Over the years, Gennadiy Golovkin’s ring appearance has waned. From fighting three or four times annually to making a short cameo every other year, Golovkin simply hasn’t kept an active schedule. Abel Sanchez, his former head trainer, has also noticed that Golovkin has spent more and more time on the sidelines. Although the two aren’t as close as they once were, Sanchez gives his conjecture on why Golovkin has remained out of the public eye.
“It’s unfortunate,” Sanchez told K.O. Artists Sports. “Maybe his interest isn’t what it used to be and I respect that.”
Whether his interest dissipated or not, Golovkin appeared to be fully focused on continuing his career just last year. In April of 2022, the now 41-year-old punished Ryota Murata, stopping him in the ninth round of their showdown and unifying Murata’s WBA middleweight title with his IBF.
At the time, Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KOs) was ostensibly on the verge of becoming an undisputed champion. However, he found a shortcut to his dreams. Although he hadn’t competed at 168 pounds, Golovkin had a burning desire to finally end his rivalry with Canelo Alvarez. And, while he was at it, collect a gigantic paycheck and every major world title in the super middleweight division.
The aging star officially made the move up in weight in September of 2022. Ultimately, Golovkin’s reaction time in the ring wasn’t up to par as he would go on to lose a fairly close unanimous decision.
Beaten but not quite defeated, Golovkin sounded like a man who had plenty left in his gas tank. He claimed that retirement was the furthest thing from his mind and that he would move back down in weight to defend his WBA and IBF titles.
Despite his promises, Golovkin has been mendacious. A few months after his announcement, Golovkin vacated both of his middleweight titles. His actions, while unexplained, have made Sanchez despondent.
At one point, Golovkin was a pound-for-pound star and one of the more recognizable fighters around. Now, considering that he’s slipped into boxing’s purgatory, Sanchez can hardly stomach what’s happened to his former fighter.
“It’s unfortunate that it had to be with no fanfare. He just went out with a whimper. He just gave up everything. It’s sad because what a great fighter.”