Gennady Golovkin would love to fight better boxers than Marco Antonio Rubio. But the 34-year old Mexican who has seen his best days in the ring come and go a long time ago is the best who’s willing to fight the knockout machine from Kazakhstan, finishing yet another successful defend of his Middleweight title belts.
The first round wasn’t exactly close. Golovkin kept hitting and rocking Rubio with big hits, including a big right hand that snapped Rubio’s head back. In the second round, it was close to embarrassing as Rubio was a sitting target for Golovkin to pick apart. Golovkin set up Rubio for the fall with a big right hand followed by a left uppercut before delivering a left hand to Rubio’s temple, who fell on the mat, never to get up in time.
This makes it Golovkin’s 18th consecutive win by knockout, improving to 31-0 as a professional, including 28 wins by knockout. He defended his WBA (super) & IBO titles and added the interim WBC belt which Rubio lost after failing to make the requested weight, so Golovkin was the only one actually boxing for it. But titles are meaningless in boxing. It’s all about the money made from fights, and for that, Golovkin needs a big name to step in the ring with him.
While Golovkin might be the biggest rising name in the sport, he’s known to a limited amount of fans. His West coast debut in Carson, California was attended by over 9000 people. Not bad, but a boxing phenom like Golovkin should be drawing more fans to his fights. Being Kazakh and not American, Mexican or Puerto Rican hurts his chances of being a huge draw all on his own. He’s exciting and in his prime, but some things about fan bases are difficult to decode.
So what comes next? Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto will be fighting each other next, and they are the best chances of Golovkin to make a big pay day. He earned $900,000 from his win over Rubio. Andre Ward isn’t planning on going down to Middleweight or fighting at all. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. pulled out of a fight against him. Other titlists or former titlists like Carl Froch, Peter Quillin or Felix Sturm have no intention of getting in the ring with him.
So until he gets a chance to trade punches and gloves with a big name, Golovkin remains hungry and maybe in some way, an enigma. His fights and wins have been sizzling and easy on the eyes, but his opponents haven’t been exactly formidable. He wants Miguel Cotto more than anything, regardless of what happens in the fight against Canelo. The younger fighter can wait, although maybe some are waiting for Golovkin, 32, to get a bit older and slower so he won’t be so scary anymore.