAKET SOR RUNGVISAI
Vasyl Lomachenko might become one of the all-time greats but, at this moment, Gennady Golovkin's destructive ring performances and longtime dominance over former champions and top contenders make him the world's best today.
And should Alvarez impressively defeat Golovkin in their rematch, Canelo should be No. 1. So regardless of the outcome of Canelo vs Golovkin 2, we'd need to see more from Lomachenko to put him in that No.1 spot.
Several more wins against high-caliber opponents or an immediate win over Mickey Garcia at 135 would certainly put Lomachenko in the pound-for-pound supremacy argument.