On Saturday, Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin will be facing Martin Murray at the Salle des Étoiles, Monte Carlo, in Monaco. The Kazakhstan bulldozer guns for the 19th straight knockout victory of his career, and will defend his middleweight straps. Murray is confident that he is the man to beat Golovkin, and he is ready to bear the pain.
‘GGG’ three years ago
Nearly three years ago, I never hear Gennady Golovkin’s name. In 2012, GGG is just another middleweight prospect knocking out up and coming fighters and prospects alike. And most of those opponents he rolled like logs in the ring were never heard of at that time. I never heard about them now. None of them became serious contenders in the weak middleweight division.
In the process, Golovkin (31-0, 28 KOs) amassed 18 straight knockout victories that started back in 2008. Kassim Ouma was the only notable opponent Golovkin had faced from 2008 to 2012.
Weak Middleweight division
It’s safe to say that the middleweight division is weak. A division wherein there’s no Bernard Hopkins that dominated for a decade. No more Paul Williams, no more Kelly Pavlik. Although the middleweight has a marquee and tough champion in Miguel Cotto, but I can’t seriously consider Cotto as a legit middleweight in terms of size. Ok, he stopped the lineal middleweight champion. I had great respect for Cotto, but Sergio Martinez’s knee injury made him a setting duck for whatever Cotto threw during the course of the fight. A 100% Martinez is an enormous problem for Miguel.
Golovkin’s 2013 surge
‘GGG’ name burst in 2013. He fought four times and scored knockout victories over Gabriel Rosado, Nobuhiro Ishida, Matthew Macklin and Curtis Stevens. Macklin was considered to put a serious test on Golovkin career. Macklin was among the top ten contenders at that time. But ‘GGG’ crushed him in three rounds. Golovkin’s next assignment was the heavy handed Curtis Stevens. After a knockdown in round 2, Stevens was never the same fighter. He retired in Round 8.
So, a legit middleweight contender in Macklin never posed a real threat to Golovkin. A good puncher in Stevens not able to land any home-run punch and stood no chance against Triple G’s power.
After Golovkin’s successful 2013 campaign, most boxing observers wanted Golovkin to face the best in the middleweight division. But in early 2014, who was there to be considered as the best MW? Martinez was the champion but was injury-troubled. Because of limited MW opponents, came Osumano Adama. Then came legit MW contenders Daniel Geale and Marco Rubio. But they failed to bring tough competition to Golovkin.
It seemed to me that Golovkin can only find tough competition when he either moves south or north from the MW division. He can move up to SMW for a possible Andre Ward showdown or move down for a Floyd Mayweather sweepstakes (but I don’t know the possibility for this fight).
Triple G against Double M
I think Martin Murray (29-1-1, 12 KO’s) stands no chance to win against Golovkin. But will he survive till the final bell? Perhaps. Maybe. That I’m not even sure. He’s not the fighter every boxing observer wanted Golovkin to face at this point. Without taking anything away from Murray, he’s doesn’t have the power to match at least power to power against Golovkin. His record can attest to that. He’s not even a technically sound boxer to neutralize and compensate at least the power of Golovkin.
The only chance I see is that: if he can close the gap between him and Golovkin, smothering Golovkins power and score points from entirely inside. But this move is easier said than done as Golovkin knows how to throw uppercuts and hooks over the top with devastating power.
Murray was very confident fighter though. But he’s not cocky. Here’s what he said at the final press conference.
“This is the fight I wanted,” he said. “Golovkin is a great fighter. Everybody knows that. I’ve never once badmouthed him. He’s a great fighter. He’s done everything right. But I’ve just got a feeling, and I’ve had this feeling for a long time now, that I’m going to be the man to beat him. I really do feel that. I can’t help the way I feel. I know I’m in for the hardest fight of my life and I know I’m going to go through some pain. But I’m willing to go there. I’m looking forward to the fight. It’s going to be tough, as I said, but it’s a challenge. I’ve given myself every possible chance and every possibility to win this fight. Yeah, it’s going to be a tough fight but I’m quietly confident that I can do the job.”
When it’s GGG turn to speak, Golovkin’s trying to market his opponent. But I find difficulty to buy it.
“My opponent Martin Murray, he’s a great fighter. He’s strong. I respect him. I respect his team. He looks good. He looks strong. My focus is on him. He’s a great fighter. Everybody has big chance. He had two title fights. Now is a great chance for him.”
If there’s a member of ISIS inside the boxing ring; no doubt is Gennady Golovkin. He will chop off your head with his potent gloved fists. The only difference is that he will do this in a level battle field. The opponent’s hands were not tied on his back — free to swing as he like. I think Golovkin will finish the job inside 5 rounds.