The HBO hype machine did to Daniel Jacobs on Saturday night what cancer couldn’t do.
Okay, that may be going too far…However, Jacobs did fight the fight of his life, won that fight, but left Madison Square Garden with a loss—losing eight of twelve rounds on two judges’ scorecards!
How absurd is it to realize that we’re finally learning how the consensus middleweight champ– nineteen fights into a world title reign and ranked by many as an all-time-great, right behind Marvin Hagler—would react if he met up with a live body in the ring? How much clearer can it be made that Gennady Golovkin has been handed an easy and utterly uncomplicated path to money and blind adulation? Up until his nineteenth world title bout, we had no idea just how he would handle someone who could use some smart movement in the ring. What does that say about the GGG career path and, maybe just as importantly, what does that say about the GGG business?
Admittedly, Golovkin has been marketed supremely well. He’s certainly a compelling figure and a gifted offensive fighter. He also entered the ring Saturday night as the legitimate middleweight champion of the world, despite boxing nerds’ hang-up on the silly concept of title “lineage” that still recognizes current non-middleweight Saul Alvarez as the “real” champ. But, again, absurd is the word if we want to accurately sum up honest analysis of the whole Golovkin-Jacobs affair and what it all really meant.
The Golovkinite apologists will talk about him slipping, suddenly…and that’s why he didn’t just blow Jacobs away with his testosterone-heavy manhood. But, really, how can they even make that claim when—and I repeat—we were seeing Golovkin in the ring for the first time EVER with someone who could move and opted not to serve his chin up on a silver platter? The first time ever—at 35 years of age, in his nineteenth world title fight. Anyone who told you that we knew what to expect from Golovkin in even a marginally complicated stylistic match-up would be lying. Where is the boxing purist’s self-righteous outrage about this?
A trip through the minefield of social media shows that not only are true-blue fawning Golovkinites not facing a crisis of self-awareness over the realization that they were swept up in a frenzy of well-executed he-man hyperbole, but they have a perfectly valid explanation for Triple G’s lack of awesomeness. He was faking it!
Yep, this writer kids you not. The theory is out there and thriving in some dark circles of the Universo Pugilistico. Gennady Golovkin faked looking human and vulnerable so he could lure that dastardly coward, “Canelo” Alvarez, into a fight.
Makes sense, right? How else do you explain that this infallible killing machine suddenly looked flawed and a bit befuddled? It couldn’t be that he’s not as utterly perfect as advertised. It couldn’t be that, maybe, facing one tailor-made opponent after another distorts perspective on how good a fighter looks. It couldn’t be that Golovkin has grown chronically complacent after years of simple match-ups. It couldn’t be that you got duped, just a little, and sold on an image that blinded you to reality. Nope. Excuses must be made. Buyer’s remorse rarely affects deeply enamored boxing fans.
Really, gifting Golovkin the decision over Jacobs was not at all a necessity. Golovkin was going to emerge a winner in the eyes of his true-believers no matter what. The engine for denial was already being revved up earlier during the day of the fight when Jacobs refused the IBF-mandated morning weigh-in. The Golovkinites were already searching for the asterisk on their keyboards, making claims that their guy would be facing a “cruiserweight” and that would totally explain it if Triple G didn’t just walk through Jacobs.
This piece isn’t being written just to mess with Golovkinites and their macho fixations—well, not entirely anyway. The bigger point is that this level of blind adulation—supported by media members who are either dumb or compromised—keeps the Golovkin mismatch train rolling. If it’s never his fault that he can’t get any challenging fights and if every possible negative in Triple G’s career is fluffed off as either a lie, a conspiracy, or a Golovkin ruse to lure in the cowards who refuse to face him, then the game goes on forever. With zero accountability comes zero pressure to change. At what point is it a restaurant’s fault for serving bad meals and at what point does it become the consumer’s fault for going back to the same awful restaurant over and over again?
What’s undeniable about the Golovkin business is that, up until the Jacobs bout, we’ve only seen him matched against opposition perfectly lined up to make him look good. And, because blind fan adulation has spurred on this sense of entitlement in Team Golovkin, the challenges he claims to seek will never come to pass because that would require him to make concessions in pay, in weight, and maybe in other areas as well.
One would be wise to trust nothing they hear in the boxing media. All we know is what’s leaked to the media by those with an active business interest in the Golovkin business. Look, instead, at the actual body of work and the product we’re receiving. That should tell you, as consumers, everything you need to know.