One of the most debated results of the modern era saw Gennady Golovkin arguably denied a win over his middleweight rival, Canelo Alvarez. In one of the most anticipated battles of the decade, Golovkin and Alvarez applied contrasting tactics, but it was the man from Kazakhstan who was seemingly having more success.
With Golovkin enjoying himself for much of the fight’s early going, it was inevitable that he would slow down in the final third. Despite Canelo doing his best work in the championship rounds, it appeared his brief rally had come too late. He had no need to worry after the ringside judges scored the fight a draw leading to a rematch the following year that would be won by the Mexican following another tightly-fought and thrilling battle.
A fight that proved Golovkin was much more than just a vicious puncher as Brooklyn’s Daniel Jacobs took him the championship distance for the first time in front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden. After a quiet start, the fight exploded into life in the fourth session when Golovkin found a shot that put Jacobs on the canvas. The local man recovered but it was obvious he was now aware of the power possessed by GGG.
Jacobs resorted to fighting on the back foot following the knockdown, switching effectively to prevent Golovkin from causing further damage. Golovkin’s constant pressure gave him the nod on the scorecards, but his impressive 23 knockout run came to an end.
Gennady Golovkin WTKO11 Martin Murray, 2015
Martin Murray had been on the receiving end of two shocking decisions when challenging Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez for world honours at middleweight. There would be no such controversies when he faced Golovkin in Monte Carlo at the beginning of 2015.
After dropping Murray twice in the fourth round, Golovkin grew in confidence and consistently found the brave Brit’s target as the middle rounds progressed. With Murray under constant pressure, the referee made the correct call in stopping the bout in round number eleven.
Gennady Golovkin WTKO5 Kell Brook, 2016
After watching his long-time welterweight rival, Amir Khan, move to 160lbs to challenge Canelo Alvarez, Kell Brook would do the same as he jumped at the chance to take on Golovkin in September 2016. Inspired by the greats of the sport who had taken significant leaps in class, Brook dreamed about enhancing his legacy, but it soon turned into a nightmare.
After doing his best to keep Golovkin at distance with a number of nice counters, the effects of doing continuous laps of London’s O2 Arena to avoid Golovkin’s power quickly caught up with the Sheffield man. After taking several heavy shots, Brook was rescued by his corner in round number five with Golovkin on the verge of securing a stoppage.
Gennady Golovkin WTKO8 David Lemieux, 2015
Boxing fans had become accustomed to watching Golovkin steamroll opponents until he fought David Lemieux inside a rowdy Madison Square Garden. Completely respectful of the Canadian’s heavy hands, Golovkin took a cautious approach as he chose to box Lemieux instead of going all out.
Golovkin’s accuracy was pleasing throughout as he showed a wide variety of attacks as he slowly broke Lemieux down. As each round passed, Lemieux was visibly slowing and when exhausted in the eighth round, Golovkin chose the perfect time to increase his assaults forcing an intervention from the third man.
You can watch more of Golovkin's fights, including his Dec. 2020 win over Kamil Szeremeta to break the record for world middleweight title defences, with a DAZN subscription. Also on DAZN is the compelling original series 'The Making of GGG', looking behind the scenes at the legendary fighter's career.