Gennady Golovkin, lionised as ‘the most feared man on the planet’ demolished British boxer Kell ‘The Special One’ Brook in the fifth round of a boxing match that was doubtlessly one of the major and electric of 2016.
Golovkin aka GGG hails from eastern European small state of Kazakhstan and has continued to bully the middle weight division at will and ease since his professional debut. He is currently ranked the number one middleweight and the world’s third best boxer, pound for pound, by Ring Magazine.
The soft spoken Golovkin is known in the ring as a systematic stalker and power punching pressure fighter. His style and heavy blows have netted him 36 wins out of 36 fights, 33 of them coming by way of Knock Out!
Golovkin hasn’t been knocked out or knocked down in a total of 375 fights neither as a professional or amateur and his fight with Brook was one of his high profile ones as he continues to summit the heights of professional boxing with relative ease.
The past weekend though, it was just another day at the office for GGG as he laboured methodically, tearing down one of the classiest and marvelous boxers in the sport, in a fight that culminated in a broken eye socket and a Technical Knockout (TKO) in the fifth. Golovkin is a 2003 World Championships gold medalist and a 2004 Olympic silver medalist. He has in his professional career drubbed notables like Curtis Stevens, Daniel Geale, Willie Monroe Jr and David Lemieux.
The first round saw Golovkin drumming an offensive as expected with both fighters landing some shots here and there sporadically exploding in attack.
The second was a mesmerising display of the class of boxers slugging it out. Brook absorbed Golovkin pressure well, seamlessly alternating between defense, countering as well as sporadic offenses. The round could have easily gone to Brook.
In the third, Golovkin came out gunning for conquest. He had notably increased his speed and the pressure on Brook and it paid off as it seems to be the round where the eye socket injury was inflicted. Brook could be seen fiddling with his right eye socket, signaling major irritation. Golovkin continued stalking Brook relentlessly.
While the fourth was nothing to write a book about, it however saw some magnificent countering feats by Brook.
The fifth saw Golovkin landing upwards of 18 unanswered punches which prompted Brook’s corner to pull their man out.
Golovkin TKO’d Brook, currently ranked the number one in the welterweight division, a position once held by Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacqiuao before retirement. Before Saturday, Brook had fought 36 fights and came out unscathed, with zero losses and 25 of his wins coming by way of knockout. Some notables who have fallen to Brook include Matthew Hatton, brother to Ricky Hatton and American, Shawn Porter.
But, even though Golovkin was always the favourite to win the Saturday encounter, what was interesting to observe was that Brook was in control of the fight even as his corner pulled him out of the fight. In fact, one judge had Brook leading on the scorecards while the last two had him even with Golovkin.
An enigmatic trend that was showing clearly was that it was a clash of world class fighters and the fight was never going to be a walkover for Golovkin. But had the fight progressed into the latter rounds many pundits believe that Golovkin was going to close the gap and surpass Brook in the scorecards.
Other notable fights which were a meeting of mass talent in the ring between two fighters include the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana bout, fought on May 3rd 2014.The Argentine seemed to have the code to unlock the Mayweather defense and in fact had the fight under his control. However, from the 4th round onwards Maidana offensive went haywire as Mayweather went on the run all the while continuing to land sneaky lefts and rights, reversing Maidana fortunes. The fight was so close that it left both boxing fans and the Mayweather camp in disbelief that another fight was immediately scheduled and took place 5 months later on September 13 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Mayweather-Maidana 1 will also be remembered as one of the few fights where uncertainty beamed across Mayweather’s face even as the results were being announced.
Another fight with the same traits is the Canelo Alvarez-Amir Khan bout. Even though he had also entered the fight an underdog, Khan had utilised speed to his benefit and was so elusive in the first few rounds that he had unsettled the Canelo match plan. But as with other underdogs before him, it was just a matter of time before the Canelo right hook cracked his glass chin sending him to the floor in a humiliating manner for a world class champion.
The Botswana national boxing team recently returned from the zone 4 championship held in Mozambique. The team was led by head coach Thebe Setlalekgosi, two assistant coaches, Gibson Rauwe and Pearl Mooketsi. Two referees and judges, Gaseitsewe Ponatshego and Linda Mooketsi.
In the women’s category, Lethabo Modukanele was representing Botswana in the 48 kg division, while Phekie Bele and Sadie Kenosi were competing in the 57 kg and 60 kg categories, respectively. In the men’s category, Kobamelo Molatlhegi was representing the country in the 52 kg division, while Rajab Mahomed was competing in the under 51 kg category.George Molwantwa was competing for under 57 kg category and Treasure Moremi was competing for under 60kg category.
The boxers came home with seven medals, Modukanele came home with a gold medal, Kenosi, Rajab, Molatlhegi all came home with silver medals. While Moremi, Molwantwa and Phekie Bele all came home with bronze medals.
According to Moitshepi Nkabiti, the public relations officer of the Botswana Boxing Association, the team performed well and that they were hoping that Rajab would also bring home a gold medal. However, due to an eye injury, he could not participate in the finals.
