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How popular is GGG?

Photo by Ray Flores

Photo by Ray Flores

With Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather approaching twilight of their respective careers sweet science is looking for new stars and new heroes. Could current middleweight champion from Kazakhstan, Gennady Golovkin become a cross over star?  HBO executives bank on it. They have been featuring Golovkin’s fights on HBO since September of 2012 when he stopped rugged Gregorz Proksa in five rounds. Every fight since resulted in a knock out.

Now I enjoy watching the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Bernard Hopkins apply their craft in the ring, but I would prefer violence and a knock out every time. There is something mystical about a knock out when in the heat of battle a man can strike his adversary with such a force that renders him unable to stand upright. Everyone loves a knock out. People love Mike Tyson. They didn’t care what he said or what he did outside the ring, as long as he came inside with his black shorts and no socks and knocked somebody out. They didn’t mind paying hefty pay per view fees even when he knocked Mike Spinks out in the very first round. Everyone loves a knock out.

Gennady Gennadievich Golovkin, also known as GGG produces knock outs. His professional record consists of 30 wins, no defeats and 27 wins by a knock out. That’s ninety percent knock out ratio. In fact, last seventeen of Golovkin’s opponents did not get to hear the final bell. When I asked which was the toughest fight of his professional career, Gennady told me that it is yet to come. At least on paper it was Kassim Ouma who lasted ten rounds in 2011 in Panama. In the ring Ouma put up quite a fight and Gennady’s handsome face showed signs of it. It is amazing to think that with a record of 30 professional fights and being a champion since 2010 Golovkin has never fought for twelve rounds.

But it is not just knock outs, Golovkin is a good looking guy with a kind smile. He is a humble champion who was raised by a very traditional family in Kazakhstan. He treats everyone around him with respect and makes sure he attends to every one of his fans. He is learning English at a good pace so that he can communicate with American media. He has been groomed to be a star from an early age.” He is already a star,” said legendary HBO judge, Harold Lederman.

Legends about Golovkin’s prowess started to roll downhill from Big Bear Mountain five years ago, almost as soon as he moved here to train with Abel Sanchez. “ Did you hear what that Russian guy at Big Bear did to Chavez Jr. in sparring? How about Canelo?” those were questions posed to me or:” Did you hear Golovkin knocked down a light heavy in sparring?”

My initial impression was that Abel Sanchez was running a boot camp of former Soviet Union commandos. But when I first saw Gennady in the ring sparring I had a feeling that he might be special. In contrast to most power punchers Golovkin is very relaxed; he walks around the ring as if he owns it. Two other fighters who feel at home in the ring  come to mind; Floyd Mayweather and Bernard Hopkins. These guys could go twenty rounds if necessary. That’s why Abel Sanchez is not worried about a fact that Golovkin has never fought a twelve round fight. Gennady knows how to not waste energy in the ring and could probably go as long as necessary. Golovkin also has a very good balance which allows him to be in the position to punch almost any time. His acute ring awareness along with extensive amateur background makes him a complete fighter.

Using all his skills along with debilitating power in his fists Golovkin gives fans what they want; knock outs. What’s not to like. Fans love him. His popularity has been growing. After developing a following on the East Coast Golovkin moves his show to Southern California. October 18th , middleweight unification bout with Mexican veteran, Marco Antonio Rubio at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California marks this as Golovkin’s debut performance in Los Angeles. HBO will televise.” It’s my first fight in California, said Golovkin about a month ago during a press conference to announce their showdown:”In the future, bigger fights may be at Staples Center, may be Forum.”

Future might be sooner than later, because two weeks prior to the fight Stub Hub Center is sold out. I heard from reliable source that Gennady had difficulties getting tickets for officials from Kazakhstan who wanted to fly out here for the fight. There are no tickets unless you are willing to use scalpers or what they are called today ticket brokers. Ironically, Stub Hub, ticket broker has two tickets for sale, front row, at a premium of $2202.00 a piece.

Fans will pack Stub Hub Center on October 18th expecting a knock out. Trainer, Abel Sanchez promised this fight will not go past five rounds. Can GGG  deliver ? If so next stop will be at The Forum or Staples Center as Gennady suggested. Can Golovkin continue to sustain the hype that eventually will take him to a super stardom? Stay tuned.

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Honorio stuns Molina.

Pechanga Resort and Casino hosted a very exciting night of boxing on Saturday, November,28th.The card was promoted Goossen-Tutor Promotions and televised live by ShoBox The New Generation.

