By Tré Berry III🖋️
Middleweight 🥈🇰🇿Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin (39-1-1, 35KO) is a very resourceful fighter, in fact we would say that he does most things very well, and in addition to that, happens to be one of, if not the smartest fighter in boxing. It is especially evident in the manner that he strings sequences of punches together, and being that he doesn’t have much handspeed, is still able to land what he wants to land and throws wide selection of punches with many different variations to them.
For example, he has a snap jab, a power jab, and will pull out the up-jab every once in a while. Depending on the positioning of his opponent and his defense, he will either fire the right hand straight, or arc it outward and drive it through to get around the guard to catch you on the ear. Golovkin has a dynamite left hook to the head and to the body, but the best variation of that punch for him is the “overhand-left hook” that he arcs from top-to-bottom to land on the forehead, which is one of the most rare and unusual punches n boxing history.
Older boxing heads have often said that the top region of the head (most notably the forehead) is the last place that you want your fists to make contact with because it is the toughest part of the body that you can legally hit, which can hurt your hands. For whatever reason, Golovkin’s unique 12-6 hook is a punch he mastered, and seems content with to routinely land it at that spot with no hesitation, and the impact he makes can be deadly, as it pile-drives your neck inward for a split second, sending a shockwave through your legs. It is also a very difficult punch to throw, being that with a normal left-hook, you would have to pivot with your right hip, but with this punch of Golovkin’s under the microscope, you actually have to pivot with the opposite hip to fire it through.
There are 3 notable examples of Golovkin doing damage with the overhand hook. In his fight back in 2014 against 🇲🇽Marco Antonio Rubio, Golovkin ended his night very short with his patented shot. Rubio was hurt earlier in the round and was backed up to the ropes where he shelled up behind traditional defense with hands up and elbows in. Golovkin decided to fire the overhand-left hook (Golovkin should probably give this punch a nickname) to the one spot that wasn’t covered, and Rubio went down and wasn’t able to beat the count. The second notable moment that Golovkin’s punch made an appearance was when he attempted in the 1st fight against 🇲🇽Canelo Alvarez with ⌚2:29 to go in the 9th round.
After the punch landed, Canelo looked at Golovkin confused, freezing him enough to where 5 seconds later Golovkin was able to hurt Canelo with a short uppercut on the inside. The third of course is the most recent example we’ve had with Golovkin hitting 🇨🇦Steve Rolls with the overhand-left hook in the 4th round that buckled the legs of the Canadian fighter and started the onslaught leading up to the finish, resulting in a Knockout of the Year Candidate for 2019.
LOOKING THROUGH HISTORY – Considering that it is a rare punch, even looking back it is tough to find boxers who had it as a normal part of their repertoire. The 3 fighters I see that had this punch in the toolbox outside of Golovkin obviously is 🥇🥇🇺🇦Vasiliy Lomachenko (down-arching right hook from the Southpaw stance) and 🇲🇽Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., who happens to be one of the fighters that Golovkin idolized coming up, which would make sense as to why he has incorporated it into his skill-set. 🇺🇸Jake LaMotta had something similar, but he didn’t use it that often, but it goes to show you that this is a unique punch that we are seldom used to seeing, but can be very effective if used correctly.