Athletes from across the world have been ranked according to their marketing potential over a three-year period from this summer.
- Value for money
- Home market
- Willingness to be marketed
- Crossover appeal
Kazakh, 34, Boxing
Boxing’s danger man on the precipice
Representatives: K2 Promotions
Key partners: Jordan Brand, Expo Astana
2015 ranking: 28
Still he waits, but perhaps for not much longer. For close to a decade now Gennady Golovkin has been the most dangerous man in boxing, a heavy-handed human buzz-saw cutting through thickets of over-matched opponents. At 34, he finally has the wider recognition his talents deserve and he may soon have the big night that will bring him to mainstream attention.
With Manny Pacquiao and – for now, at least – Floyd Mayweather in retirement, the fight game’s biggest draw for fans and sponsors is Golovkin’s fellow middleweight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. The teak-tough, strawberry blond Mexican has left his most obvious opponent to stew, in keeping with boxing’s best and most maddening traditions. Yet having coldly dispatched Britain’s Amir Khan – whose big talent and big heart could not compensate for a bigger jump in weight – in a May mega-fight, Alvarez would be fooling no one by denying his Kazakh nemesis a chance.
If the two do meet, it will be a huge occasion and a chance for sponsors to flock to a fighter with burgeoning appeal. Golovkin, through his chilling knockout exploits in the ring and his abundant charm beyond the ropes, has won plenty of fans since making more regular appearances in the US. Were he to win an encounter with Canelo, his years in the relative wilderness might all have been worthwhile. EC
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