Photo by Ray Flores

Lightweight John Molina told me last week that he was willing to die in the ring and I am sure by the end of the fifth round he knew he was in a life and death struggle against a Mexican veteran Martin Honorio. So confident was undefeated Molina in his strength and ability that he forgot to box looking strictly for one big punch stocking his opponent but being very ineffective.

Meanwhile veteran Honorio used a stiff jab that bloodied Molina in the first round and lateral movement and accurate punching that included heavy body shots. Aside from that Honorio’s straight right hand found a mark on the regular basis. Round after round Honorio controlled the action with a very hard jab and kept landing hard shots battering Molina from pillar to post. Molina made it a tough fight in the latter rounds, but he could not adjust and it was a little too late. Judges scored it unanimously for Honorio: 99-91, 98-92-98-92. With the win Martin Honorio’s career is rejuvenated. Molina suffers his first professional defeat. Let’s see how he comes back.

“My guy had the flue” said Joe Goossen, Molina’s trainer, who is not known for making excuses:” Wednesday night he had sore throat.”

Photo by Ray Flores

“The weight difference was definitely a factor,” said Honorio:” I could feel his punches and it took me a few rounds to adjust.”  Honorio said he was willing to give Molina a rematch but it would have to be at a lighter weight.

Despite loosing handily and possible physical ailments, John Molina showed the heart of champion and tried very hard to win the fight especially in the latter rounds. He will be back.

Photo by Ray flores

In the first bout televised by ShoBox the New Generation super bantamweights Rico Ramos from Los Angeles and Alejandro Perez from Salinas, California met in the squared circle for an eight round scrap. After a relatively meek first round which Perez won due to activity and pressing the action, combat escalated rather quickly. Perez got more aggressive in the second and was on his way of winning a round when he ran into a short right hand and went down. Rico Ramos took control of the fight in the third and had Perez in deep trouble several times, but the Mexican warrior weathered the storm and came back with shots of his own.

Alejandro Perez made it a competitive fight in the middle rounds by continuously marching forward and trying to put hurt on his nemesis, but Rico was obviously the more talented and a faster boxer. Every time Perez backed his foe to the ropes, Ramos was more effective in a firefight. Ramos had a huge seventh round, getting his opponent in a lot of trouble landing hard accurate punches almost at will. Ramos finished the fight very strong moving and firing and hurting his brave adversary who kept marching forward displaying inhuman courage. In the end the old adage speed kills never rang more true than in this contest. Judges awarded undefeated Rico Ramos a unanimous decision with scorecards reading as follows 78-73, 80-71, 80-71. “I did well,” said Ramos, who despite a convincing victory is going to know he was in the fight: “He was very strong. I had to use my movement.” It was very good showing for Rico Ramos who showed the skills and maturity of a seasoned veteran.

In the opening bout of the evening, a four rounder in a flyweight division, undefeated Malcolm Franklin (2-0) from Rialto, California overcame a first round knockdown to out point winless Ludwin Mondragon (0-3) from Santa Ana. All three judges scored the fight the same 38-37.

The four round heavyweight attractions featuring a seven foot 325 pound giant from Los Angeles Ernest Mazyck (7-1,2KO) and Ethan Cox (2-6-1) from Long Beach was hardly an attraction as neither fighter had any idea as far as what to do in the ring and they clinched for most of the fight. Knowing the outcome of the bout was still in the balance both pugs opened up in the final stanza to bring a little excitement to the crowd. Judges awarded majority decision to the giant nicknamed Zeus. Scores were 38-38, 39-37, 39-37 in his favor. The crowd booed the decision.

In the battle of light middleweights journeymen, Charles Whitaker (35-12-2,22KO’S) from Cayman Islands stopped Chad Greenleaf (11-14-1, 5KO’S) from Wheeling, West Virginia at 2:28 of the third round with a good liver shot. Greenleaf got up but went down again right away from no apparent punch. He got up again and just as he seemingly was getting his legs under him, the corner asked the referee to end the contest.

Photo by Ray Flores

U.S. Olympian Javier Molina (3-0,3KO) had absolutely no trouble with his opponent from Mexico Miguel Garcia (0-2); he battered and bloodied him for two rounds until his corner threw in the white towel at 2:44 of the second stanza. “I should have gone to the body,” said Molina:” But my jab was working so well, so I kept using it.”

