Baddest Man

Chocolatito or GGG Who’s the Baddest Man?


By David A. Avila

Looking around the boxing landscape a few names pop up when discussing who truly is the “baddest man” on the planet.

Lately, it’s not the heavyweights but the smaller guys like Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev and Andre “S.O.G.” Ward who emerge in the debate of who’s the baddest?

Golovkin (35-0, 32 Kos) takes first crack at proving his worth when he meets England’s Kell Brook (36-0, 25 Kos) early Saturday afternoon on Sept. 10, in London, England. The middleweight title fight will be shown on HBO at 2:30 p.m. Later that day, Gonzalez (45-0, 38 Kos) faces Carlos Cuadras (35-0-1, 27 Kos) for the super flyweight title at the Inglewood Forum also on HBO.

Both Nicaragua’s Gonzalez and Kazakhstan’s Golovkin are frontrunners in any conversation about the baddest fighter on the planet. And if you haven’t heard, Gonzalez and Golovkin share a training camp facility in Big Bear and watch each other prepare.

“There is a lot of mutual respect between Gennady and Roman. They push each other and they motivate each other because they’re both at a high level of talent,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions that promotes both. “And I know Gennady loves having him train here.”

Golovkin, 34, may be the nicest guy in boxing when he’s not laced up. But once the gloves are strapped he becomes a 160-pound monster that even the boldest think twice of facing in the boxing ring. Though only 5’feet 11” in height, I’ve seen him pound the big body bag with more force than even heavyweights can muster. He’s scary strong.

But don’t expect him to berate an opponent or others. It’s just not his style.

“He’s a good boy,” said Golovkin when asked about rival Saul Alvarez when they sparred a few years back.

That’s all the mean stuff you will get from the usually smiling Golovkin.

Gonzalez, 29, will weigh less than 115 pounds when he steps on the scale. The Nicaraguan has fought as low as 105 pounds and has won world titles in the minimum weight, light flyweight and flyweight divisions. Now he’s gunning for the super flyweight division world champion Cuadras of Mexico.

“I want to be the first from Nicaragua to win four world titles in four weight divisions,” said Gonzalez while in Big Bear. “Not even my hero Alexis Arguello was able to win four. I want to win it in his honor and for my country.”

Arguello was one of the great fighters of the 1970s and 1980s who is most remembered for his two breathtaking battles with Aaron Pryor.

“I love the (Inglewood) Forum because in that Forum my hero Alexis Arguello won his first world title against Ruben Olivares,” said Gonzalez about Arguello who won world titles in three weight divisions.

Despite being 5-feet, 3-inches in height, the Nicaraguan is a powerhouse who has wrecked several careers with his punishing attacks. He may be small but reminds me of the cartoon the Tasmanian Devil with his whirlwind attack.

If Gonzalez and Golovkin were the same height and weight that would be a battle of the ages. Instead, fans can only contemplate who is the baddest between them when they perform on Saturday.

Most people like to say who is the best pound for pound fighter? I prefer the term first described by the great Muhammad Ali “baddest man on the planet” when asked about his place in the fight world. It says it all.