By Paul Magno | June 10, 2019

Just days after DAZN's Canelo subscribers' one-and-done month ran out, Canelo's manufactured archrival, Gennady Golovkin (Now spelling his first name 'Gennadiy'). made his streaming-only debut against Canadian fall guy Steve Rolls. 

Although I don’t have any numbers to back up my hunch (and DAZN surely isn’t going to supply any real numbers), my guestimate is that at least half of those who signed up for 20 bucks to see Canelo-Jacobs on May 4, opted out of the DAZN experience for month two, just as many reportedly did after Canelo’s December bout with Rocky Fielding. The suits at DAZN may talk about their streaming service being a brave new frontier in boxing content delivery, but the reality is that most people are still treating it as pay-per-view, coming in and out based on the strength of a particular upcoming event. The streaming service even adjusted their payment options to accommodate a fan base that was not responding to their hopes of Netflix-style “let’s sign up and forget about it” customer loyalty. 

But that’s business talk. How about the actual fight that may or may not have come after a mass exodus of Canelo subs?

Predictably, Steve Rolls was who he is—an unproven regional Canadian talent who hasn’t fought anyone good enough for fans and/or media to determine how good he actually is. After Saturday’s four-round KO loss, though, we do know for sure that he’s nowhere good enough to beat Golovkin. 

The 37-year-old Kazakh KO machine, who was fighting his first bout under a brand new nine-figure, six-fight deal with DAZN, looked stiff and a bit rusty after nine months away from the ring. But the GGG-friendly matchmaking was on-point and even though Rolls had some decent moments before falling hard in the fourth round, including a couple of instances of snapping Golovkin’s head back with flush shots, he had neither the power nor the overall ability to turn his evening at Madison Square Garden into an Andy Ruiz-type upset. 

This was Golovkin’s first bout with new trainer Johnathon Banks, the first since his sole career loss against Canelo Alvarez, and the first of his huge new deal under the GGG Promotions banner. If there ever was a moment where pressure might pave the way for an upset, this was it. Except, by design, Rolls would not be able to do it. 

Consider this fight as Golovkin’s signing bonus from the Eddie Hearn-guided streaming service, a nice and easy eight-figure payday for coming aboard, like Canelo got against Rocky Fielding last December. 

What’s next for GGG will depend greatly on what Canelo wants next. The red-headed Mexican was always the extreme A-side in the Canelo-GGG dynamic and now that’s even more the case after beating Golovkin last September and with DAZN executives scurrying about to make sure their $365 million golden goose is happy and properly fluffed. 

What’s clearly NOT in Golovkin’s plans, however, is anything involving high risk without a Canelo-level payday attached to it. 

At the post-fight press conference Saturday night, Golovkin was peppered with questions about non-Canelo middleweight threats such as Daniel Jacobs, Demetrius Andrade, and Jermall Charlo. His response was fully non-committal and more than a little dismissive. 

After ditching the idea of fighting Jacobs a second time because there are “new fighters” out there, undefeated and deserving of a shot, he then ditched the idea of facing those undefeated, deserving “new fighters.”

“Let them fight each other,” he said via interpreter, referring specifically to Charlo and Andrade. 

“I can’t right now,” he added in his own voice.

I guess the man is too busy beating up tailor-made fall guys and pining away for a big, juicy payday as the media darling B-side of a mega-fight—an m.o. he has mastered for the better part of nine years now, with shockingly little blowback. 

As we can clearly see-- despite the new broadcaster, new trainer, and new stacks of cash—it’s business as usual for Golovkin and the fan/media Golovkinites who facilitate the fighter’s expanding sense of entitlement. 

Quick (S)hits:

-- Former two-division world champ Zab Judah remains hospitalized after a brutal eleventh-round stoppage loss to Cletus Seldin Saturday night in Verona, New York as part of the International Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend. Initial buzz had him in a coma with bleeding on the brain, but subsequent reports indicate that the Brooklyn-born fighter is awake, responsive, and in good spirits. Whatever the case, though, the 41-year-old had no business being back in the ring at this point in his life, even matched against a one-dimensional fringe contender like Seldin. With only three bouts since December of 2013 and no significant wins since beating contender Vernon Paris in 2012, Judah was a prime candidate for injury. Hopefully, this is it for the southpaw former champ.

-- Hey, Tyson Fury-Tom Schwarz is next week…and, hurray, it’s on the ESPN+ app, so you’ll have the privilege of paying for that slop if you care to watch. What a way to build Fury’s profile! 

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