Back on December 18th we saw IBF and IBO Middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 36) retain his titles with a dominant win over the over-matched Kamil Szeremeta (21-1, 5), a Polish challenger who looked completely out of his depth. The bout was a mismatch from the off, but one that served as a mandatory for Golovkin, and easy outing following some injuries and a lengthy break from the ring, in fact it was the longest break of his career and was well over a year.
1-The idea of Golovkin being feared now needs to end
Prior to his ring walk Golovkin had a video package played on the big screen at the venue, and several times during that package it was suggested that Golovkin was feared and avoided. Whilst this was certainly the case in his prime, and he did struggle to get notable names, such as Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez, in the ring with him it no longer seems to be the case. In fact if anything it’s now a case that a lot of the division are sniffing around him, and want to fight him. He was avoided, when he was high risk and low reward, but now a days the reward for facing Golovkin has increased and fighters are looking at him as a potential opponent. It’s time to drop the “most feared man in boxing” and sell him for what he is, a hard hitting Middleweight destroyer with a fun style and hell of a lot of power.
2-Golovkin looked better than he has in a real long time
In recent years Golovkin has looked like he has been slowing, aging and like father time was slowly starting to get to him. Here however he looked the best he’s looked in years. He looked more defensively responsible than he has in a long, despite the very limited opponent he had in front of him, he moved his head and showed some nice little wrinkles that we rarely see from him. Despite the bout being a massive mismatch in favour he fought as if he respected Szeremeta and as if Szeremeta was a danger, the complete opposite to his performance against Steve Rolls 18 months ago, where he let Rolls hit him. Woking with Jonathan Banks, and the change in training environment has certainly helped extend his career, and he showed some real smartness here.
3-Szeremeta is one tough guy
Whilst much of the impressive stuff during the bout came from Golovkin, who really did look very, very good, a lot of respect needs to go to Szeremeta for what he showed. He was dropped in the first 2 rounds and could easily have just sat out the 10 count and collected his purse. Instead however he gritted his teeth and toughed it out until the referee stopped the bout at the end of round 7, by which time he had been dropped twice more. He was out matched, beaten, battered, but gritted it out well and needed saving from himself. We don’t think he’ll get another world title fight, but with his toughness and heart we do, genuinely, want to see him again in a bout more at his level. If Szeremeta was in there with a Mark Heffron or Brandon Adams we could actually get a solid fight.
4-Szeremeta’s ranking made no sense
Entering the bout as the top ranked IBF contender Szeremeta really had nothing on his record to suggest he should be in the top 15, never mind the top 5. We understand that the different bodies each have their own committees and criteria for their rankings, but there is no criteria we can think of to explain why Szeremeta was the top ranked contender. The 31 year old from Bialystok had never beaten anyone above European level, he had never scored a B tier win, yet some how the IBF ranked him above every other Middleweight. We understand the Middleweight division is, sadly, very weak at the moment, and outside of the champions there's only really a handful of stand out contenders, but the IBF rankings are absolutely pathetic. There was no clear reason for why Szeremeta was ranked, and it was clear he had absolutely no reason for him to get the shot at the title.
5-Telis Assimenios should get more big fights
When we talk about American referees we don’t recall seeing much of Telis Assimenios, but he served his role here rather well. He gave Szeremeta every chance he could. He didn’t want to end this until he really needed to and when he did wave the bout off it made sense. Other than the stoppage he did the other things well. He was always in the right position, made sure Golovkin was in a neutral corner, split them quickly, showed good patience and good composure. He was also always in good position. Given some of the other referee who get so many big fights in the US we’d like to see more of Assimenios, though sadly it seems he only does shows in Florida, a bit of a shame given how few big bouts are held in Florida.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).