By Tim Nielson: While IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) refuses to admit that he’s overlooking his next opponent IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs) in their fight on October 17th, Golovkin does admit that he sees a fight against the winner of the Miguel Cotto vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight as a much bigger step up in his career than the one he’s taking against the 26-year-old Canadian Lemieux on HBO pay-per-view from Madison Square Garden in New York.
The interesting thing is that Cotto and Canelo likely aren’t any more powerful than Lemieux in terms of punching power. If anything, Lemieux is a better puncher than either of those guys. Cotto is a pumped up junior middleweight who has good power, but not the kind of power that Lemieux possesses.
Canelo is a 175lb fighter with equal size as Lemieux, but he’s more of the type of fighter who gets his knockouts by an accumulation of blows over a number of rounds rather than him getting a guy out with a single shot like Lemieux is accustomed to doing.
“My focus is on David Lemieux. That’s first step. I think next step is much bigger,” Golovkin said to Fighthype.com. “Right now is great time for middleweight division. This is big test for me. Right now, I don’t feel [that I’m the one to take over the sport after Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao retire]. No, it’s too early; maybe in the future, but not now.”
When asked what he thinks of the Lemieux fight, Golovkin said “Big show, amazing show, and big fight.”
You cannot fault Golovkin for looking beyond the Lemieux fight because it’s a much bigger challenge in facing Canelo or Cotto. The money is bigger in a fight of that kind, and the ramifications are tremendous. If Golovkin beats the Cotto-Canelo winner, he’ll become a huge star and will likely find many of his future bouts on HBO pay-per-view. It’ll obviously depend on who Golovkin is facing though. He won’t be able to fight on PPV against just anybody that he sees in the middleweight ranks. It’s the same thing with Cotto and Canelo. They have to face quality opposition on HBO for them to give them a green light to their fights being televised on PPV.
The Lemieux is a smaller step for Golovkin, but one that is equally important for him. If he trips up in this fight and suffers a loss, then he’ll be eliminated from being able to fight the Cotto-Canelo winner. I doubt that Golovkin would even get a chance at the loser of the Cotto vs. Canelo fight then.