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Page16 BOSTON POST-GAZETTE, MAY 22, 2015 Gennady Golovkin Last Saturday night Gennady Golovkin de- fended his Middleweight Title against Willie Monroe Jr. It was a fight where no one gave the challenger any shot of winning, and even though he put up a decent effort, he was not able to stand up to the pressure and power of GGG. The fight itself was slightly interesting in that Willie did not fold up after being decked twice in the second round by the champion. He even managed to stage a mild comeback keeping the third round close and winning the fourth by catching Gennady with some quick combinations. For a few seconds it ap- peared Monroe might be able to make this fight a bit competitive, but GGG turned on the pressure in the third and stopped the game Monroe. A couple of observations from watching the fight; when Golovkin knocked out Daniel Geale last year, he did it with a right hand he threw as Geale was nailing him with a right of his own. It was a very impressive move on the champion's part as he showed a great reflex in responding to getting hit by firing immediately back and scoring a sen- sational kayo. In the Monroe fight I saw Golovkin doing the same thing. He would take a punch, usually a jab to the face and then through his own counterpunch over it. It is an effective tactic and one that has been taught ifor years in boxing gyms. There are some problems with it though. While it is an old technique, it was always taught as a plan B for a fighter. Sure, if you get hit and throw a punch right back you have a good chance of hitting your opponent, but that is if you get hit. Plan A is to not get hit by slipping the punches and countering. GGG is an excellent pressure fighter, he knows how to cut the ring off on his oppo- nents very effectively, and he has tremen- dous power. He is also an aggressive counter puncher. By that, I mean that he draws his opponents into leaving openings by staying on top of them. This relentless pressure forces them into making mistakes and puts them into a survival mode from which they are not able to execute a game plan of their own. He does not slip punches as well as he should or could mostly because he is able to get away without doing so. I will give Monroe credit for managing to Harry Greb Thoughts on Golovkin Carlos Monzon survive the GGG onslaught in the second round and trying with some minor effective- ness to stick to a plan. This worked for a brief time, but Willie has very little experience, no power, and is built like a body builder, which takes away from his ability to fully ex- tend his muscles when throwing punches. I believe Gannady is by far the best fighter out thee today. He has a lot'of natural tal- ent, keeps his cool, punches very hard and accurately, but he also has many flaws. Un- fortunately, these flaws will not be erased as he is living in an era where there is nobody who can really make him pay for his mis- takes. There aren't even good sparring part- ners out there for him. GGG needs to be in there with guys like Eddie Perkins or Angel Robinson Garcia, guys who can extend him, force him to think more, and make him pay for his mistakes. That is how a good fighter becomes a great fighter. In a different time Golovkin would still be fighting on the undercard of major fights and headlining club shows as he would continue to learn and perfect his trade. He would be sparring long rounds in the gym with an ar- ray of fellow boxers of varying styles and builds. In other words, he would still be going to school. But, much like today's real life aca- demic world where most people agree that a college degree is no more than a high di- ploma was fifty years ago, GGG has been given his degree without fully matriculating. This is not his fault. He has the brains and the work ethic to potentially be a very, very good fighter. By today's standards he already is. But remember, he has only had 30 fights against very weak opposition, and in the Monroe fight he was facing a guy who only had 20 fights and wasn't far removed from the amateur ranks. By comparison, the very great Middleweight Champion Harry Greb had a record of 44-0 in 1919 alone. Yes, all of those fights took place in just one year and against some of the top fighters of his time. Marvin Hagler had 48 bouts before he challenged for the title, and Carlos Monzon got his shot in his 67 th bout. Greb, Hagler, and Monzon where not only college graduates from the Univer- sity of Boxing, they had gone on to gaining PhDs while studying under some of the most demanding professors of their day. Gennady Golovkin will continue to win fights and excite crowds. He will continue to carry himself as a chamPion of great char- acter, but he, and we, will never get to see if he could ever rank up there on the stage of all time greats as there is no reason for him to improve. I fear he might even regress be- cause he does not have to pay for his mis- takes. GGG can be called a throwback fighter, but what he needs is to spend some time in that throwback era, some time at the old Gleason's Gym with the likes of Holman Wil- liams, Jake LaMotta, George Benton, Joey Archer, and