Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan has taken the boxing world by storm over the past few years. The unbeaten 35-year-old is considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers on the planet and currently possesses a perfect record of 37-0 along with 33 Ko’s. He’s currently the IBO, WBC, and IBF World Middleweight Champion as well as the WBA Super World Middleweight Champ.
Golovkin, known as Triple G or GGG since his full name is Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin, isn’t one of the biggest middleweights around as he’s just over 5-feet-10-inches tall with a 70-inch reach. However, he’s a knockout artist with an 89 per cent Ko percentage and has a granite chin to go along with his incredible power. Below are 10 facts you may not have known about Triple G.
10. Triple G Is A Twin
While Triple G may be one of the best and most feared middleweights in boxing history, he may not even be the best in his family. Gennady has a twin brother named Max who is now part of his team. Max also used to box, but stepped aside prior to the 2004 Olympics in Athens as the brothers didn’t want to fight each other to see who would represent Kazakhstan. Since Gennady was 15 minutes older, Max felt he should let his brother fight for the spot while Max would take care of their parents. Gennady insists Max was the much better boxer of the two and would certainly be the middleweight champ today if he hadn’t been so gracious and stepped aside.
9. Lost Two Older Brothers
Gennady and Max also had two older brothers named Sergey and Vadim. They both joined the Russian Army when Gennady was just nine years old after they had encouraged him to take up the sport only a year earlier. Unfortunately, in 1990 the Golovkin family received word that Vadim was killed in action. In a cruel twist of fate, Sergey would lose his life in the same manner just four years later. The family didn’t receive any details of the deaths from the government and to this day they don’t know exactly what happened to Sergey and Vadim. Gennady said the loss of his brothers had a devastating effect on the rest of the family and the pain of losing them the same way was simply excruciating.
8. Speaks Four Languages
Golovkin’s father is Russian and his mother is Korean. He can speak four different languages although Korean isn’t one of them. Triple G can speak fluent Kazakh, Russian and German and his English is improving all the time. He was born back on April 8th, 1982 in Karaganda, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union. The town is now known as Karagandy in the nation of Kazakhstan. He moved to Stuttgart, Germany in 2006 and then relocated to Santa Monica, California with his son Vadim and wife Alina in 2014. Triple G now does his training in Big Bear, California. His dad was a coalminer and his mother worked in a chemical laboratory. Golovkin said he loves the beauty of California and his promotions company is also based there.
7. Tough Upbringing
Golovkin was brought up in a tough mining town in the former Soviet Union and suffered the loss of his two older brothers when he was a youngster. He has also told the story of his older brothers Sergey and Vadim encouraging him to get into boxing when he was just eight years old. Triple G said his brothers would take him for walks into town as a youngster and pick fights with bigger kids for him. They’d ask young Gennady if he was afraid and would then urge him to fight the strangers. He stated that his brothers started the strange routine of toughening him up when he was in kindergarten and he’d be involved in all types of scuffles with different people almost every day.
6. Went 345-5 As An Amateur
Since Golovkin’s undefeated as a pro it might not come as a surprise that he had an excellent amateur career. Triple G’s record in the amateur ranks was an incredible 345-5 and he beat some stellar boxers who would go on to have fine pro careers and become world champions such as Andy Lee, Lucian Bute, and Andre Dirrell. Golovkin won a gold medal at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in 2003 in Bangkok and a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. However, he was upset at the 2005 World Championships by Mohamed Hikal. He also won the Junior World Championships in 2000 in Budapest, Hungary when he fought in the junior welterweight division as well as the 2002 Asian Games in South Korea where he competed as a junior middleweight.
5. Began Pro Career In Germany
When Golovkin turned pro in May of 2006 he made his debut in Dusseldorf, Germany. In fact, his first 12 fights and 17 of his first 18 were held in Germany. The other bout took place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Triple G didn’t fight outside of Europe until his 19th bout when he stopped Milton Nunez in the first round in Panama City in August of 2010. That was also Golovkin’s first belt as he won the interim WBA Middleweight Championship in that fight. His first fight in his homeland of Kazakhstan was his very next outing four months later when he retained his title by stopping Nilson Julio Tapia in the third round. Triple G now fights out of the USA where he now lives with 10 of his last 14 bouts being held on American soil.
4. Highest KO Percentage in Middleweight Championship History
Triple G has won all 37 of his pro fights since making his debut in May of 2006 with 33 of them coming by knockout. This means his current knockout percentage as of June, 2017 stands at 89.8 per cent. This is the highest knockout ratio by a middleweight champion in boxing history. The number was actually higher before his last win against Daniel Jacobs on March 18th as he went the distance with the American challenger. The decision over Jacobs saw his 23-fight knockout streak come to an end after it began with a second-round stoppage over Malik Dziarra on November 22nd 2008. Golovkin has knocked out several fine boxers such as Marco Antonio Rubio, Martin Murray, Daniel Geale, Kassim Ouma, Curtis Stevens, and David Lemieux.
3. Has Gone 12 Rounds Just Once
For a middleweight champion who’s had 37 pro bouts it may seem incredible that Golovkin has gone the 12-round distance just once in his career. Oddly enough, this came in his last bout against Daniel Jacobs at Madison Square Garden in March when he won a unanimous decision by scores of 115-112, 115-112 and 114-113. Triple G has stopped five of his opponents in the first round, six in the second round, seven in the third round, two in the fourth round, four in the fifth round, two in the sixth round, two in the seventh round, three in the eighth round, one in the 10th round and one in the 11th round. The other three times Golovkin went the distance were all eight-round contests. In total, he’s fought 172 rounds as a pro.
2. Never Been Knocked Down
Fans know how devastating a puncher Golovkin is, but what has made him invincible as a pro so far as also been his rock solid chin. There’s no question that Triple G can be hit due to his exciting, aggressive style, but so far his chin has held out when he’s been tagged. This includes his 37 pro fights as well as his 350 amateur bouts. That’s a total of 387 times the champ has climbed into the ring and 387 times he’s stepped out of it without once touching the canvas with anything other than his feet. He’s been in the squared circle with some heavy hitters such as David Lemieux, Marco Antonio Rubio, Kell Brook, Daniel Jacobs and Curtis Stevens up to now, but his stiffest test will come on September 16th when he takes on Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
1. Can Cement Legacy Against ‘Canelo’ Alvarez On Sept. 16th
Triple G can cement his legacy as one of the top pound-for-pound boxers of his generation when he takes on Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on September 16th. The 26-year-old Alvarez hails from Mexico and is a former junior middleweight and middleweight world champion with a record 0f 49-1-1 with 34 Ko’s. His only loss was a 12-round majority decision to Floyd Mayweather in 2013. The big drama show is the most anticipated fight of the year and it will be Golovkin’s stiffest test to date. According to Golden Boy Promotions, if Alvarez is beaten he has a clause in his contract which calls for an immediate rematch. However, if Triple G loses he has no such rematch clause. The bout is scheduled to take place at the 160 lb. middleweight limit and will be for Golovkin’s world titles. Both boxers will be allowed to rehydrate to whatever weight they choose as long as they make the 160 lb. weigh-in limit.