|Image: Ring TV|
As soon as David Lemieux was shown hitting the mitts during warmup, it was obvious he was going to lose. Usually with mitt work, fighters will slip punches in between throwing their own combinations. Head movement was not a part of Lemieux's mitt work.
Golovkin will surely get rave reviews for his supposed technical brilliance, but once again it was not at all his skills that won him this fight; it was his physical advantages combined with his opponent's lack of skill.
Golovkin was so accurate with his jab, ranted Jim Jampley. Really, David Lemieux showed zero head movement and was a convenient target for anyone who does not have deficient hand-eye coordination. Daniel Geale's head movement caused Golovkin to miss badly. Golovkin frequently missed when throwing at Lemieux against the ropes...because Lemieux desperately moved his head because there was nothing else he could do to get out of the way.
(I also thoroughly criticized Lemieux for his lack of defense in my review of his fight with Hassan N'Dam.)
Golovkin controlled the distance, you might say. Really, David Lemieux had slow feet and, again, no head movement to slip jabs, and let us not forget Golovkin's equalizer – power in both hands. Golovkin's footwork was never challenged. (Lucas Matthysse, whose feet were very slow, as we saw when he fought Viktor Postol, managed to use his footwork to jab and outbox Ruslan Provodnikov to death.)
Golovkin's defense was superb? Lemieux was never in position to land anything for the above mentioned reasons.
The fact remains that Golovkin has a 70-inch reach, slow hands, and has struggled fighting on the inside, especially being pushed backwards.
To emphasize the primacy of physical fitness, not skill, on Golovkin's success, just observe the change in his physique from one fight to the next. Golovkin is pushing the limits of his physical potential that creates a physical dominance over his opponents at 160 pounds and below. No one at middleweight matches Golovkin's combination of endurance, strength, power, chin, height, length - much of which is owed to the fact that Golovkin has not moved up in weight class.
Golovkin did with Lemieux what he has done with every other fighter – that is, to have dispatched a one-dimensional opponent. Moreover, the only reason N'Dam did not knockout Lemieux was because he is not a devastating puncher.
Tureano Johnson defeated Eamonn O'Kane on the under card and is Golovkin's mandatory WBA challenger. Johson would have reach advantage of three inches on Golovkin, but Golovkin would have every other physical advantage. Moreover, Johnson's performance against O'Kane was such that I overheard casual fans saying, “I think I would do well as a boxer.” To which his girlfriend responded, “They don't look like they punch very hard.” To those who are confused, the former quote suggests an attitude that the performance was so bad that anyone who wants to lace up the gloves will get somewhere in the sport.
Andy Lee, who holds the WBO Middleweight title, had dropped down to junior middleweight recently because he felt undersized and not strong enough to compete at middleweight. Against Lee, Golovkin would be fighting a junior middleweight.
Miguel Cotto is a junior middleweight parading as a middleweight after winning a title from Sergio Martinez, who himself was a junior middleweight using his athletic ability to outbox natural middleweights. Cotto would have every physical disadvantage imaginable against Golovkin.
Saul Alvarez could make things interesting. Golovkin is clearly the larger framed and heavier handed of the two, but Alvarez may be able to use his short thick body to out strength Golovkin on the inside. But all that assumes that Alvarez has the quickness of feet to get inside on Golovkin, which he does not. With slow feet and no head movement, this could be a repeat of Golovkin-Lemieux.
Golovkin has offered to fight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. and Carl Froch at super-middleweight. Let us look closely at that. Chavez has previously sparred Golovkin. If there is one thing that everyone knows about Chavez, it is that he is lazy; but that he also lacks defense or any sort of technical skills. Assuming that Chavez could not overwhelm Golovkin with his own power, Chavez would have been a punching bag for Golovkin and, if not knocked out, would have been out pointed due to his laziness and low work rate. One could only hope that Chavez was motivated to do better in the same way as one could have hoped that Lemieux would have finally decided to move his head.
Too big & too strong for GGG... pic.twitter.com/WIfhNImCIk— Carl Froch MBE (@Carl_Froch) July 4, 2015
I was unimpressed with Froch's wins over George Groves. Groves out boxed the stationary target of Froch, who only showed that he is durable against a non-threatening puncher and that he had the power to finish off Groves. But Badou Jack, not considered a hard puncher, hurt and knocked down Groves this past May. Golovkin, who has sparred with super-middleweights and light-heavyweights, knows that his punches will have an effect on super-middleweights. The retired and past-his-prime Carl Froch would have also been a punching bag.
The fighter who would very likely defeat Golovkin is Andre Ward, the only complete technical fighter that Golovkin would have ever fought, and the only fighter that would take away Golovkin's above-mentioned physical advantages. That is no credit to Ward, however, as it says nothing of Ward that he would defeat a slower, smaller, and less athletic Gennady Golovkin. Ward would deserve more credit in schooling Sergey Kovalev at light heavyweight. But again, Kovalev would not be worthy of any credit should he defeat the smaller man in Andre Ward.