It has always been [in many ways] one of the more powerful areas in all of Europe. Even when it wasn’t fully independent as it is now, its influence remained massive. Gennady Gennadyvich Golovkin (or “GGG” as you know him), is really “From Kazakhstan With Love”, but this doesn't sound as sexy.
Inhabited by rebellious nomads for most of its existence and solidified by Genghis Khan in the 13th century, Kazakhstan has really always been a band of fruitful brothers and sisters united in solidarity to this very day.
There’s a reason for this, and Golovkin fights as if he’s defending its borders without fear or retreat.
When Kazakhstan officially became part of the USSR in 1936, it was only after years of systematic and methodical suppression. Before this, Stalin killed millions of free thinkers, writers, poets, politicians, historians, athletes… Anyone who demonstrated will or independence, or had the wrong ethnic heritage or belief, was purged.
Millions of what Stalin thought of as malcontents, misfits, rebels or otherwise problems he couldn’t control, was sent to either Siberia (wassup Ruslan Provodnikov aka “Provo”!) or the area of Kazahkstan.
Golovkin, a completely destructive hybrid of Mexican all-time great Julio Cesar Chavez and the lethal straight-up bludgeoning style of Russian/Australian great Kostya Tszyu, perfectly represents the uniquely amalgamous nature of the Kazahkstan people and its history.
If history has proven it does anything with remarkable consistency, it’s that it repeats itself. While we live in what still remains by definition a democratic state, the notion of one being lead by the police is an everyday state of mind for many Americans now.
If most of us believe in the issuance of hope, Golovkin comes from a place that believes in delivering a warning. The ring is his turf, or “country”, and the WBA/IBO middleweight champs’ ring demeanor seems to say “you will not invade my f****** space”.
When a good friend of mine and I watched Golovkin slow cook and oven roast the super tough Ghanaian by way of Chicago, Osumanu Adama, that very quality was on display.
For many Adama was a nobody - or a tomato can even- that Golovkin dispatched via 7th round TKO in Monaco, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Those of us who know boxing know better. Both Curtis Stevens (whom Golovkin decimated last November in 8 rounds) and Adama would be nightmares for WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez today.
Golovkin would destroy Martinez (and just may this fall, see slideshow).
For now, April 26 seems to be the next date for the “GGG” machine with Irishman Andy Lee being the leading candidate. This is cool but, the last time we really saw Lee he was being manhandled by Chavez Jr. without mercy.
James Kirkland and his people passed on it, instead opting for a spot on the undercard to maximize revenue for a potential fight with the Kazahkstan warrior later. And it’s smart considering Kirkland’s style would probably get him killed against Golovkin.
Daniel Geale was on my personal wish list, but that date conflicts with Australian TV and a UFC event, meaning its revenue Geale can’t get. This is like Pacquiao knowing the people of the Phillipines can’t see his fight and that he can’t collect TV money from that region (something never discussed when it comes to Pacquiao’s revenue).
Geale had no choice but to opt out.
In the meantime, the pride of Kazakhstan will continue his assault on the top pound for pound status and an eventual showdown with the only man within range who can solve him, all-world American and my own #1 ranked fighter in the sport, super middleweight boss Andre Ward.