By: Dallas Orysiuk @Chargers204
The sweet science of boxing is like no other sport in the world. It involves incredible grit, heart, and determination. But not only that, there is a tremendous amount of skill sets required, and that is why most successful boxers started boxing at a very young age. Fans appreciate the defensive mastery of the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the skill Guillermo Rigondeaux, but there is no question that the majority of fans want to see a war… they want to see knockouts.
I can appreciate a chess match between two skilled boxers, but nothing drives you towards the edge of your seat like a good old fashioned toe to toe war. And then there is thesurprise/excitement generated from a knockout.
Lately, there has been the emergence and a rise in popularity in a number of hard hitting superstars. These fighters are warriors and they can punch. The buzz surrounding these KO artists isapparent, and there is no wonder why. The sport of boxing needs knockouts, it adds intrigue and excitement; and right now there are 5 boxers that can deliver this: Gennady “GGG”Golovkin, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, Lucas “the Machine” Matthysse and Deontay “the Bronze Bomber” Wilder.
Kazakhstan’s Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (27-0, 24 KOs) is a beast, this is signified by a decorated amateur career extended into the professional ranks. A gentleman outside of the ring, he is far from that inside the ropes. If his opponents aren’t being brutally KO’d they will be bloodied and beaten senselessly. Golovkin has crushing KO power in both hands; however doesn’t solely rely on power alone. GGG has an extremely high ring IQ, has tremendous balance and fluidity in the ring, and is excellent at cutting off the ring, and trapping his opponents into deadly situations. This has led to fighters avoiding Golovkin, and the difficulty in securing high profile fights.
His first shot at the spotlight was when he scored a 5th round TKO over Grzegorz Proska on HBO. Then suffering from the Flu, yet stepping into the ring anyways, GGG battered and bloodied Gabriel Rosado winning by 7th round TKO. Golovkin really made headlines when he knocked out Nobuhiro Ishida (a man who had never been stopped) sending him flying out of the ring in the 3rd. His most recent victory was an impressive 3rd round KO of Matthew Macklin, by way of a brutal body shot.
Finally Gennady Golovkin is getting the recognition he deserves, his recent fights on HBO have drawn over 1 million viewers, and the HBO series “2 days – Gennady Golovkin” drew record ratings for the network. Gennady Golovkin is a class act and a gentlemen, he is also an extremely talented knockout artist. Fighting multiple times in a year is rare, but that isn’t stopping Golovkin. In what’ll be his fourth fight of the year, Golovkin will fight hard hitting Curtis Stevens on November 2nd in Madison Square Garden, New York on HBO. A murderous puncher who is staying active, fighting anyone he can is what boxing fans need.
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (22-0-1, 20 KOs) like his nickname is a crusher. The hard hitting Russians punching power was on display during a tragedy, when he scored a 7th round TKO of Roman Simakov, leading to his death. In his last few fightsKovalev has fought on NBC, scoring a 3rd round TKO over the solid Gambriel Campillo. Kovalev did enough to garner HBO’s interest as they picked up his most recent fight against the undefeated WBO light heavyweight titlist Nathan Cleverly. Knocking him down 3 times, Kovalev gave Cleverly his first defeat, taking his WBO belt in the process. Sergey Kovalev must be doing something right as he secured a deal with HBO to televise his next few fights. He looks to return in November, and regardless of the opponent, boxing fans should be watching.
Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (21-1, 18 KOs), the WBC and RING light heavyweight champion, has flown under the radar for much of his career, partially known for being in trouble with the law. But being a southpaw and packing a devastating punch, Stevenson is dangerous for any challenger. Recently, Stevenson gained recognition by shocking light heavyweight kingpin, Chad Dawson by a first round knockout. The knockout was impressive and secured an HBO date against the hard hitting Tavoris Cloud on September 28th.
Making things even more interesting is that Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev fight in the same division. Hopefully sometime down the road we get to see Stevenson vs. Kovalev.
Deontay Wilder (29-0, 29 KOs) has the best record on paper of all of the mentioned fighters, but digging deeper shows the lack of experience and significant opponents. Wilder has faced less than stellar opposition, however 29 victories, 29 KOs with the longest opponent surviving 4 rounds… is pretty impressive. Wilder has yet to be tested in his professional career but undoubtedly a buzz surrounds his name.
Although he is less experienced than the rest, Wilder has the greatest potential for stardom. He is a youngAmerican possesses vicious power, and fights in the heavyweight division. Boxing fans (especially Americans) have longed for the next big American heavyweight since Tyson. Deontay Wilder, regardless of how limited he is, offers that hope. How will he do when he’s hit hard? Does he have the stamina to go 12 rounds? These are questions that are yet to be answered, but Wilder is building hype and as long as he’s knocking guys out, fans will continue to tune in.
Lucas Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs) is nicknamed “the Machine” for a reason. Of all five fighters listed Matthysse has the strongest resume; he holds impressive victories over Lamont Peterson, Ajose Olusegun, Humberto Soto and Demarcus Corley. Matthysse really made headlines when he brutally KO’d Mike Dallas Jr. in one round.
Matthysse also holds split decision and highly controversial losses to Zab Judah or Devon Alexander. The losses were highly questioned, with the majority of the boxing world declaring Matthysse the victor. In both of these fights, both Judah and Alexander tasted the canvas. Being once known as a slow starter, these losses were the best thing that happened to Matthysse. Since then he has worked on starting quicker, winning his last six by KO. And in his last 12 fights, Matthysse has scored 24 knockdowns!
Lucas Matthysse possesses a violent killer instinct and has KO power in both hands. Matthysse is a highly underrated boxer and has shown that he can deal with good boxers who are much faster than him. Lucas Matthysse has strong ring generalship, cuts off the ring effectively, and has deadly body shots.
Lucas Matthysse has flown under the radar, but in his last few fights he has took the boxing world by a storm, finally generating the hype he deserves. He has been chasing him for a while, and now finally Matthysse has secured a fight with the WBC, WBA, and Ring magazine light welterweight champion Danny Garcia. The matchup will take place on boxing’s biggest stage on the undercard of the Mayweather/Canelo PPV. Matthysse looks to keep his impressive streak rolling and will look to stop Garcia fresh in his tracks.
Relevance to the boxing world:
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the face of boxing, with Manny Pacquiao lingering somewhere behind. Although Mayweather is not a power puncher, he generates hype and fans tune in. But both guys are on their way out. When Mayweather and Pacquiao are gone, aside from a few other superstars (not mentioned in this article) we have these hard hitting warriors to be excited about.
Fans want excitement, fans want a war, and fans want knockouts. Gennady Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson, Deontay Wilder, and Lucas Matthysse bring these assets to the table. These guys are pretty new to the casual fan, and new to fighting on high profile fight cards, but finally they are building hype and beginning to emerge. Kovalev and Stevenson reside in the same division, and both fight on HBO, so it won’t be long before they meet up. In the meantime, we have a number of great matchups to look forward to involving these fighters, and hopefully we have an even greater emergence of young and exciting fighters that we can add to the list.by