a hundred other professors from the past. He needs to spend time in a good graduate school and then work on his doc- torate. He has the talent, but school just ain't what it used to be. FINALLY OUT OF THE SHADOWS -- It took a little bit of time, but eventually the Bruins realized the best man for the job was already reporting to work on Cause- way Street every day. We speak, of course, of the appointment of Don Sweeney to the post of Gen- eral Manager of the B's who, over the course of his 24 years of affiliation with the franchise was often over- shadowed by others. It was Sweeney's fate to spend most of his Bruins playing career as a defense- man on the same ice with another defenseman -- who just happened to be a Gar- den legend. That player, of course, was Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque. In Boston, "Everybody Loves Raymond" was more than a title of a popular TV show of the era. Here in the Hub it was a reality show and it took center stage every night the Bruins played. Drafted by the Bruins, in 1984, Sweeney went on to play for four years at Harvard before joining the ranks of the NHL. He played for the B's for 15 seasons before closing out his career with a single campaign in Dallas during 2003-2004. He is one of only four players in team history to play over 1,000 games in a Bruins uniform. He joined the B's front office in 2006 as Director of Player Development and was named Director of Hockey Operations in July, 2007. He became Assistant General Manager in 2009. Last sea- son, he also served as GM of the Providence Bruins. These positions, while important, were not front and center posts as far as media members were con- cerned. When the lights came on and the TV cam- eras focused, it often was someone else doing the talking. Sweeney was usu- ally in the background. Now, as the eighth GM in Bruins history, Sweeney will assume the top position he earned through years of hard work for the organization. Or as a press release stated: "In his role of General Manager, Sweeney will be in charge of every aspect of the team's hockey operations." Sweeney, for his part, not- ing that the B's are a historic franchise, said: "I am fully aware of everyone's expecta- tions to move the organiza- tion forward ... to bring the Bruins back to the forefront of contending for the Stanley Cup." It's a new era for the Bruins. Let's see where it leads. MEANWHILE, it didn't take Sweeney's former boss Peter Chiarelli long to get down to business out in Edmonton. It was just the other day that the former Bruins GM, who was hired by the Oilers about a month ago, selected Todd McLellan as the new head coach of the team that's located in Alberta. McLellan comes back to Canada after an extensive stint with San Jose. Over the course of a seven-season span with the California team, the Sharks qualified for the Stanley Cup Play- offs six straight times as McLellan compiled a 311- 163 -66 regular season record. That Stanley Cup streak ended last month and so did McLellan's stay with the Sharks. Chiarelli came call- ing soon after that. For McLellan, this will be the second high profile former Bruin he has worked with. During his years at San Jose, former Bruin Joe Thornton was (and remains) a leading player with the Sharks. Now, in Edmonton, he'll be working for ChiareUi, who up until early April was the GM of the Bruins. McLellan's selection con- tinues a coaching roulette wheel in Edmonton. He'll be the team's seventh coach in the past eight seasons, replacing Todd Nelson -- who took over after Dallas Eakins was let go just 31 games into the 2014-2015 season. But while there's been a whole lot of movement be- hind the bench, things have been pretty much stationary on the ice. The Oilers have not even qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2006 and finished 28 th in the 30-team NHL this past season. But there's a nice big prize for being bad -- the Oilers will pick first in the NHL Draft next month. In effect, next season will be essentially a honeymoon year for both Chiarelli and McLellan. All the Oilers have to do next season is just make the playoffs. If they do, the year will be consid- ered a success -- even if they are swept out of the first round. And even if they miss, it still might be considered a success. After all, how "hard is it to improve on a 28 th place finish? Compare that to the much higher expectations here in the Hub where anything below the Conference Finals is designated a failure and may prove grounds for dis- missal. It must seem like paradise for Chiarelli to be able to conduct business in such a lower pressure setting. Oh, and let's not forget that at one time a certain favored Bruin once put in some play- ing time in Edmonton. That would be B's legend and cur- rent team president Cam Neely, who was responsible for cutting Chiarelli loose last month. We have a feel- ing that he'll be watching with interest from a distance and perhaps looking forward to Edmonton's next visit to the Garden. If things go according to plan, the Oilers will only come to Causeway Street "for one game during the 2015-2016 regular season. It should be a contest that car- ries heightened interest.