Rather than remember the 40-year-old Gennady Golovkin who struggled against Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez on Saturday, here are 10 fights displaying him at his middleweight best…
1 Saúl Álvarez 1
Though it may seem odd for Golovkin’s “best” performance to have ended in a draw, few would argue that this 2017 fight against Alvarez should have gone in the Kazakh’s favour. It would have been a career-defining win, too, given all the Mexican has since gone on to achieve.
2 David Lemieux
Despite the threat of Lemieux’s punch power in 2015, Golovkin strategically broke him apart, using his jab like never before, and eventually took him out in the eighth round. It was the fight that revealed there is more to GGG than just power.
3 Daniel Geale
As violent as they come, Golovkin’s 2014 dismissal of Geale saw him land some of the heaviest and most hurtful shots of his career, with Geale doing well just to get to round three.
4 Matthew Macklin
Not unlike the Geale fight, Macklin did all he could in the face of Golovkin in 2013, but was ultimately out of his depth, beaten up and finished by a body shot in round three.
5 Marco Antonio Rubio
So dominant was Golovkin against Rubio in 2014, he even found time to invent a new punch with which he finished his Mexican opponent in round two. The punch in question was a chopping hook to the forehead, delivered from on high, which left Rubio with no chance of getting up.
6 Nobuhiro Ishida
As savage a final shot as he ever produced, Golovkin fought Ishida in 2013 in Monte Carlo and finished the Japanese fighter with a right hand, sending him through the ropes. No count was necessary.
7 Kell Brook
After offering Brook, a natural welterweight, some confidence early in round one, Golovkin then just as quickly took advantage of this, beating Brook up, breaking his face, and stopping him in the fifth round. The Sheffield fighter, in truth, never really recovered.
8 Martin Murray
One of the braver efforts an opponent managed against Golovkin, Murray lasted into the 11th with the middleweight champion in 2015, though failed to win a single one of those rounds and could do nothing to prevent Golovkin securing the stoppage, either.
9 Curtis Stevens
A 2013 fight with big knockdowns, Stevens, a cocksure American who promised to not be intimidated by Golovkin, found himself decked heavily in round two, but reacted well until he was put out of his misery in the eighth.
10 Ryota Murata
While perhaps not vintage Golovkin, a 2022 excursion to Saitama, Japan is notable because it could be the last big win of his career. It was a good finish, too, with him overcoming some sticky spells to finally break down and stop Murata in the ninth.