There’s room for all different styles and techniques in boxing. Not everything has to be a blood-stained brawl, or “boxing’s Super Bowl,” or even a highly-cerebral, tactical chess match. All of these, and more, are needed to balance the weight of the others. But sometimes we just have to submit to our collective ids and sit there, mouth agape, as the wonderful violence unfolds.
Both Carl Froch and Gennady Golovkin are action-first fighters who have provided those kinds of thrills and both have a reputation for doing it regularly. And we now know that, according to numerous sources, a possible Froch vs Golovkin clash is more than just idle gossip or collective wish-thinking. That is, unless Froch decides to retire.
Froch’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, told England’s The Daily Mail that, “Golovkin is the most feared fighter in the world now and Carl doesn’t need this fight. But he says he is intrigued by how he would deal with him. He’s crazy that way.”
Golovkin is now at a point where he’s a large enough draw that the claim nobody will fight him ceases to hold water, but still not a big enough draw to dictate terms to superstars like Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Floyd Mayweather. But there is no question he is utterly laying waste to opponents in a frightening manner. Whether or not that trend continues when the level of his opposition rises is the intriguing question for boxing fans. In the meantime, one look at Golovkin’s HBO highlights and it’s obvious why few fighters are in a hurry to take him on.
But this statement may not apply to Froch. Since 2008, “The Cobra,” international superstar, awkward insult deliverer and British handshake champion, has stepped into the ring 12 times, with only one of those bouts coming against a fighter not deemed “world class.” This degree of elite-level experience which has both aged Froch and rendered him inactive, also on paper gives him an edge over the destroyer from Kazakhstan, who is accused by some of having never fought an elite fighter while being carefully steered towards stardom by HBO.
Hindsight may or may not be revealing, but the last time Froch was seriously tested in the ring, he stormed back to halt George Groves, albeit in controversial fashion. When Froch’s victory was widely regarded as fortuitous, he sold a rematch that brought 80,000 to Wembley Stadium in London, and then won it in convincing fashion courtesy of a vicious right hand in round eight.
Hearn believes Froch vs Golovkin would be similarly huge, even if making the match would mean sacrificing a portion of the star power Froch has recently built up to a more pressing sense of danger. “I only want [Froch] to take it if he’s genuinely motivated because it is a high-risk fight,” says Hearn. “But it would be massive and we can fill Wembley again.”
Mobilizing nearly 100,000 people is a far cry from the turn out for Golovkin’s recent hammering of Willie Monroe Jr., when roughly 12,000 fans in GGG’s adopted home of Southern California bought tickets. That said, the fact Golovkin has been able to steadily raise his profile without a significant ethnic fan base is impressive. Likely slightly more important to those in charge, HBO broadcasts that feature Golovkin have seen steady numbers, even when absent recognizable names in the opposite corner. But beyond that is the fact ample buzz will be generated for Froch vs Golovkin simply because everyone knows this is a match bound to feature serious action and serious excitement.
And while some might see the younger Golovkin as the odds-makers’ favorite, the fact is, for a boxer who has often been labeled as slow, methodical and predictable, Carl Froch has been able to dismantle a number of good fighters, and even a few very good ones. The only man to deal Froch a lesson in his admirable seven-year run is Andre Ward, arguably a legitimately great fighter now attempting to reemerge from a lengthy layoff. But even against Ward, Froch wasn’t wholly embarrassed and managed to nick a handful of rounds. He’s a fighter who looks easy to handle and pick apart from the sidelines, who becomes something else when the battle is rounds deep and all realize that Froch isn’t budging. His toughness, patience and persistence against Golovkin’s power and impetuous assault is likely the recipe for a great fight.
Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, Golovkin’s promoter, agrees the fight would be entertaining, and told BoxingScene, “There is no question; that would be a tremendous fight.”
While his ledger certainly isn’t as impressive as Froch’s, Golovkin does have a 20 fight knockout streak to his name and he is viewed by many as the most dangerous offensive fighter in boxing. Traveling to the U.K. to make the fight wouldn’t be an issue for Golovkin, as that is where everyone is going to make the most money. Additionally, Matchroom Sport just signed an extension deal with Sky Sports through 2021, likely amplifying the pull of a promotional company which had a swell 2014.
To sum up, Froch vs Golovkin is more than just a fine substitute for fans who have been wondering when Golovkin will finally get a crack at a Cotto or Alvarez. It’s an excellent match between two original and entertaining characters who both have a track record of handing out drubbings and entertaining fight fans. The match is still far from being made, but if it can get done, it definitely gives everyone a reason to smile.
— Patrick Connor