Guts are a great thing to have when one is a prizefighter.
Every fighter gets buzzed, even the most capable defenders. And often it is bravery that separates the best from the also-rans. The ones with the most mettle, such as Arturo Gatti, have something that kicks into gear and makes them severely resistant to pain and surrender.
Abel Sanchez, the trainer of middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin, who meets Matthew Macklin on a Saturday Foxwoods card that will be on HBO, said something quite interesting. Namely, that Macklin's most glaring deficiency is his guts. How so?
"His biggest weakness, in my mind, is his balls," said Sanchez, who has trained some superior pugilists, including Terry Norris, but who calls Golovkin the hardest hitter he's ever seen. "Macklin is a man's man. He will try to box, and he will get hit, and say to himself, 'You can't do that to me.' "
In other words, it perhaps would be wisest for Macklin to try to out-box Golovkin, try to "out-clever" him, be the better ring general, look to avoid contact, and get the decision win. But he will not be able to help himself, and he will eventually start trading.
I brought that theory over to Macklin, and asked for his response. "I disagree," he said. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going. He's never been in with anyone like me. His power don't bother me one bit. And how will I deal with his power? I'm not getting hit. And if I do, I will suck it up and take it."