Born In: Karagandy, Kazakhstan
Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin, also referred to as ‘GGG,’ ‘God of War,’ and ‘Golden Boy,’ is a Kazakhstani professional boxer. Starting as an amateur, he went on to win a gold medal at the 2003 ‘World Amateur Boxing Championships’ in the middleweight division. He then won a silver medal in the same category at the 2004 ‘Summer Olympics.’ He became a pro in 2006 and his first major world championship win came in 2010 when he beat Milton Núñez to win the WBA interim middleweight title. Later that year, he became the WBA (Regular) champion. The following year, he defeated Lajuan Simon to win the vacant IBO middleweight title. He became the WBA (Super) champion in 2014 and succeeded in retaining the title as well as the IBO middleweight title against Daniel Geale. His winning spree continued and he went on to beat Marco Antonio Rubio in 2014 and David Lemieux in 2015 to win the WBC interim middleweight title and the IBF middleweight title respectively. He was elevated to the status of full champion when the WBC middleweight title was vacated by Canelo Álvarez in 2016. However, he was stripped of the title when he refused to fight Serhiy Derevianchenko in 2018. He is reputed for his discreet and tactful moves, powerful punches, and intelligence. He holds the unified IBO middleweight, WBC, WBA (Super), and IBF titles. His knockout percentage (89.7) is the highest in the history of middleweight championship. As of December 2019, the ‘Transnational Boxing Rankings Board’ (TBRB) and ‘The Ring’ magazine have ranked him second best middleweight boxer of the world, while ‘boxrec.com’ ranks him first. While taking pound for pound into consideration, ‘boxrec.com’ puts him in the third place, while ‘The Ring,’ ESPN, and TBRB puts him in seventh, seventh, and sixth places respectively.
Also Known As: Gennadiy Gennadyevich Golovkin
Spouse/Ex-: Alina Golovkina
father: Gennady Golovkin
mother: Elizaveta Golovkina
siblings: Maxim Golovkin, Sergey Golovkin, Vadim Golovkin
children: Vadim, Vadim Golovkin
Born Country: Kazakhstan
Notable Alumni: Karagandy State University
education: Karagandy State University
Gennady Golovkin was born on April 8, 1982, in Karaganda, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union (present-day Karagandy, Kazakhstan). His father, a Russian, was a coal miner and his mother, a Korean, worked as a lab assistant.
He shares great bond with his older brothers, Vadim and Sergey, and his twin brother Maxim. He was inspired by his older brothers to venture into boxing when he was eight years old.
During his kindergarten days, his brothers would arrange fights for him with opponents much older than him. He would go on to say in an interview that the fights were arranged "Every day (with) different guys."
From November 2002, he held a scholarship with the ‘Olympic Solidarity’ program.
He won a gold medal by defeating Oleg Mashkin at the 2003 ‘World Amateur Boxing Championships,’ held at Bangkok.
He went on to win a gold medal by beating Christopher Camat at the 2004 ‘Asian Amateur Boxing Championships’ in Puerto Princesa, Philippines, thus qualifying for the 2004 ‘Summer Olympics’ at Athens, Greece. At the Olympics, he represented Kazakhstan and won a silver medal.
Demonstrating excellent performance in his amateur career, which he ended in 2005 with a record of 345-5, he moved on to embark on a professional career with ‘Universum Box-Promotion,’ making his debut in May 2006
On July 11, 2009, he won the vacant WBO Inter-Continental middleweight title by beating Brazil’s John Anderson Carvalho in Nürburgring, Nürburg, Germany.
Due to some disputes with ‘Universum,’ Golovkin ended his contract in January 2010.
He signed a deal with K2 and started training under the tutelage of veteran trainer Abel Sanchez in Big Bear, California, US.
He was successful in winning his first major world championship on August 14, 2010, beating Columbian boxer Milton Núñez to earn the WBA interim middleweight title at the ‘Roberto Durán Arena’ in Panama City, Panama.
On December 9, 2011, he defeated US pro boxer Lajuan Simon in a match held at ‘Ballsaal Interconti-Hotel’ in Düsseldorf, Germany to retain the WBA (Regular) middleweight title. In the process, he also won the vacant IBO middleweight title.
His debut match in the US saw him beat Polish professional boxer Grzegorz Proksa on September 1, 2012, in New York City.
In October 2012, he was named the sole WBA champion in middleweight division after WBA stripped Australian pro boxer Daniel Geale of the title when the latter went for a rematch against Anthony Mundine.
