Gennady Golovkin still owns the smile of a college sophomore. He also remains a middleweight, comfortable at 160 pounds. He is virtually unchanged from 2012, when he first bludgeoned his way into pay-per-view land.

He is not as frozen in prime time as Channel 2’s ageless Jim Hill. But the external Golovkin doesn’t seem 38. The calendar says he’ll get there on April 8.

But people tend to talk. They also forget that a 45-year-old George Foreman clubbed Michael Moorer to the canvas and that a 49-year-old Bernard Hopkins was a light-heavyweight champion. They forget that Manny Pacquiao was 40 in July when he outpointed Keith Thurman.

How could you forget all that? Maybe the doubters are showing their age.

“Some young people think being young is an accomplishment,” Rev. Al Sharpton said recently, pondering the septuagenarians who want to be President. “It’s not. It just means you were born later than we were.”

Golovkin fights Sergiy Derevyanchenko on October 5 in New York to begin the laborious process of re-gathering all the middleweight belts. He apparently thinks he has enough time.

This one is for the IBF championship. Golovkin gave that up rather than face the Ukranian because such a fight would have endangered his second fight with Canelo Alvarez last September.

Derevyanchenko lost a split decision to Daniel Jacobs for that vacant belt, but now he’s back, and Canelo and Golovkin somehow aren’t staging their third bout until 2020, if then. Instead, Canelo is challenging light-heavyweight fixture Sergey Kovalev, in Kovalev’s 175-pound realm, on Nov. 2 in Las Vegas.

Is Canelo, 29, trying to run out Golovkin’s clock? Maybe standard time depends on who sets the standard.

“I would consider his age a factor if this were 1995 through 1998,” said Jonathon Banks, whose debut as GGG’s trainer was the fourth-round stoppage of Steve Rolls on June 8.

“But with the medicine and technology, it’s different. I really think he could fight until he was 75 if he wanted to, and I’m serious. He lives really clean. His 37 is not the average 37.”

Golovkin’s paycheck isn’t average either. The big bucks allow fighters to work twice a year, at most. Their faculties and their cheekbones benefit.

“Ten years ago, I had more energy, I was more crazy,” Golovkin said. “Now boxing is more serious, more professional. And there is a lot of crazy money. I could fight into my 40s or not. Nobody knows.”

If Golovkin weren’t considering his senior moments, he would not have made such changes. He signed with DAZN, and he replaced trainer Abel Sanchez with Banks. With that came a new conditioning team.

“I am eating a lot,” he said, smiling. “I eat three or four times a day. I’ve got a real chef, so it’s good. It’s different every day.

“Then I am drinking two gallons of water a day. I didn’t do that before. That is too much, but it makes me feel better, so I say, ‘Yes, boss.’

Banks wants Golovkin to increase his punching yield and move more. Before, he was the single-minded predator.

“He is teaching me new moves,” Golovkin said. “It is more interesting. I think I was getting bored before. It’s not that Abel isn’t good or Jonathan isn’t good. They both are, but I wasn’t as interested in my development as a boxer. Now I am.”

The GGG group is contemptuous of Canelo and promoter Oscar De La Hoya. A prime reason to sign with DAZN was that Canelo was there. Now they claim that Canelo is so gunshy that he’s willing to jump from 160 to 175, although Canelo could have found many easier marks than Kovalev.

De La Hoya and the DAZN executives both claim that Canelo-GGG 3 will happen next year. Canelo does not.
“He (Canelo) shouldn’t even be talking about it,” promoter Tom Loeffler said. “He knows he should have lost the last four rounds in the second fight, and then we wouldn’t be talking about it.”

Canelo escaped with a split draw in 2017 and won a majority decision in 2018. Otherwise, Golovkin is 39-0. Golovkin never had fought in Las Vegas before that and has no inclination to do so again, which is another obstacle.

“This is just a justification for not fighting, an excuse,” Golovkin said. “What can I say? They know what’s going on. They’re trying to divert attention.”

Canelo says he will return to the 160-pound world after Kovalev. One face in that world will be easy to recognize.

Source: Mark Whicker