– I’m pleased that Gennady Golovkin vs. Martin Murray is on for February in Monte Carlo.
In my view, Murray should be lineal & unified world champion and probable pound for pound entrant with wins over Sergio Martinez and Felix Sturm.
Neither of those decisions went his way in his opponents’ back yards, but he is still probably the best challenger for GGG so far.
Murray’ll need a baseball bat to have a chance though, and these are his words, not mine
– Of course, Andy Lee would have been a GGG victim (or “good boy”) by now had it not been for the death of Golovkin’s father, which forced the cancellation of their planned April fight.
In short: GGG’s father died, Andy Lee lived…(credit to @Bostello for that one)
– Golovkin’s granddad is still going strong though:
– Jay Z’s (holder of an old grudge against Haymon) Rocnation made an interesting first impression on the boxing business in recent times, bidding big for the mandatory Quillin-Korobov contest, resulting in the ignominy of Haymon ordering Quillin to vacate his title by pulling out of the fight, and a payday more than 3 times what he has earned before.
Haymon has avoided disaster since then by getting Viktor Postol to agree to step-aside money to not immediately (and likely never) face Danny Garcia, and supposedly finalizing the Stiverne-Wilder deal, thus avoiding two more potential purse bid banana skins
– Jay Z’s exorbitant purse bid (as well as various factors resulting in Billy Joe Saunders and Demetrius Andrade turning down the shot) has resulted in the aforementioned Andy Lee getting an opportunity at Matt Korobov in December for Quillin’s former title, and I will be writing more about that contest closer to the date.
The winner is slated to meet the winner of the absolutely fascinating Billy Joe Saunders-Chris Eubank Jr. clash in their first defence.
That is a genuine grudge match (as opposed to the forced pantomime angst of Cleverly-Bellew II), and I expect high-drama on the night, as well as the fight week build-up.
As for the fight itself, I expect Saunders to come away with the win, but Eubank Jr. to emerge with credit for a strong challenge of his much more seasoned foe
– Speaking of vacant belts, Juan Manuel Marquez’s stated aim in continuing his boxing career is to win a 5th divisional title at welterweight.
Expect this to happen if Pacquiao, as stated by Freddie Roach, moves back down to 140 after fighting Chris Algieri, leaving a vacant belt to be gobbled up by the title-hungry Mexican legend against a less-than-stellar foe
– Hopkins-Kovalev is the best fight that can be made at 175 and one of the most intriguing battles of the year.
At two months shy of 50, I think the grand old man of boxing has at least one more great win ahead of him.
As to the politics behind this fight and why Adonis Stevenson has found himself out in the cold, this interview with Hopkins sheds some light:
– Further insight on the matter here from David Greisman, along with the added bonus of an amusing shout-out to yours truly at the coveted #10 spot on the ’10 count’:
– Hopkins-Kovalev also marks the return of Golden Boy to HBO, and the undercard meeting between Sadam Ali and Luis Carlos Abregu marks the official end of the lengthy Golden Boy/Top Rank cold war.
It is the first GB/TR fight arranged on a co-promotional basis since Pacquiao-Hatton in May 2009.
Oscie’s done good, but Al Haymon (in control of the vast majority of fighters who have fought under the GB banner in recent years) is still persona non grata as far as HBO and Bob Arum are concerned, so the cold war does rage on in a different form.
De La Hoya’s rapprochement with Arum and HBO has also strained Golden Boy’s relationship with competing network Showtime, mostly due to Canelo Alvarez being brought back to HBO for future superfights with the likes of Miguel Cotto, and, maybe, Golovkin.
The Richard Schaefer fallout is another factor to consider going into the new year. Will a settlement be reached with Golden Boy and will De La Hoya’s former CEO be contractually free to captain Al Haymon’s ship?
Haymon has a new mega-deal with NBC Sports set to begin in 2015, and it remains to be seen how many of his fighters will be brought there from Showtime and what promotional banners they will fight under.
The capricious political landscape of boxing, sometimes tedious for the uninitiated but always important to consider because of the ramifications it has on which fights we do or don’t see, continues to shift…