Gennady Golovkin vs. Willie Monroe Preview: Will Golovkin’s KO Streak Continue?
WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin looks to extend a 19 fight KO streak on Saturday night when he faces Willie Monroe Jr. at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California in the main event of the HBO televised card dubbed as “Pound for Pound.”
Pound for Pound
In a sport that has been lately criticized for its lack of action, Gennady Golovkin’s all-action brawling style of boxing has made him one of the sport’s favorite attractions since coming to America three years ago. Golovkin (32-0 with 29 KOs) has an impressive 91% KO rate, the highest in middleweight championship history and his current 19 fight KO streak is unparalleled in the game today. But what makes Golovkin stand out among the current crop of top boxers, pound for pound is that he always looks for the finish each time he steps in the ring.
GGG, as he is fondly called, is coming off an 11th round TKO of Britain’s Martin Murray. Prior to that, he easily disposed of the challenges of former title holders Marco Antonio Rubio and Daniele Geale. Yet despite obliterating one opponent after another, Golovkin’s drawback has been the lack of a big name victim on his resume.
Can’t Get a Big Fight
Despite being one of boxing’s new crowd darlings, Golovkin has yet to land a major PPV bout. The reason is while he’s always landed the big punches in the ring, he hasn’t been able to land a major fight with a big name.
Since last year, Golovkin has been calling out lineal middleweight champion Miguel Cotto after the latter pummeled longtime champion Sergio Martinez to retirement last June 2014. But the Puerto Rican superstar sat out the rest of 2014, hoping to land a Cinco de Mayo weekend fight with young Mexican star Canelo Alvarez. That didn’t materialize and Alvarez ended up fighting (and beating) James Kirkland last Saturday while Cotto will be facing former Golovkin victim Daniel Geale on June 6. While both Cotto and Canelo are once again plotting an encounter, Golovkin hopes that a big win over Monroe will put him as the third wheel in the discussion.
Golovkin’s challenger is Willie Monroe Jr. (19-1 with 6 KOs), the middleweight champion of ESPN’s Boxcinco tournament of 2014. The Ithaca, New York native is coming off the biggest win of his career, a 10 round clinical demolition of tough veteran Bryan Vera last January 16. Monroe’s only professional loss came at the hands of Darnell Boone in 2011 when Boone had a record of 17-17.
While Monroe may sound like another unknown opponent for GGG, the “Mongoose” is perhaps the first pure boxer Golovkin has ever fought. His record speaks of his style with only 6 KOs in 19 victories. Monroe is a skilled boxer who knows when to exchange in the pocket and when not to trade punches. He moves well around the ring and has quick feet and a steady diet of jabs which could disrupt Golovkin’s plan of attack like Martin Murray did in his last fight.
Make no mistake, though, as GGG is a heavy -10000 betting favorite over the unheralded Monroe who is at +1600 coming into this fight. While Monroe may pose a challenge that Golovkin hasn’t faced before, the Kazakh destroyer is a master of cutting off the ring and preventing would be runners from turning the boxing ring into a track and field oval. Murray did push Golovkin to Round 11, but in doing so he took a heavy beating that slowed him down late in the fight and did him in round 11. Golovkin swarms his opponents like a hungry predator and dissects them with hard body shots and powerful head shots.
No doubt Monroe has the agility to elude GGG’s onslaught and score points with his jabs. But the question is how he will take Golovkin’s punches if and when he gets hit by GGG. His lack of punching power could be his downfall because Gennady’s just going to walk him down and pummel him to submission, just like Martin Murray. Experts are predicting a late stoppage by GGG.
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