Written by Charles Saunders,
June 30, 2013, SONAHR: Look out, Sergio Martinez – the G-train’s coming. The G-train is WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, who scored an eye-opening three-round knockout of British challenger Matthew Macklin on Saturday. A single left hook to the liver did the job. The punch was similar to the one Bernard Hopkins utilized to undo Oscar De La Hoya almost a decade ago.
Even though Macklin was undoubtedly the underdog going into the fight, he is far from a tomato can. Last year, he put up a respectable effort against lineal champion Martinez. He even managed to deck the Argentine before finally succumbing in the 11th round. In his next fight, Macklin stopped the highly-regarded Joachim Alcine in the first round. It was unlikely that Macklin could defeat the hard-hitting Golovkin. But the gritty Brit was expected to give Gennady a good fight, as was the case when he went up against Martinez.
That’s not the way it turned out. Golovkin, who hails from Kazakhstan, walked right through Macklin as though the Brit were nothing. In the process, Golovkin racked up his 24th stoppage in 27 bouts. He has yet to lose a pro contest.
Yes, undefeated records are a dime-a-dozen these days, and often reflect shrewd match-making rather than genuine ability. This accusation has been levelled even at pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. – who was called out by Golovkin not long after the abbreviated contest with Macklin ended. But the chances of that match being made are about as likely as those of NSA leaker Edward Snowden receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
At the current stage of his career, Mayweather needs Golovkin like he needs a hole in the gas tank of his BMW. Besides, Floyd has to get past Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in September before considering Golovkin. Even in victory, however, Mayweather is extremely unlikely to include Golovkin on his hit list. Too much risk for a guy who passed on fighting Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao.
Golovkin also called out Martinez. Given his last-round close call against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and his uneven performance against Martin Murray, the 38-year-old Argentine would seem ripe to be plucked by a surging warrior like Golovkin. Golovkin himself is 31, but he appears to be in the midst of his prime – unlike Martinez, who seems to be slipping.
Martinez is taking time off to recover from injuries. If Sergio intends to accommodate Golovkin’s call-out, he had better make certain that those injuries are fully healed. He cannot afford to be hampered in any way against an opponent who adheres to Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s old motto: “Destruct and Destroy.”
Taking on Golovkin would be as risky a proposition for Martinez as it would be for Mayweather. Then again, Martinez has never ducked anyone. If anything, it’s been the other way around. However, Martinez is not Bernard Hopkins, who is still fighting even though his 50th birthday is only a few years away. It’s hard to imagine Martinez continuing his career anywhere near long. He might prefer to close out soon with someone less dangerous than Golovkin. Still, Sergio is a man who relishes a challenge. And Golovkin is as formidable a challenge as there is at 160 pounds.
Martinez-Golovkin in 2104? Maybe.
Mayweather-Golovkin ever? Forget it