VERONA, N.Y. -- Three thoughts from Gennady Golovkin's impressive knockout win of Grzegorz Proksa....
Ladies and gentleman, Gennady Golovkin: You want a power punching, rib crunching, uber-skilled middleweight? Golovkin might be it. Making his U.S. and HBO debut, Golovkin was, in a word, overwhelming. He dropped Proksa in the first round, again in the fourth and put him down for good in the fifth. Against a good opponent -- though unheralded in the U.S., Proksa held the European middleweight title and has beaten down some solid competition -- Golovkin made it look easy, connecting on 40 percent of his shots, per CompuBox, and a whopping 74 percent of his power shots. The three times he put Proksa down were the only three times he has been down in his career.
Golovkin said he wanted to make a statement in this fight and he made a big one. Proksa didn't make it easy; he moved well in the first three rounds, constantly turning Golovkin and showing him different angles. But Golovkin's body work eventually slowed Proksa down, and when he became stationary, Golovkin assaulted him relentlessly. It was as good a coming-out performance as Golovkin could have hoped for.
And now no one will fight him: Shortly after the fight, Golovkin told me that the winner of the September 15th showdown between Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez is his "dream matchup". Just don't expect the winner of that fight to be uttering his name. Golovkin was too good for his own good. None of the high profile guys will touch him, not with the risk/reward so unbalanced. It's a price too many talented fighters pay.
One possibility: A middleweight tournament. HBO has expressed an interest in bringing together the division's top dogs -- Golovkin, Martinez, Pirog and Daniel Geale, who became the unified titleholder with his win over Felix Sturm on Saturday -- for a four-man, single-elimination tournament next year. Martinez needs to win for it to happen --Top Rank has no interest in including Chavez in such a tournament, not when he brings so much money to the table on his own -- but if he does, that would be an electric event.
Another possibility: Peter Quillin, who will challenge Hassan N'Jikam on October 20th, tweeted that he would be willing to face Golovkin if he wins his fight. Golovkin won't wait that long for a fight -- he told me he would like to fight again in November or December -- but that fight has great potential for early 2013.
The middleweight's are back: The division of Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta, of Marvin Hagler and Carlos Monzon, has been in decline in recent years due to a lack of talent at the top. But the presence of Martinez and Chavez, the emergence of Golovkin and the potential of Geale, Pirog and Quillin creates plenty of compelling matchups. With HBO on board, it's easy to see one or two becoming household names by the end of '13, reinvigorating a flagging division.
Now, let's just hope promoters don't screw it up.