Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mikey Garcia and Gennady “GGG”Golovkin: Future PPV or Back to ESPN2?


As boxing continues its never-ending search for stars to carry the sport, two up and comers will submit their cases on the big stage this Saturday, from Madison Square Garden in New York City. A win means more dates on HBO and possibly HBO PPV. A loss can relegate them as former prospects on the comeback train on basic cable.

Mikey Garcia and Gennady Golovkin are two young fighters known only to hardcore boxing fans. But just as Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were known only to the initiated, Golovkin and Garcia have a chance to broaden their fan base. In the ring, they have done no wrong. They each hold records that make any casual fan take notice. In an era where an undefeated fighter is worth more than a proven fighter with a few losses, they have one piece of the marketing equation on their side.

Garcia is another in a continual progression of Mexican-American fighters from the West Coast to make a dent in this sport. It also helps that he comes from the Garcia boxing family which includes former world champion and current trainer to champions, Roberto Garcia. This lineage has put pressure on Garcia to perform even though he has yet to falter as his level of competition has increased.

Golovkin is also used to success in boxing. He is a former Olympic bronze medalist and a bit of the elder statesman in the world of boxing prospects. The 30-year old started his pro career almost seven years ago and fought sporadically for some years, though he never lost a fight, just a bit of time. But he has also risen to the occasion as opponents, and the spotlight, have gotten stronger.

And while this will not be the first time either fighter has fought for cable giant HBO, now is the time that HBO will showcase them with the idea of taking the training wheels off and moving them into prime-time slots against championship caliber, or even champion opponents. For Garcia, that begins this Saturday night.

Orlando Salido has the type of record that makes most boxing fans dismiss him; almost like judging a book by its cover. But an analytical look at Salido’s record shows that he is one of the best fighter’s in the super featherweight division.

Since losing to Yuriorkis Gamboa by a decision, Salido has stopped all opponents including former undefeated power puncher Juan “Juanma” Manuel Lopez; in Lopez’ hometown both times. Salido can be outboxed as Gamboa proved and he can be dropped as Lopez also proved in their rematch. However, as Salido has proven to both Lopez and Gamboa, he will be there until the end vying for victory. This is as hard a test for any up-and-coming fighter. Garcia will either shine or tarnish in this fight.

Golovkin’s test is actually more like a spotlight to highlight the immense talent he brings. Golovkin, who has said he will fight Mayweather and champion in recovery Andre Ward, has a lighter test than the one Garcia will face this Saturday. But lighter does not mean easier. In Gabriel Rosado, Golovkin will find a streaking fighter who has only been stopped once (by then undefeated Alfredo Angulo) and only knows one way to fight; head on. This will suit Golovkin fine as he only fights coming forward as well. Both fighters will let the leather fly in a fight that will surely end inside the distance.

All in all, while a win is mandatory in this era of glossy records it is also not enough. With so many other sports readily available on endless channels, entertainment value is highly prized in the day of digital entertainment everywhere. Fans must have a reason to watch a fight. Well, this Saturday night they have two new reasons to tune in.

Fitness Jiu Jitsu