This Saturday afternoon stateside interim WBC, IBO and WBA middleweight super champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin remained undefeated and continued his knockout streak by stopping British tough guy Martin Murray inside eleven rounds after dropping him three times, twice in the fourth and again in the tenth. As expected the tough but feather-fisted Murray put up a fight for the first couple of rounds but by the third round Golovkin was steam-rolling down hill and punishing the Brit with hellacious punches to the body. A body shot sent him down in the fourth and after a he beat the count another one got the same result. After that it became just a beating as Golovkin looked for the knockout while Murray just looked to survive. By the second half of the fight, it looked like everybody was looking for Murray’s corner to pull the plug except for them who kept sending their man out. One more knockdown in the tenth only was the prelude for the finish in the 11th giving Golovkin yet another knockout win, a streak since 2008.
As soon as the fight was over, HBO’s Max Kellerman jumped into the ring and asked the thirty-two year old Golovkin who he wanted next, without hesitation Golovkin answered with “Cotto”.
Now all those in the know, know that this fight will not happen. Simply put Golovkin, despite his meteoric rise to the top of the middleweight food chain in the close to three years since he showed up in the United Sates, does not provide the current WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto enough greenback incentive to get in the ring with the man with the highest knockout percentage in 160-pound championship history.
Let’s remember that Cotto won the title last August by defeating a defeated Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez at a catch weight of 158-pounds and it was rumored that his proposed fight with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was going to be at 155-pounds. It is safe to say that despite being the linear middleweight champion of the world, Cotto has no interest in actually fighting at the middleweight limit.
So why won’t this fight happen?
It is a matter of simple economics. Cotto, at thirty-four years old a veteran of forty-three fights and many of them wars, is in the twilight of his career. Now he is in the business of making the most money per fight before he retires and Golovkin is not that guy. Even though Golovkin is a popular fighter and is garnering higher ratings than the last every time he performs on HBO, he is still not at the level to produce top dollar for a fighter of Cotto’s caliber. Yes Golovkin sold out the Theatre in Madison Square Garden in New York City and the Stub Hub Center in the west coast but he yet has to main event his first Pay-Per-View event.
That is why Cotto really needed either Alvarez or Mayweather Jr for his next fight. He let the Alvarez fight, who had offered him $10M guaranteed, die on the vine and waited to see if he would get to dance with Mayweather Jr for a second time. Now we know that he didn’t.
Where does that leave Golovkin? For many in the boxing world clamoring for him to move up to stamp his legacy. If he truly wants to leave a mark, he must since he has done all he can do at middleweight. yes, he is looking to unify the titles but in the eyes of history, that would mean much if he does it against marginal opposition. If he truly wants to go down as one of the best, he needs to conquer new land.