Gennady Golovkin views the experience he has gained in a glittering professional career that shows no signs of slowing down as an “additional edge” in his vast armoury.
The day after turning 40, and with his status as one of the all-time great middleweights already assured, Golovkin this weekend takes on Ryota Murata in a world title unification fight in Japan.
It ends nearly 16 months of inactivity for Golovkin – Saturday’s contest was supposed to take place on December 29 only to be shelved due to coronavirus restrictions – but the Kazakh is unfazed by the delay.
Retirement is still a long way off for Golovkin, who believes the wisdom he has accrued during his time in the sport is just as important as his spiteful power-punching, supreme stamina and granite chin.
“There are advantages and drawbacks that come with age,” Golovkin told the PA news agency. “I see all the changes as positive. I get smarter, I get more experienced and age gives me an additional edge.
“Time flies and the older you get the faster it goes. I continue to stick to my traditional training approach and when we get in the ring, we’ll see the results.
“I wouldn’t point out any particular goal that I’m still trying to achieve. I’ve achieved a lot and learned a lot during my career. I feel very comfortable in my current position.
“I’ve been in boxing pretty much throughout my entire life. I feel in top form and if there is demand, if there are interesting offers, you’ll continue to see me in the ring.”
A third bout against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who is the only man to defeat Golovkin in his 43-fight professional career, has been mooted for later this year and remains a mouth-watering prospect.
Many felt Golovkin edged a September 2017 meeting only for a controversial draw to be called before 12 months later Alvarez had his arm raised, while the Mexican recently labelled their rivalry “personal”.
Golovkin questioned the outburst, wondering why their trilogy did not take place earlier if Alvarez, who takes on WBA light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol next month, felt that way.
“I just like to get in the ring – against whom, this is secondary to me,” Golovkin said.
“The comment that he’s taking it personal, if he has some personal ambitions, he should have been looking for this fight to take place much earlier, not disappear, not go in different directions.
“Now to say that it’s personal, I would say those sordid remarks are misplaced.”
Golovkin’s immediate priority is defending his IBF title at 160lbs and dethroning Murata as WBA champion in a fight that will be screened on DAZN, with ring walks expected at around midday UK time.
Murata won gold at London 2012 and, while the Japanese has been beaten twice in his 18-fight professional career, he avenged points defeats to Hassan N’Dam and Rob Brant with stoppage victories.
Golovkin (41-1-1, 36KOs) is therefore not underestimating a foe four years his junior who has claimed 13 of his 16 wins inside the distance.
“It is going to be a top-class fight and of course this is the fight warrants fans’ attention, to say the least,” Golovkin added.
“Both fighters are power-punchers, both fighters are dangerous and I would say it’s totally unpredictable how it might play out.”