Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin (born April 8, 1982) is a Kazakhstani
professional boxer who currently holds the unified WBA (Super), WBC,
IBF and IBO middleweight titles. As of June 2016, he is ranked as
the world's number one middleweight by The Ring magazine and BoxRec,
both of which rank him as the world's third best boxer, pound for
pound. The Ring named him their Fighter of the Year in 2013.
aggressive, counterpunching pressure fighter, Golovkin is highly skilled
in taking away his opponent's jab and cutting off the ring. He holds
the highest percentage - 91.4% - in middleweight championship history
and is said to have one of the hardest chins in modern boxing, having
never been knocked down or knocked out in over 375 fights, neither
as a professional nor amateur.
In his amateur career, Golovkin
won a gold medal in the middleweight division at the 2003 World Championships.
He went on to represent Kazakhstan at the 2004 Summer Olympics, winning
a middleweight silver medal.
Gennady Golovkin was
born on April 8, 1982, in the city of Karagandy in the Kazakh SSR,
Soviet Union as one of four brothers to a Russian father who was a
coal miner, and a Korean mother who was an asistant in a chemical
laboratory. His older brothers, Sergey and Vadim, had pushed him into
the ring. When he was eight, both of them joined the Soviet Army.
a youth, Golovkin would walk the streets with his brothers, who went
around picking fights for him with grown men. When asked by his brothers,
"Are you afraid of him?", Golovkin would respond with "No", and be
told to fight. "My brothers, they were doing that from when I was
in kindergarten," Golovkin said. "Every day, different guys."
He was a scholarship holder with the Olympic Solidarity program
since November 2002.
At the 2003 World Amateur Boxing Championships
in Bangkok, he won the gold medal beating future two-time champion
Matvey Korobov, Andy Lee, Lucian Bute, Yordanis Despaigne in the semi-finals
and Oleg Mahskin in the finals.
At the 2004 Summer Olympics he
beat Ramadan Yasser Abdelghafar and Andre Dirrell, lost to the Russian
Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov and won the silver medal. He qualified for the
Athens Games by winning the gold medal at the 2004 Asian Amateur Boxing
Championships in Puerto Princesa, Philippines. In the final he defeated
home fighter Christopher Camat.
At the world championships 2005
he sensationally lost to Mohamed Hikal. He finished his amateur career
with an outstanding record of 345-5.
After ending his amateur career in 2005, Golovkin signed
a professional deal with the Universum Box-Promotion (UBP) and made
his professional debut in May 2006. By the end of 2008 Golovkin's
record stood at 14-0 (11 KO) and whilst his best win was over Ian
Gardner it was obvious that he had the talent to reach the top as
long as he was let off the proverbial leash. Unfortunately under Universum
that didn't seem likely to happen any time soon and Golovkin was given
4 more relatively easy bouts in 2009. In 2010, Universum started to
run into financial issues after having been dropped by German television
channel ZDF. This caused a number of issues for Golovkin who was effectively
unable to fight in Germany, and contract disputes between the two
parties got complicated.
Golovkin terminated his contract with
Universum in January 2010 and stated the following in an interview:
"The reason for this decision is that I've always been placed beind
Felix Sturm and Sebastian Zbik by Universum. Our demands to fight
against Felix Sturm or Sabastian Zbik have been always rejected on