The Gennady Golovkin-Mike Tyson Intimidation Effect

16/09/2016 11:43

World middleweight destroyer Gennady Golovkin is undeniably a devastating force to be reckoned with.

Without doubt one of the best pound for pound boxers in global boxing today and a man with a well deserved reputation as a growing star.

He holds the highest knockout percentage in middleweight (160lbs) boxing history and after his most recent 5th round stoppage of Britain's Kell Brook in London's 02 Arena, is now riding the crest of a bone chilling wave of 23 straight knock outs on the trot.

He's amassed a professional record to date of 36-0 (33KO) and has not shown yet that he can be even hurt, let alone knocked down.

Top middleweights have hit him with the kitchen sink, like massive rights hands from Australian Daniel Geale, to skull shuddering left uppercuts from Kell Brook.

The punches land and seem to have no impact whatsoever, he just walks them off and continues to march forward, stalking and patiently waiting for his moment to land his heavy artillery at the precisely correct time.

Golovkin's punch resistance combined with his freakish offensive output has created an almost mystique around him, similar to that of Mike Tyson in the late 1980's - a ferocious fistic ball of energy that fighters were beaten by before they even stepped in the ring.

This mental edge is huge in a sport as already difficult and taxing as boxing, where even the slenderest of advantages count, between athletes as highly tuned as top level prize fighters.

In the Kazakhstan man's most recent fight with Kell Brook, a welterweight champion moving up to the middleweight division for the first time, he was met with a boxer who showed no fear early on against him.

This was the first time in a while that anyone did this to him. Round 2 in particular was quite epic.

Despite Golovkin saying afterwards that the punches Brook landed didn't hurt him, you can bet your bottom dollar he felt them - one uppercut in particular nearly took him off his feet.

These comments from Golovkin were something he'd obviously say in truth, as he knows he's built up a stellar name in the sport for been almost indestructible now, and can't be seen to lose face and acknowledge that a welterweight actually ruffled his feathers.

When comparing Golovkin to a prime Mike Tyson there are obvious differences in the two physically, granted, but that psychological effect they had on their opponents seems to be quite similar.

It took a possessed Buster Douglas, inspired by a personal tragedy to stop 'Iron' Mike Tyson in his tracks in 1990 to win the world heavyweight title.

A Tyson who by his own admission didn't take the fight seriously he mentioned afterwards.
But that's where the comparison between Golovkin and Tyson ends for me.

I can't ever see Golovkin taking his foot off the gas and underestimating an opponent.
It's just not in his make up.

His humility, dedication and not wanting of a flashy lifestyle or persona in the media are all traits that suggest this 34 year old modern boxing titan will be dominant for another few years yet, provided he stays campaigning at middleweight.

There is the argument that he might not be what he is if he moves up a weight, but time will tell on that.
The best comment I ever heard on an idea for a game plan to beat Golovkin was from a professional boxer in his own weight class and former world champion, Irishman Andy Lee.

He once said that if he fought Golovkin he'd just train for three crazy rounds and try to clean Golovkin out in a Hagler vs Hearns type street fight and if it didn't work after the three rounds - so be it.

It's hard to see anyone at middleweight employing elaborate boxing tactics to beat 'GGG' over twelve rounds to win a decision without been broken somewhere along the way.

Maybe WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders can be the man to employ this type of strategy in 2017 if a unification fight with Golovkin comes off.

But it's a big ask.