He stated that, “though some people might think that how our team performed is not an achievement it is a big achievement to us. Other countries came with 19 boxers while we only came with our seven boxers, and they all came back with medals. That is something that we have to be proud of I really commend them for their performance. Having 5 players making it to the finals is really a blessing and we should not take it for granted.”
According to Nkabiti, Botswana was ranked fourth in the zone 4 championship, which was held in Mozambique. Other countries that participated in the tournament included South Africa, Zambia, Eswatini, and Seychelles. They all had a total of 19 boxers. Lesotho also had eight boxers.
The first Mascom Charity Cup spectacular has come and gone. The football event played at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium saw four football clubs playing one-day tourney with various charity centres being beneficiaries of the gate takings.
While the attendance was not at the expected level, it is said that the sponsor has made a killing with close to P500 000 made from voting lines. Football followers were asked to vote for teams of their choice, and top four clubs were eligible to play. A single sms voting line cost P 1.50.
Gaborone United became the most voted team with 62 984 votes followed by Security Systems with 51 027. On the third spot was BDF XI with 48 596 votes while Orapa United came forth with 44 401. Shockingly, Township Rollers did not make it after gathering a total of 30 637 votes, with BR Highlanders ahead of them having seen 44 204 votes to their name.
It is said, however that, the initiative live to expectation as clubs together with the sponsor have managed to assist charities of their choices. Mascom is believed to be happy for identifying beneficiaries and getting value for their money.
The mobile network company is still the longest standing partners of local football, having first tasted waters in 2005. The company now powers the Top 8 competition and said to have renewed the dame sponsorship at a value not exceeding 18 million. The Mascom Charity Cup was not the first to be hosted by a mobile network company.
In 2018, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) hosted a similar event in which followers had to vote. The four participating teams were Mochudi Center Chiefs, Gaborone United, Orapa United and Township Rollers. GU were the eventual winners.
It is however not clear if the tournament will continue in the next football calendar, but what goes down into the history books is that Teenage Mpote and Orapa United were the first to win it. In previous years, there have been an off season tournament whose aim was meant for charity purposes. The tourney was called Kabelano Charity Cup and was usually played by four big teams (Rollers, Notwane, GU and Chiefs) without taking the voting routes. It was last hosted in 2015 and had Barclays as the sponsors.
Yet another thrilling showdown is expected between the country’s hottest strikers, Thabang Sesinyi of Jwaneng Galaxy and Thataoyaone Kgamanyane of Gaborone United, as the duo are eyeing for the 2021/2022 Golden boot.
With only four Botswana Premier League (BPL) games left, the race for the honours is rolling towards a thrilling climax, but for two individuals there is a race for an accolade of their own taking place that could easily go down to the final minutes of the season. Leading the pack with 19 goals is Jwaneng Galaxy talisman, Sesinyi who is one goal apart from Kgamanyane who has netted 18 goals thus far.
Both players have their eye on the golden boot, hoping that their respective teams have fixtures to put them in with a realistic chance of catching up, or leaving the other behind. The Money Machine is currently at the summit of the BPL log with 61 points while the mining giant, Galaxy are trailing on the third place with 49 points, having played 24 games thus far.
Both teams (GU and Galaxy) are expected to face each other towards the end of the season, as the initial fixture was postponed due to Galaxy’s involvement in CAF championship group stages. With 19 goals chalked up for the season so far, Sesinyi is just one goal away from Kgamanyane who led the race for the better part of the campaign. Sesinyi who is on freakish scoring form has scored four goals in his last two games; a hat trick against Prisons XI and a goal against Sua Flamingoes in the midweek fixture.
But there is no doubt that Sesinyi is no longer playing to carry his team, Galaxy, as realistically there is a slim chance for them to clinch the 2021/2022 season, but he is eyeing the Golden Boot Award when the league falls off.
Kgamanyane has begun the season in tremendous form; scoring every time he is given a chance, while Sesinyi, on the other hand, reached the peak of his form in the second round of the season; scoring both in the domestic league and also on the CAF Champions’ league group stage. He featured on team of the week on February.
Furthermore, the Money Machine attacker showed some growth as his conversion rate has been on a rising graph in the games he has so far played. Although Kgamanyane’s goal scoring prowess has been there for everyone to see, the player has been hampered by injuries. It promises to be a fascinating battle between the duo.
Meanwhile, BPL this week announced that they will hold the 2021/2022 awards. The league has since added seven new categories to take the total number of categories to 16. Among some new categories are the Defender of the Season and Midfielder of the Season awards. There are also two more awards for the administrators, as the league has included Team Manager of the Season and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Season awards.
The best performing players in this campaign will be included in the Premier League Best XI. Nevertheless, match day officials have also been recognised with the introduction of two more categories in the young Referee of the Season and the Female Referee of the Season. Furthermore, BFL CEO Solomon Ramochotlhwane indicated that the awards will be held on the 25 June 2022, just after the 2021-2022 season comes to an end.