Japan’s pro boxer Nobuhiro Ishida, a former WBA interim super welterweight champion, tasted his first knockout defeat at the hands of Golovkin when the latter finished the match, which was held at ‘Salle des Étoiles’ in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on March 30, 2013, with a forceful overhand right in the third round.
He successfully defended both his WBA and IBO middleweight titles in a nail-biting match, held on June 29, 2013 in Connecticut, against British-Irish pro boxer Matthew Macklin.
His breathtaking fight against American pro boxer Curtis Stevens, which was held on November 2, 2013 at ‘Madison Square Garden’ in New York City, not only saw him retain WBA and IBO middleweight titles but also marked his 15th straight stoppage victory. The fight was finished by Golovkin with a technical knockout in the eighth round. It garnered worldwide attention and was broadcast in more than 100 nations.
He succeeded in retaining WBA and IBO middleweight titles against Ghanaian professional boxer Osumanu Adama on February 1, 2014. On June 3, 2014, he was officially elevated by WBA to the status of WBA (Super) champion.
A special permission was granted to Golovkin for defending his title against Daniel Geale. Marking his 11th title defense, Golovkin succeeded in retaining his WBA (Super) and IBO middleweight titles against Geale in a fight held on July 26, 2014 at the ‘Madison Square Garden.’
On October 18, 2014, he fought against the then-Interim WBC champion Marco Antonio Rubio at the ‘StubHub Center’ in Carson, California, marking his first West Coast fight. He not only retained WBA (Super) and IBO middleweight titles but also won the WBC interim middleweight title.
In his fight against British pro boxer Martin Murray on February 21, 2015 at ‘Salle des Etoiles’ in Monte Carlo, he was successful in defending his title for the 13th time in a row.
His successive middleweight title defense placed him behind Bernard Hopkins (19 wins) and Carlos Monzón (14 wins).
He then retained his WBA (Super) and IBO middleweight titles by defeating American pro boxer Willie Monroe Jr. on May 16, 2015. Apart from retaining his WBA (Super) middleweight title, IBO middleweight title, and WBC interim middleweight title, he also won the IBF middleweight title against Canadian pro boxer David Lemieux on October 17, 2015.
His fight against Lemieux marked his 21st knockout victory in a row. With this victory, he also surpassed Monzón’s record as he now had 15 successive middleweight title defenses under his belt.
He faced American pro boxer Dominic Wade on April 23, 2016, at ‘The Forum’ in Inglewood, California, US. He defeated Wade, who was unbeaten till then, and was successful in retaining his WBA (Super), IBF, IBO, and WBC interim middleweight titles.
He added another feather to his cap by defending successfully his WBC, IBF, and IBO middleweight titles in a sensational fight against British unbeaten IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook on September 10, 2016, at ‘The O2 Arena’ in London, UK.
On March 18, 2017, millions of viewers around the world and the sold out crowd at ‘Madison Square Garden’ witnessed a spectacular one-on-one fight hyped as ‘Middleweight Madness’ where Golovkin fought all 12 rounds against American pro boxer Daniel Jacobs.
He continued his winning spree at ‘Middleweight Madness,’ thus retaining his WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, and IBO middleweight titles.
In front of a sellout crowd, Golovkin fought Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez on September 16, 2017. The fight termed as ‘classic’ ended in a split decision draw at the end of 12 rounds. This was the first draw match in Golovkin’s career
He then won a match against American light middleweight title challenger Vanes Martirosyan on 5 May 2018 at ‘StubHub Center’ in Carson, California and retained his WBC, WBA (Super), and IBO middleweight championships.
With a controversial draw against Álvarez in September 2017, a rematch was impending. On 6 June 2018, Golovkin was stripped of his IBF titles when he didn’t adhere to some of the rules and refused to fight the Ukrainian boxer Serhiy Derevianchenko.
On 15 September 2018, in front of a sellout crowd at ‘T-Mobile Arena’ in Paradise, Nevada, he faced Álvarez once again. The fight lasted 12 rounds and at the end, the judges favored Álvarez and declared him the winner, a decision that was highly criticized by fans and media. He lost his WBA (Super), WBC, and IBO middleweight championships.
He then bounced back and defeated Canadian boxer Steve Rolls on 8 June 2019 at ‘Madison Square Garden’ in New York. On 5 October, he defeated Serhiy Derevianchenko and won the vacant IBF and IBO middleweight championships.
He is married to Alina and the couple is blessed with a son named Vadim. They also have a daughter, who was born days before his fight with Álvarez.
He moved to Stuttgart, Germany, from his homeland in 2006 and later relocated to Santa Monica, California, USA in 2014 where he presently resides with his family.
Apart from Kazakh, he can also speak three other languages, namely Russian, English, and German.
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