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 mega transfer of one Thatayaone Ditlhokwe from Township Rollers to South Africa’s SuperSport United has left Gaborone United (GU) desperate for the ‘purchase benefits’ and the latter has consistently phoned Rollers to pay back their share for supposedly grooming the player.
Ditlhokwe, a former GU defender, was sold to SuperSport at an estimated fee of P 2 million late last year. When the sale was negotiated, and it was agreed that GU will receive at least 15% of the sale, sources say.
This therefore means Rollers has to pay GU P 300 000.
According to reliable sources, Rollers is yet to process GU’s benefits because SuperSport United is taking long to complete the transfer fee. However, Jagdish Shah, the financer of Rollers, is said to be ready to pay GU’s dues as soon as the time is right.
In any case, it is said the two clubs are fighting a boardroom brawl. Regarded as the fiercest cross town rivals, GU was incensed to lose Ditlhokwe to Rollers in the first place. The underlying scuffle, to date, is catalysed by misplaced documents and trust that has grown seriously thin between the two clubs.
It is said that GU cannot find the contract between Rollers and SuperSport so as to officially bill their claim. Sources put it that GU had written twice to Rollers asking them to forward a copy of the said contract.
In the first instance, it is said that Rollers cooperated and did as GU requested. However, GU is said to have lost the contract and went back to Rollers for another copy. Rollers according to sources then refused to budge. There are claims that GU is now stuck in one place.
Rollers media liaison Phemperetlhe Pheto said it is difficult to talk about contracts to third parties. He however implored GU to avail the contract for them to claim their fees without doubts.
“I am disturbed to talk about contracts of players to media but bear in mind that we cannot act when GU is failing to submit what they have as a proof,” he said.
When Rollers tried to sign Argentinean born gaffer, Rudolph Zapata, three seasons ago, GU fought tooth and nail to block him from joining the ranks of their number one enemy. They delayed to release his work permits accusing him and Rollers of sinister motives.
To this date, GU is livid that Rollers nearly paralyzed their camp when they recruited striker Tumisang Orebonye, defender Jackson Lesole and the very same Ditlhokwe, to offer them lucrative contracts.
Just a year ago, the fight between the two clubs almost took a nasty turn. It started when GU wrote to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) questioning the coaching credentials of Rollers former coach, Frank Nuttall, together with his assistants, Leutwetse Tshireletso and Zachariah Mudzazi. Then, GU was seen to be shifting posts when consistently asked to rectify the situation involving their coach, Pontsho Moloi. It was found out that Moloi was not fit to coach in the elite level according to the requirements of club licensing.
But as things stand, GU will count on the words of Shah, whom many football administrators label as a ‘man of integrity.’
Ditlhokwe signed a three year deal with SuperSport last year. The 22-year-old helped Rollers to lift the Botswana Premier League trophy in the 2018/19 season and was rewarded with a national team call up.
The Botswana international played an important role for his side in the 2019 COSAFA Cup in South Africa as captain, Ditlhokwe also helped Zebras finish 2nd in the tournament losing to Zambia in the final.
The Ministry of Youth Sport and Culture Development has agreed to refurbish the dilapidated Molepolole Sports Complex.
The development consequently means premier league teams and local clubs will not be able to utilise the facility in the upcoming season.
The stadium with a carrying capacity of 6 600, was earmarked by premier league rookies Masitaoka as home-ground.
The ministry has further revealed that the stadium will need a budget of about 5 million Pula to relay the turf and renovate a water drainage system that has worn out. The contractors are expected to commence work in the not so distant future.
The pitch surface is artificial and was first installed in 2008 at FIFA’s request and the presidency of Philp Makgalemele. In 2010, it was chosen as one of two host stadiums for the COSAFA Under-20 Challenge.
“We have funds to refurbish the Molepolole Stadium for two main projects; the relaying of turf and renovation of water reticulation system. The stadium will therefore be out of bounds when contracted companies begin their works,” the Chairman of Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) confirmed.
The Ministry of sport is further expected to file a communication with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development notifying them to start a monitoring exercise when the renovations begin.
The reconstruction of this stadium and others is however feared to coincide with the long intention of the government to improve sport infrastructure throughout the country.
Earlier this year, the sport ministry has also requested a budget of about P 33 million to renovate and improve the VIP lounge of Francistown Sport Complex, now known as Obed Chilume stadium.
The President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi, said the government continues to improve sporting infrastructure as part of the grassroots sport development programme. He said this in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) two years ago.
This financial year, P50 million was allocated for the construction of 10 community sport facilities or mini stadia, around the country.
“These will be basic sport facilities for youth recreation, and will consist of boundary wall, an artificial turf, soccer pitch and changing rooms with ablution facilities,” he said.
The facilities are earmarked for Tonota, Mmadinare, Bobonong, Tutume, Kasane, Goodhope, Kanye, Rakops, Tsabong and Moshupa.
Enterprising midfielder, Dirang Moloi, is in talks with premier league rookies Masitaoka Football Club about possibilities of joining as a free agent, having last played for troubled Extension Gunners last season.
Moloi, touted as the best midfielder of his generation, is said to be ready to hang his boots but not before playing for Masitaoka, the promising outfit whose administration is now the envy of other premier teams, especially the older ones.
However, it appears that there is a stumbling block as Moloi is requesting for conditions that are beyond the club’s reach. Moloi, with a substantial premier league experience, where player wages are not always guaranteed, wants to partner with the club through his side businesses to make profit.
Sources say Moloi does not desperately yearn for a monthly salary, but wants some benefits as the club makes money through other means.
Operating as a football company, Masitaoka has plenty of sponsors and it is why Moloi wants a share of the profits for each replica jersey the team sells. He also wants the club to partner with his security company to further rake in profits rather than waiting on a meagre salary that is not certain especially during turbulent periods of corona virus. This, according to sources may weigh heavily on Masitaoka’s situation that consequently will collapse the talks.
All the while, it is said Moloi will no longer be a first-choice selection but Neslon Olebile, the team’s head coach, hopes that his personality and experience will serve to inspire the rest of the attacking options, most notably the younger players.
Masitaoka have always sought to have leaders in their squad, players who have won big games and can bolster the collective belief. Their hunger to sign Galabgwe Moyana in the next season is rooted in part, by what he could bring away from the field.
Moloi, some reports say may join partly on probation and eventually sign to play as the season goes on, but not to inspire, as he once declared he is about to quit Botswana football.
The club sources however say that there is no option built into the deal for him to join them with non- football conditions.
Masitaoka are however desperate for Moloi’s services and will want him to bring calmness and stability to a side that has begun to dream big. The Molepolole base outfit is eyeing a spot in the finals of Orange FA Cup. Once football resumes, the club will play against Calendar Stars in the quarter finals.
Moloi has won a handful of trophies and medals during his salad days at Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers.