BRINGING DOWN A CHAMPION

Written by Charlotte Lily Prior for FightTalk.net

All over the press since the weekend we have been bombarded with how top middleweight Danny Jacobs should have won, how true middleweight king Gennady Golovkin was slow, unexciting and possibly over the hill. But what is it we cannot stand about a champion coming out victorious when pitted against an actual fair and near equal opponent?

Far too often world champions are fighting what Tyson Fury would call out as “bums” (amongst other things) and what the rest of us would call journeymen– inexperienced or average at best fighters who take the paydays when they can get them, with terrible odds and not a whiskers chance of a win. 

So why, when a champion is pretty fairly matched, as in the case of Golovkin v Jacobs this weekend, do some find it so difficult to let them take credit for a win?

Gennady Golovkin deserved to win that fight and I disagree with anyone who says otherwise. I’m not saying Jacobs didn’t throw a fair few punches and some absolutely fantastic combinations throughout, but at no point was GGG in danger of being knocked down and at no point was Jacobs anywhere near taking control of the ring. Jacobs definitely won a few rounds in there, but definitely not enough to make him the champion or deserving of those titles. As for him winning all three first rounds, was I watching a different fight? And he got dropped in round 4. Never coming close to getting GGG on the canvas.

I’m sorry, but this ain’t no Kovalev v Ward controversy, where Kovalev probably did deserve to keep his belts but the fight was so close it is near impossible to call, despite how many times you view it. It’s not even a Whyte v Chisora controversy, where just the sheer man power and determination in the ring probably meant that a draw (or certainly a rematch) was deserved.

Fight fans and professionals have been very quick to take down Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs included, saying perhaps he is too old, he seems tired, he’s gotten predictable, and his long reign as champion is looking soon to come to an end.

“[Golovkin’s power] wasn’t what everyone made it out to be,” Jacobs said in the post-fight press conference. “He definitely wasn’t the boogeyman, knockout artist that everyone was saying about”.

But in my eyes, since when was someone ‘passed it’ just because they hadn’t managed to continue their 23-0 KO streak? Who else even has a record like that to begin with anyway? Are we forgetting he has still never in his career as an amateur or professional been knocked down once, let alone lost a fight. As far as I am concerned a record of 37-0 is nothing short of historically spectacular and while I wouldn’t rate it as one of this best fights, Chris Eubank is spouting a load of old tosh when he said it was boring. As for him fighting either Golovkin or Jacobs, I don’t quite think he would last that long with either at this stage… And Jacobs, in honesty, I thought you would have retained some more class after reacting with a bad taste in your mouth. 

This was the first time in Golovkin’s whole career that he has ever even had to go the distance, at no stage seeming to tire or slow down in my opinion. He had previously once been to Round 11, against Martin Murray but in every fight he has had, he secures the win convincingly. He is definitely very much still an attraction and anyone who says otherwise I’m sure in his next fight they simply will not be bothering to watch… except they will, because we for some reason just love to bring someone down, especially such a highly-regarded champion. ‘He should of knocked him down if he was any good’, scream many-a-keyboard warrior while reaching for another slice of pizza over the top of their discarded gym membership.

People like a win, but it needs to be a clear one when you’re at the top or the press and the public’s favour starts to waine. It’s why Klitschko was so highly rated until Fury caused one of the biggest upset wins of recent times. It’s why people love Anthony Joshua and buy into every single item he endorses from Jaguar to Lucozade. But a win is a win and those slating GGG over a clear victory just doesn’t make sense to me.

I very much hope the Billy Joe Saunders unification fight rumoured for June in Kazakhstan goes ahead once a date can be agreed when Mayweather and McGregor finally decide what’s going on– Golovkin v Saunders will definitely be one where fists are sure to fly and Golovkin can show the doubters exactly what he is made of when he takes all of the belts, hopefully with another one of his signature KO’s.

Catch Charlotte on Twitter @charlottelily89