By Albert Baker
Photo’s By Lina Baker
There’s something about the savagery of the innocent mind. The wonder of the humble that fight to keep what is theirs, or to protect those around them through brute force. Lifting and compelling their peers to follow and look in awe at the awesome power that fights battles many lack the courage to challenge.
“GGG” Gennady Golovkin fights, and all he wants to do is fight. You’d think it would be easy for him to find fights given he is one of the biggest names in the sport of boxing. With a following that crosses all ethnic boundaries, “GGG” has become the throw-back standard of boxing.
Sure he’s missing a defining victory. I get it, he hasn’t beaten the top middleweights of the world but, he’s destroyed everyone who has had the stomach to get into the ring with him in impressive fashion. Very impressive fashion.
Daniel Geale, a solid former middleweight champion himself couldn’t even go past three with the smiling conqueror from Kazakhstan. Martin Murray, whom undoubtedly was his toughest test couldn’t withstand the fury that comes in the form of two sledge hammer like rockets made of meat, bone, and boxing glove.
No wonder the elite of the middleweight division don’t want to fight him, it’s all risk and no reward. Why lose a title to a developing superstar? The problem with that thought process is; Gennady Golovkin is no longer in the development stage, he is a full blown star and will be a centerpiece of boxing on HBO for the foreseeable future.
Enter Willie “El Mongoose” Monroe Jr., cue the dramatic music please, drop the lights and look back at how he propelled himself into this fight. ESPN held Banner Promotions, Boxcino tournament in 2014. Willie signed into it without knowing who he was going to fight according to promoter Artie Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions who said “None of the fighters in the tournament knew who they were fighting, it was all random draw. You should have seen, a lot of the fighters didn’t want to be in the tournament until they knew who they were fighting. That’s a fighter (points to Willie Monroe) he wasn’t even the favorite to win, and he beats everyone hands down.”
It takes balls to be great. Big balls. Monroe has them, taking on a fighter the likes of GGG can be dangerous. Miguel Cotto clearly doesn’t have a desire to fight him. Peter Quillin, forget about it. Andy Lee, not any time soon. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., I think I’ll just move up in weight and try something new, and I could go on and on.
There’s something menacing about the smile and positive vibe of GGG that makes potential opponents fall short of finding courage, oh wait it’s not the smile it must be the 19 consecutive opponents laying on the canvas like they recently were hit by a dump-truck that hides the courage to face the music.
But not Monroe.
El Mongoose believes that to be the best, you have to beat the best. Given the opportunity, why pass it up? That takes balls. “I understand I’m the underdog, there can’t be two underdogs. I’ve been the underdog all my life.” Said Monroe at the final press conference in Los Angeles during fight week.
Boxing needs more Willie Monroe’s. Boxing needs more fighters willing to stand up and take the hard fights, to stop protecting the 0’s, to not worry about a loss.
Win or lose in the ring Monroe wins every way around this one. First he gets credit for taking a fight against the best middleweight in the world. Second, if he even wins a round in a knockout loss, elite names will want to fight him to see how they perform against him in comparison to GGG equaling another good payday. Third, if the planets align and Monroe pulls out the victory he instantly becomes the recognized best at middleweight even though he isn’t holding a lineal or paper title.
Everyone expects Golovkin to win, but to see the victory in even signing your name on the contract to fight him takes balls. Willie Monroe Jr. sized balls.