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2009 in Professional Boxing

 

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Pacman inspires the nation and the rest of the world.

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Photo by Chris Farina

Manny Pacquiao solidified his claim to a pound for pound throne stopping brave Miguel Cotto in the twelfth round of the WBO welterweight championship fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Los Vegas in front of a thunderous, sold out crowd of 16,200 on Saturday night. Crime rate goes down in Philippines when their national hero fights. Consistent with that November 14th should become a national holiday, Manny Pacquiao Day or The Day of a Peaceful Warrior. The fight with Miguel Cotto has to be ranked among the top performances of Pacman’s brilliant career; the dynamic savagery in the ring and complete domination of one of the sport’s elite fighters left many in the arena breathless.

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Photo by Chris Farina

Expecting to see a prolific offence incorporating a torrent of punches coming from all sorts of angles, fans were treated to another facet of his game, not often used in the past, a defense, but more than that the heart of a champion and ability to withstand a heavy welterweight punch. Manny Pacquiao took the best shots from the fierce Puerto Rican warrior, the shots that some feared would change the fight, and when the dust settled after six rounds, Pacman was the one firing at will with superior firepower making his opponent go in retreat.” He hit a lot harder than we expected and he was a lot stronger than we thought,” said Joe Santiago, a head trainer for Miguel Cotto.

In the first round Cotto came out firing a shotgun jab with bad intentions, the same jab that knocked down Joshua Clottey and gave Shane Mosley problems; this hard jab was snapping Pacquiao’s head back and making him retreat at times. In the second, a round so dynamic I watched for three minutes without taking a breath, Pacman made the adjustments and was able to unload his artillery and the firefight was on.

Cotto was doing very well in the third round landing his patented left hooks and driving Pacquiao back at times and just when it started to look like he was going to assert his dominance and strength, Pacquiao dropped him with a right hook that went around the glove, which Puerto Rican fighter never saw. It was a flash, more off balance knock down that only made Cotto more aggressive in the conclusion of the third. But besides winning the round, it was a shot itself that was very significant for Manny, because it was the right hook around that Cotto, keeping his gloves high, could not see coming.

In the fourth Cotto continued to land bombs, especially some thunderous body blows that made fans of Pacquiao cringe, but when the Pilipino dynamo bounced on his feet and did a patented move hitting his gloves together as if to say” Let’s go” it seemed as though Pacquiao was able to take Cotto’s best shots and we were going to find out if the Puerto Rican fighter could do the same. “I tried to test his power in the early rounds. That’s why I got hit in the body and the head. I controlled the fight,” said Manny Pacquiao.

In the heated exchange at the end of the fourth stanza Manny dropped Cotto with a short left, square on the chin, and this time it was not a flash knock down; Miguel was hurt, but he got up and made it out of the round. Besides being behind on points, Cotto had a look of desperation in his eyes knowing he had a very uphill battle in front of him. “It didn’t go my way tonight,” said Cotto after the fight:” The jabs I threw landed, but I didn’t protect myself.” Actually Miguel did not know how to protect himself as Pacquiao turned up the intensity and unloaded blistering combinations that were coming from all angles baffling the Puerto Rican fighter.

It remained somewhat competitive for a few more rounds, but after the sixth Pacquiao took over the fight, he increased his lethal combinations while Cotto was mostly backing up and occasionally throwing back punches that lacked speed and power of earlier rounds. Pacman continued to stock his retreating prey and unload almost at will. Ninth round was especially damaging as bloodied and battered Cotto, chillingly similar to the way he looked in a fight with Margarito, seemed to wilt under ongoing fire assault. Miguel’s wife and son could not watch it any more and left the arena after the ninth. In the corner papa Cotto kept saying enough and head trainer was saying “We will give you one more round!”, but they never did stop the fight. Manny pressed forward, doing his job, stopping at times, glancing at the referee as if to say: “Do you want me to kill this guy?”

Finally referee Kenny Bayless stopped the massacre at fifty five seconds of the twelfth round. Cotto, who obviously wanted to finish the fight on his feet, was taken to the local hospital for observations.

“I fought everybody, and Manny is one of the best boxers today,” Cotto said. That point is very hard to argue unless you are Floyd Mayweather. “I want to see him fight Mayweather,” trainer Freddie Roach said.  And so does the rest of the world. Las Vegas bookmakers have already posted the odds on that fight. Will we get to see it?

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2009 in Professional Boxing

 

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